The best contemporary artists are able to see entirely different worlds around them while their feet are firmly planted on Earth. Beyond merely seeing it for themselves, they’re able to realize their vision for us all to marvel at, giving us a glimpse into their creative minds. In the case of British artist Ian Berry, his surroundings manifest themselves as a world made solely of denim—whether it be a crowded street or an empty laundromat you can actually step into.
For his latest work of wonder, the UK-based artist made his way across the pond to New York City’s Children’s Museum of the Arts and tapped into his childhood psyche. Titled Secret Garden, this immersive installation features a magical assortment of flowers, vines, and plants—all made out of varieties of denim. What makes this particular piece of denim art so special is the origins of the material itself. “It was made out of the last denim that was made in the USA,” Berry tells My Modern Met, “and now no more denim is made… I still cant believe it!”
After 112 years of production, Cone Mills—a historic denim mill in America—announced it would close its Cone Denim White Oak plant in North Carolina. As the last major manufacturer of selvage denim in the United States, its final products serve as beautiful relics for newer generations—namely, today’s children.
British artist Ian Berry created an extraordinary art installation made entirely of denim.
The corridor in which Berry’s nature-inspired creations hang, sit, and flourish invites its tiny visitors to get lost in the aptly named Secret Garden, using the power of their innate imaginations. Denim flowers, plants, leaves, and even butterflies adorn the path, consciously stimulating kids with the hope of getting them off their smart devices. “Kids are obsessed with tech with iPads and instant gratification and the games played are not with balls and dirty knees but with thumbs the only strength needed with video consoles.” Berry hopes to counter these adverse effects of tech culture on childhood with his playful installation.
Secret Garden is currently on display at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York until April 2018.