Double Knot, 1999

Artist-Designed Garden
Rooftop Installation

Cut Carpet, Mirror & Plaque

The ground plan for a 16th century knot garden is the inspiration for this work. The intricate patterns that were popular designs for medieval herb gardens are cut from indoor/outdoor carpeting and installed on the rooftop overlooking the front garden. The design of the front garden mirrors the basic four-square plan of the classic herb garden which is cut into the carpet but substitutes a contemporary California plant selection and placement for the traditional knot planting patterns. Green squares of carpet on the rooftop and on the ground level at the front door mimic the square of grass at the center of the garden. These solid shapes create visual markers where both designs overlap and coincide. The square of grass also references the traditional demarcation of the center, by a fountain or small tree, which was an essential feature in the typical knot garden configuration.
Particular elements are placed in both spaces to give added nuance to the experience of the work. A metal plaque etched with the original knot garden design is positioned adjacent to the viewing area of the rooftop “garden” providing information as to the origin of the cut carpet patterns. From the central balcony at Versailles there is a particular vantage point from which the overall design of the vast gardens came together and provided Louis XIV with a vista which reassured him of his imperial power over nature, while today, most everyone enjoys a sense of control over their environment. At the front door, by standing on the green square of carpet and looking up into the rooftop installation reflected in convex mirror mounted overhead, the viewer is given the unique opportunity to view both garden spaces from a single vantage point.