picture composition

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Composition of a garden image
In the foreground, a terrace can be seen, which has been paved with light-coloured stones. In the right-hand area of the picture, there is a tall cypress tree that establishes the vertical of the picture composition. In a horizontal line, the cross struts of a wooden pergola run through the photograph. In an oval flowerbed, a rosebush with pink blossoms, various evergreen plants and two small cypresses are planted. This bed frames the view onto the rear area of the garden. The rear area consists of an earth bed, a lawn with fruit trees and tied berry bushes. It is a kitchen garden.
A hanging basket with pink geraniums has been hung directly in front of the centre cypress and emphasizes the separation between the foreground area of the terrace and the kitchen garden towards the rear. The colours of the few flowers low down are red and white; the ones that grow higher or are hanging are pink. The trees, bushes and the lawn vary in their shades of green. There is nothing that disturbs the eye in this carefully arranged garden view. The lawn has been mowed. Wilted leaves have been swept away.
The slide only shows this staged view. A composition of domestic harmony. A flawless and probably carefree view onto an arranged environment. This slide is also a documentation and reproduction of that feeling of a moment’s harmony, attained on one’s own. The hanging basket is hanging correctly, the rosebush is in blossom, and the early summer light falls at a southerly angle without throwing deep shadows. Birgit Szepanski

It is not always a good thing to analyse what our gardens would be like if they were the mirror of our souls: well-stocked swathes of conifer, terrazzo paving slabs, lawn-mown chasms, drooping discount flowers, hanging geraniums (if that’s what they are), hollyhocks, freshly pruned trees – with the electric hedge cutter, everyone’s a hairdresser or sculptor – all these dream-like symbols for the soul. One wants to see the people that live here, the creators of paradise, or perhaps not? I know what you’re going to say: Gardens are cheap opportunities for Dada manifestos or pathology, for irony or self-irony. – But that’s not what I mean! – Instead, for example the Zen tradition, where gardens (or pictures of gardens) are an annotation for pure emptiness in Japan. And John Cage went there especially for his never-ending Lecture on Nothing and made these Zen gardens into iconic scores for his New Music and in doing so planted hope into the earth again. – Pathos! – I can’t express it any other way. Now make some music for this photograph! Rainer Totzke

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