Home » Art in the Garden: Alex Metcalfe, Janet Cardiff at Oakville Galleries

Art in the Garden: Alex Metcalfe, Janet Cardiff at Oakville Galleries

Oakville is almost an hour’s drive outside of downtown Toronto, and Oakville Galleries is one of VoCA’s favorite regional galleries. Gairloch Gardens is a beautiful, lakeside garden on the shores of Lake Ontario that makes the drive to Oakville worth it even without art in the garden.

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Audiences enjoying the Tree Listening Project. Image: alexmetcalfe.co.uk

British artist Alex Metcalf’s Tree Listening Project is currently on in the gardens. A project that “links both science and art by engaging the public with what happens inside a tree, and to excite and inspire a keen interest…”

Specifically, you can hear water being pulled up from the roots to the leaves of the tree. A quiet popping sound is produced by the water passing through the cells of the Xylem tubes (these transport materials, primarily water, throughout the plant’s tissues) and you can hear other sounds as it mixes with air on its’ way upwards. In the background is a deep rumbling that is produced by the tree vibrating.

While you’re there, we recommend that you also do Janet Cardiff’s audio walk A Large Slow River.

The format of the audio walks is similar to that of an audioguide. You are given a CD player or Ipod and told to stand or sit in a particular spot and press play. On the CD you hear Cardiff’s voice giving directions, layered on a background of sounds: the sound of my footsteps, traffic, birds etc. The virtual recorded soundscape mimics the real physical creating a new world as a seamless combination of the two.

Click HERE for Oakville Galleries, and HERE for Alex Metcalfe.

Click HERE for more on Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller’s audio walks.

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