Culture & Conversation

A stroll through the garden of hope

Mosaicultures Internationales de Montréal (MIM), a non-profit organization, was created in 1998 to promote horticultural art as a means to express human values in urban landscapes. Since then, it has become much more. Now world-acclaimed, and the winner of multiple awards in Shanghai and Hamamatsu, Mosaïcultures Internationales continues to dazzle onlookers.

The current Mosaïcultures exhibition, Land of Hope, is on display at the Montreal Botanical Gardens until September 29, 2013. The exhibition aims to arouse your senses with a wide array of colours and sounds, as you take a journey through the Gardens populated by more than 40 sculptures to hear and feel the stories of people from over 20 different countries.

Such stories include “The Man Who Planted Trees,” a true tale about Elzeard Bouffier, a French herder who triumphed in single-handedly planting thousands of trees, as well as the story of “Hachiko, the Loyal Dog,” about an Akita Inu who remained faithful to his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, a Japanese professor.

The sculptures are displayed along with a story board that provides information about each, along with some fun facts. If so inclined, you can pick up a map at the front entrance to the Gardens, which includes a clue game with a series of questions. The fun facts displayed on the story boards provide clues that help you answer the questions.

The exhibit is tied together nicely with common grasses, shrubs, annuals and perennials, and a variety of musical pieces used to accentuate the meaning for each sculpture. But more striking is the architectural wonder of the pieces themselves. Each sculpture is woven together, with each plant placed so delicately in peaty medium, and watered using drip irrigation.

You too can contribute to the creation of a new sculpture at the Gardens. The MIM staff will guide you through the process, if you visit the hands-on work station near “The Bird Tree” exhibit.

If you plan to go to the exhibition, bring a lunch or at least a snack and some water. Also note that the ticket is good for two days, so you can enjoy the event fully.

It’s certainly not your typical exhibition. Each piece will dazzle and might just inspire you. And the moments spent observing each sculpture, or reading the story board as you linger to the music, offer a sense of connection to people you have never met, and to places you may have never been. It’s a journey worth taking.

Mosaicultures Internationales is on display until September 29, 2013. For more information visit the official website.

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