Street Art Montreal
While visiting Montreal this fall I saw an amazing new display. In it, Landscape Architect Claude Cormier has once again conquered colour in the landscape. With Flower Power -TOM IV, Cormier’s use of colour fools the eye while it draws you in because the colour changes as you move.
Claude Cormier’s work is so unique yet so deceptively simple. The blue stick display at Jardins de Metis in Quebec was so succesful visitors came to see it again and again. It won awards and was featured in magazines. It was simple because the blue stakes were painted like the colours of Blue Himalayan poppies, a popular perennial. Each stake was pink on one side and blue on the other side. As you moved past the thousands of blue painted stakes, your eyes detected the change in colour from one side of the stick to the other. Suddenly the whole display was pink. Super simple, yet very effective. I never saw the display installed but I did see the stakes waiting to be used again in the storage yards of Quebec’s Jardins de Metis in 2008.
This time, With TOM IV in Montreal, Cormier installed TOM’s (temporary overlay markers) and once again he uses colour as a way to draw you through a display. TOM’s are usually used in road construction. Cormier placed the TOMs on the road beside the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal. We literally stumbled on it one sunny afternoon as we were walking down Sherbrooke in downtown Montreal. And when we saw a truck parked on the road over the display we we worried at first. Then we took a closer look, read the sign, and touched the coloured markers. TOM’s are rubber-like material and they simply fold over when you stand or drive on them. Ingenious.
While visiting Montreal this fall we saw an amazing new landscape installation. It was a display so beautiful yet so simple I think more home gardeners could easily emulate a version of it in their home landscape.
Cormier’s work reminds us that landscape colour doesn’t need to come from plants. And colour doesn’t end with frost in the landscape. It is whimsical and fun and very interesting. In 2008 the Jardins de Metis build a green stake fence loosely modelled on the blue stick display. It was a fence without a frame, set along a path to direct traffic. Very cool and very unusual. It reminded me you don’t have to settle for ordinary in your yard when fabulous is an option!
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