On This Episode of The Sodshow Garden Podcast:
Dartmouth Films presents, Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf. Directed by Thomas Piper which Premieres in the UK at Picturehouse Central, 13 June 2019.
On todays episode Thomas talks with Peter Donegan.
The Sodshow is available weekly in iTunes, spotify, Youtube and all good podcast stores.
Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf is an immersion in the life and work of the most influential landscape designer of the last 50 years. Piet is responsible for New York’s High Line and many other iconic urban spaces. Closer home, Piet designed the landscaping for the entire site at Hauser & Wirth Somerset. He is in great demand for his revolutionary ideas of what gardens and public spaces can be, and the impact they can have. More than just a movie for gardeners, Five Seasons changes the way all of us think about and ultimately see beauty itself.
About Five Seasons:
Celebrated by gardeners for his revolutionary designs, by ecologists for his significant contributions to bio-diversity, by horticulturalists and botanists for his unrivalled knowledge of plants, and by the art, design and fashion worlds for his innovative aesthetics, Piet Oudolf has achieved a level of influence and cultural relevance, rarely, if ever, attained by, in his own words, a modest plantsman.
Over the course of the documentary, Piet leads filmmaker Thomas Piper and his camera on a wandering journey, visiting many of his iconic works, including his own garden in Holland and the great public works in New York, Chicago, and the UK, as well as far-flung sources of inspiration, from German industrial parks to the deep woods of Pennsylvania, and a Texas wildflower explosion.
In between travel, we are afforded an exclusive look at the entire process of creating a garden — from winter studio sketches to foggy spring planting and, finally, a late September opening celebration — all through a single project, what Piet now refers to as his masterpiece, the 7000 square metre public garden for the art gallery, Hauser & Wirth Somerset.
With meditative cinematography and intimate conversations, Five Seasons follows Piet over the course of a year, a structure that accentuates the element of time in Piet’s designs. Beginning in late autumn, the remnants of summer opulence in his gardens give way to the ‘skeletons’ and seed heads of winter. With spring, the cycle begins again, through the peak of summer flowers, and by the return of fall, a complex subject has helped us to appreciate his complex work, forever changing the way we see the world around us.
Piet Oudolf was born in 1944 in Haarlem, Netherlands. Since 1982, he has lived and worked in Hummelo, a tiny village in east Netherlands, where he started a nursery with his wife Anja, to grow perennials. His garden has since become renowned for its radical approach and ideas about planting design.
Oudolf also co-founded Future Plants, a company specialising in selecting, growing, breeding and protecting plants for landscaping and public areas. Oudolf’s recent public projects include No. 5 Culture Chanel, Paris, France; The High Line, New York NY; Lurie Garden, Millennium Park, Chicago IL; Serpentine Gallery, London, England, and the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy.
Oudolf is also a successful author, having co-written numerous books such as; “Planting: A New Perspective” (2013); “Landscape in Landscapes” (2011); “Gardening with Grasses” (1998); “Designing with Plants and Planting Design” (1999); “Dream Plants for the Natural Garden” (2000); “Planting the Natural Garden” (2003), and “Planting Design: Gardens in Time and Space” (2005). In his 35-year career, Oudolf has achieved international acclaim, and has recently been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from RIBA for developing radical ideas in Planting Design (2012) and the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation Award (2013).
Thomas Piper is an award-winning non-fiction filmmaker, specialising in documenting the contemporary arts. He holds the role of Director of Production for Checkerboard Films, and has directed, photographed and edited more than 25 films on contemporary painters, sculptors, photographers, architects, and writers.
His 2008 film, Ellsworth Kelly: Fragments, won the Best Film for Television award at the prestigious International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) in Montreal. As an independent producer, he was commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum to make Art, Architecture, and Innovation: Celebrating the Guggenheim Museum, a documentary marking the 50th anniversary of the Frank Lloyd Wright museum building. He is currently in production on a documentary about the cult architecture firm, Lot-ek. His feature length documentary, Diller Scofidio + Renfro: Reimagining Lincoln Center and the High Line, was broadcast on PBS affiliates around the US, and accepted over 25 festivals around the world. Other subjects have included the artists Sol Lewitt and Kiki Smith, the writer James Salter, the art historian Vincent Scully, the architects Peter Eisenman, Steven Holl, Jean Nouvel and Thom Mayne, and MacArthur “genius” grant winner, Jeanne Gang.