Time is ticking away on transcendentalism at the Sun Valley Museum of Art (formerly the Sun Valley Center for the Arts). The popular mid-19th-century American school of philosophy forms the backbone of the museum’s current Big Idea Project, “The Bottomlessness of a Pond: Transcendentalism, Nature and Spirit.”
The project tied together a series of lectures, film screenings, workshops, play readings and an art installation, all synthesizing the ideas and ideals of transcendentalists like Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The proverbial curtain lifted on “Bottomlessness of a Pond” in mid-January and it will drop once more on March 11. One of the last items on the agenda for this project is the film “Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf,” which will screen twice next Thursday, March 5, at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
In “Five Seasons,” award-winning documentarian Thomas Piper shines the spotlight on world-renowned garden designer Piet Oudolf across five seasons and covering such diverse landscapes as New York City, Somerset in England and Hummelo in the Netherlands.
Oudolf is commonly regarded as a leading figure of the New Perennial movement and one of the foremost garden designers of the past century. In his hands, garden design is a true art form.
If gardening is an art, then Oudolf is an artist of practically unrivaled mastery and ingenuity. Though the Dutchman has designed gardens all over the world, some of his most eye-catching work is in New York City, including Battery Park and the High Line.
Toronto, London, Trentham, Cork, Bad Driburg, Enköping, Chicago and Leidsche Rijn are just a few of the cities worldwide to reap the benefits of Oudolf’s green thumb.
The transcendentalists encouraged harmony with nature, and few artists have demonstrated an understanding of the natural world in the way Oudolf has. As one of the final installments of the Big Idea project, “Five Seasons” will demonstrate one of the fullest extensions of humanity’s relationship with nature.
One of his most revered qualities as a garden designer is the depth of understanding he has for the flora with which he works. His designs endure all seasons, all types of inclement weather and all stages of the greenery’s lifecycle, so that a visitor at any time of the year can enjoy the beauty of his work.
“Piet Oudolf’s approach to gardens and nature gives visitors to his creations a sense of themselves in a landscape and a connection to nature that is magnified by the plants and surrounds that he designs,” said Kristine Bretall, SVMoA’s director of performing arts. “His ability to plan for all seasons and all iterations in a plant’s cycle gives us a new way to look at gardens and the seasons to find beauty where at times we are conditioned not to see it. As residents of the Wood River Valley, we live solidly in a four-season timeframe, and this film enables us to see those seasons with new eyes.”
Tickets for either showing of the film are available at $10 for SVMoA members and $12 for nonmembers. They can be purchased online at svmoa.org or by telephone at 208-726-9491. Admission can also be purchased at the box office of the Magic Lantern Cinemas, where the screenings will take place.
Learn more at svmoa.org and visit the museum at 191 Fifth St. E. in Ketchum to view the visual arts exhibition portion of the Big Idea project before it disappears on March 11.