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Envisioning Nightscape

August 4, 2015
There is a scene in Akira Kurosawa's Dreams that has tugged at me for years, where a little boy escapes into the woods and sees a parade of foxes. He chances upon it and is not supposed to see it. It is a magical moment of uncertainty and amazement. I wanted to create that kind of feeling with Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective. For Klip Collective, the future of art is creating experience as art. We want to create a body of work where the audience has to move through it physically. Years ago, Klip Collective created a one-hundred-foot wide veil of smoke in a meadow where we projected fireflies that danced in frantic flight. It was designed to be viewed from a distance and seen in a larger context. To our surprise, people walked right into it. The audience wanted to be surrounded and lost in the chaos of the moment. Seeing how people were drawn to the lights and how they reacted to the experience inspired me to explore the idea of experience as art … and that began the process for Nightscape.

The Music Men

July 17, 2015
Last Friday, the first of four installments of the Artists & Friends Speakers Series took place with three panelists: Ricardo Rivera, director of Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective and founding member of Klip Collective; composer and musician Jon Barthmus of Sun Airway; and composer and musician Justin Geller of Pink Skull. Guests heard the panelists discuss their varied artistic backgrounds, and they also learned about the lengthy collaboration and development process for the sights and sounds that combine to create the Nightscape installations. The minds behind Nightscape are friends who have worked together on several different projects. When Rivera found out that Klip Collective would be working with Longwood Gardens, he knew right away that relying on Barthmus and Pink Skull for Nightscape’s music would perfectly bind together his video installations in different parts of the Gardens.

Nightscape Photography Tips

June 29, 2015
With the opening of Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective, our guests will have many fascinating subjects to photograph. However, nighttime photography poses a unique set of challenges, and requires a much different approach than taking pictures during the day. Read our blog for some tips to avoid blurry, washed out images. We love to see the Gardens through our guests’ lenses—please share your pictures using #Nightscape2015.

The Nighttime Garden

June 23, 2015
Are technology and gardens two incongruous concepts? How about enjoying a space filled with sunloving plants in the darkness of night? Does it seem like a paradox? At Longwood, we don’t think so. This summer we are bringing you Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective, which uses technology to illuminate the Gardens at night to amazing effect. This exhibition is a continuation of our nighttime garden experiences, a tradition that goes all the way back to our founder, Pierre S. du Pont. Mr. du Pont believed that gardens are for nighttime as well as daytime enjoyment. He entertained his family and friends at night, throwing garden parties that included dancers and musicians. He even built the Open Air Theatre to have a venue dedicated to entertainment in the garden.

A Short History of Tiny Trees

June 9, 2015
The Japanese art of bonsai originated in China as the practice known as penjing. Early in Chinese history, trees and other plants were collected from the wild and grown in containers. The practice moved to Japan many centuries ago through social and economic interaction with China. Over the years, both countries developed various techniques that we continue to use in creating bonsai today. The Japanese word bonsai translates to "tree in a shallow pot." Though some plants in our collection date back to the early 1900s, bonsai were not part of our displays during the time of our founder, Pierre S. du Pont. In 1959, five years after Pierre’s death, renowned bonsai artist Yuji Yoshimura presented a class in our Continuing Education program. It was so well received that our staff members decided we should have some bonsai of our own.