Journal abstrait des jardins by Erik DHONT – Château de Bénouville

See all events
  • Rendez-vous de l'Institut
  • Conference

Journal abstrait des jardins by Erik DHONT – Château de Bénouville

Abstract garden journal

This conference is an opportunity to offer an insight, via alternative thinking, into new areas and new perspectives; guiding us through a journey punctuated by different landscaping and botanical challenges. These abstract thoughts on space give birth to ideas, to outlines and reflections that become reality upon the garden owner’s request, reality that invites us to improve its very being. A few examples of such research will be developed throughout the conference, in order to bring to light a work process that can enable it to be applied to the contents of such realities. The different gardens presented are either residential, comprising contemporary heritage, or public, where the social dimension, respect for the environment, botanical and ecological content of each garden will be evoked. Hence, the conference will highlight a few key outlines and research projects, both public and private and of varying scales.

Erik Dhont

Since the start of his career in 1989, Erik Dhont has worked on a vast range of projects, building a customer base throughout continental Europe and as far as America. Orders from private individuals, public organisations and commercial institutions have offered him the opportunity to respond to an array of requests and contemporary challenges, whilst offering as many platforms for continuous creation. In garden creation, Erik Dhont sees an art form, calling upon his imagination to offer his clients a place propitious to reverie. Gardens are equally places of leisure to relish in, places that invite us to relax and places propitious to personal development. Independently of whether the commission involves restoring an old garden or creating a new site, the accent is always on discovery and the conceptualisation of features from the past, based on the practical demands imposed by the present, be it to offer play, culture or care. The garden’s functional nature is balanced via finely tuned aesthetics, which nevertheless remain sensitive to the necessities of daily use, of integrated plant life, of environmental issues and of surrounding landscapes. The main aim of gardens and landscapes is always to ensure that, ‘the most powerful element is here; look, observe, take the time.’ Over the years, Erik Dhont has developed his own personal style, the characteristics of which can be immediately recognised. The organic forms he places on paper are transcribed in sculptural form on a site that will gradually develop its own patina over time and over the garden’s maturing process. It is precisely this sense of rhythm, of the hours of the day, the seasons of the year and the periods that punctuate our lives, that Dhont strives to highlight in his projects. And his garden is a space where this sense of rhythm is integrated and implemented. His recent commissions include different private gardens in Switzerland and France, a sculpture garden in California and a coastal garden in the Azores. His agency also works on social and urban development projects in Brussels.