London-based artist Simon Heijdens grows plants out of light—illuminated trees, weeds, and flowers with limbs and leaves that flutter, grow, and propagate. And he plants them in unexpected places—not a forest or a park, but an indoor room or a concrete corner. He's interested in nature's fluctuating narrative of growth and decay, and his work transposes these interactions onto constructed environments.
When I first encountered an image of dandelion seed heads suspended from the ceiling in a small white room, I was conflicted as to whether I wanted to know more. The implausibility of the scene was part of its charm—would the logistics of the piece unravel its sublime reverie? I should introduce this piece with a spoiler then: here, we tell you how it's done.
"Sketching with flowers. Painting with clouds. Writing with water. Tracing the May wind, the path of a falling leaf. Awaiting a glacier. Bending the wind. Directing water and light. The May-green call of the cuckoo and the invisible trace of its flight."—Nils Udo, from his artist's statement.
This year will be the seventeenth installment of a biennial tradition in Brussels—an enormous carpet of begonias in the city's Gothic-and-grey central square. It is an extraordinary project: sprawling over the cobblestones at Grand-Palace, the Flower Carpet (Tapis de Fleurs de Bruxelles) is comprised of about 750,000 begonias and weaves a bright, complex design in many colors. The begonia offers an artist's palette of hues—vivid saturation, light pastels, or variegated and white.
German artist Cornelia Konrads creates site-specific installations that appear as though the universe is reassembling itself, and you are walking in on the process. Her work has been said to convey the illusion of weightlessness of objects falling into place.
Contemporary Swiss artists Gerda Steiner and Jorg Lenzlinger design site-specific installations that envelop the viewer—epically and exquisitely. Falling Garden is a world in which botanical curios are suspended from the ceiling of a 17th-century church in Venice. It's a botanic tableau in three dimensions, against a backdrop of richly decorated Italian marble. The piece immerses visitors in a magical reality of dreamy conceits—if a blossom had a mind, this is surely what it would look like.