Artists' Television Access

Rainbow Valley (Food Oasis)

Presented by Drew Bennett with Party in my Plants

Thursday, January 1, 1970, 12:00 am


Saturday, May 1st, will be the closing date of Drew Bennett’s window installation. In addition to general merriment, the plants grown in the window over the course of the month will be up for sale, and ATA will also host a special free screening of the documentary Fresh.

“Plants are awesome. These plants are here to express their awesomeness, just as all plants are. I’ve been under the nature trance since around puberty (“OMGisNATURE!”) and have been trying to express that through traditional modes of art ever since. It wasn’t, however, until I spent a few years in this wonderful concrete jungle of ours that growing things of the horticultural variety started to move me in ways that only things of the Dionysian persuasion had before.

“Once I got hooked on the horticulture scene, days set aside to go paint or do whatever in the studio would get derailed by the quiet call of my plants around the house. I started to realize these domestic plant sessions were providing me with paramount headspace, reflection time and personal satisfaction. To get to know a plant is a chance to slow down and learn a language of steady observation, lessons I personally can’t get enough of in my life. I used to think of plants as awesome sculptures, but I realized sculptures don’t have anything on plants — but that’s an apples-and-oranges (or rocks) comparison I’m not going to get into here…

“Wise plants! Let us serve you so we can bask in your beauty and learn from your lessons!

“My practice has also taught me that as much as I love and need time to geek out in by private space, I want shows and projects to be an opportunity to collaborate with a portion of the infinitely inspiring community around us. For this project, I worked with dear friend and Greenhouse Technician for UC Berkeley, Gabriel Varney, who helped source irrigation and lighting materials, and lent his knowledge of gardening, and most of all, has been my collaborative partner through production. I visited Kim Allen of Berkeley Youth Alternatives’ Youth Garden for some advice early on and walked away with pockets full of seeds planted for this project. Brent Bucknum, my main eco/art design/build partner, and founder of Hyphae Design Laboratory, has been giving general moral, technical, and design support. Johanna Silver Test Garden Master-babe at Sunset magazine has made containers and seeding possible. Aurora Crispin donated some fine mature chard and made moving mountains possible.

“For this project I created a faux-natural window space environment in which very natural (real) plants will grow over the course of the month. This project pays homage to the natural elements of the world I love the most in a format full of contradictions and limitations that present a very honest representation of my relationship/proximity to such things and places. What you see here is a miniature of a garden at the base of a waterfall in a desert. Come to the closing party and take home a plant of your own to commune with!”

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