Les hortillonnages 2013

For many years now the Maison de la Culture of Amiens houses the «art, city & landscape» festival in the Hortillonnages of Amiens, a former marshland transformed into floating gardens in the Middle Ages, now an important market gardening area. It used to be called «vegetable Venice».

Today these 300 acres of marshland, where water covers a hundred hectares, lies from the heart of the city, but only seven professional gardeners working 25 hectares make a living from it and sell their produce to the markets and supermarkets. With this Festival, artists (landscape architects, architects, designers and other students of these disciplines) are offered plots of wasteland to create temporary or permanent set-ups for the public to visit on foot or by boat. Students, after visiting the 2011 edition of the Hortillonnages, formed small groups in order to investigate the possibilities of integrating the natural and touristic dimensions of this area of natural heritage and adapt it to the general public.

Vegetal book – Madeleine Todd Morel A life-size herbarium, a life size living dictionary for the discovery of the principal species of local vegetation.

Disintegration – Thomas Kern et Marie Legentil The project focuses on the problem of the gradual disappearance of the islands and questions the existence of the possibility of an imaginary other side to the now abandoned gardens.

Save the floating gardens – Bérénice Garnier Huge photographs have been installed over these abandoned plots as a testimony to the heritage before it is deteriorated by the passing of time.