David Harber and Savills team up for RHS Chelsea
A show garden sponsored by award-winning artist and sculptor, David Harber and Savills, the global real estate services provider and designed by landscape and garden designer Nic Howard, will feature on Main Avenue at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show (22nd May to 26th May 2018).
The collaborative show garden is designed to provoke reflection on mankind’s changing interaction with the environment through time. Visitors will travel through a physical manifestation of evolution with clearly defined stages of planting and sculpture that serve to reflect varying time periods – from the bronze age to the present day. The narrative is designed to reference the impact that mankind is having on the environment.
Savills is proud to support the partnership – the ethos of the garden and its reflection on evolutions over time, echoes Savills own company history since its inception in 1855, started largely as an agricultural practice, and today, is refined as a provider of global real estate services.
One of the highlights of every visit to RHS Chelsea for me is always the David Harber exhibit and so I was delighted to learn that for 2018 he will be exhibiting in a show garden setting. Showing entirely bespoke artworks, the show garden will provide David with the opportunity to explore his creativity and create a thought-provoking narrative through unique, one-off pieces.
David has exhibited at Chelsea for more than 20 years and for last two years he has successfully collaborated with garden designer Nic Howard. Following the success of last year’s award-winning Trade Stand, a show garden for 2018 seems like the ideal next step.
The garden will offer a ‘worm hole’ view through the ages, culminating with a view of the main sculptural piece, the ‘Aeon’ (pictured above) by David Harber, which represents a timeless ‘vital force’. A visitors wander through the immersive garden, they will move from the freeform and naturalistic planting and artworks that reflect the life of early man, to a more formal and controlled environment. The only abiding constant is the Aeon. Made from bronze with a gold-plated starburst/iris effect centre, the Aeon will sit in front of a three-metre tall DesignClad Porcelain wall from London Stone, which represents the infinite universe.
Visitors will be led on a journey from Stage O – creation with wild planting and a sculptural piece, the ‘Coluna’, symbolising organic evolution from Mother Earth. The Coluna’s form reflects our DNA. There follows three stages of intricate screens, Stage 1: ‘Enclosure’ reflecting man’s first attempts to enclose and control his immediate environment, Stage 2: ‘Refinement’ representing man’s emerging appreciation for aesthetics and onto Stage 3 ‘Sophistication’ where the visitor will discover a geometric pattern that reveals a flaw within, which further stands to symbolise the negative impact man has had on the environment and the planet’s equilibrium.
Before visitors finally reach the Aeon, they are offered a moment for ‘Contemplation and Reflection’ – Contemplation is a bench that references the helix and DNA providing a quiet place to sit – Reflection, provides a water feature as a calming focal point serving as a reminder of the elemental forces of nature.
David has been making contemporary and classical artworks at his Oxfordshire studio for over two decades and has gained an impressive worldwide following. His work is synonymous with elegance and simplicity. For more information on his work visit: www.davidharber.com
The garden’s designer, Nic Howard, is an award-winning designer and plantsman who is passionate and excited by all things design, gardens and plants. He has created many exciting and beautiful contemporary and traditional gardens in Surrey, Sussex and Kent – www.we-love-plants.co.uk
The garden will be built by Langdale Landscapes, based in Edenbridge, Kent who have established a reputation over the past 20 years for constructing bespoke gardens. This will be their third garden built for David Harber at the Chelsea Flower Show – the two previous gardens, built working with Nic Howard, won 5 Star Best in Show awards for the trade stand category.
Picture credits: All photographs strictly ©David Harber