November 2008 - March 2009
In the brief, the Garden Museum asked that this exhibition on Beth Chatto be a retrospective of a gardener - a kind of biography in pictures and objects - rather than an 'artist's retrospective.'
Beth's home sits in the middle of her stunning garden and nursery. In her books, she frequently talks about the views and thoughts she has on her garden whilst looking out from her house. The private and the public sit side by side, and I took this as the starting point of the design.
A semi-permeable wall divides the gallery in two. The visitor enters on the 'public' side - light with views of the garden. Through openings in the wall, they can see through to a darker, intimate space. The walls have little on them, and all focus is on the tables (designed specifically for this exhibition).
Glass-covered slots in these tables allow for close study of these letters, diaries, photos and the other personal items.