voices in the mirror

Jardins de Métis international competition entry

reford gardens, québec . unbuilt 2015


avec / with

Linda Swanson, ceramic artist (www.lindaswansonstudio.com)

Paul Holmquist, architectural designer

Voices in the Mirror reimagines the garden as a gathering of human and natural “voices.”


White and black sound mirrors stand facing each other on beds of red clay at either end of the exhibition path in the forest, one in the relative darkness of the trees, the other in the open sunlight.The mirrors concentrate and project visitor’s voices from the different exhibition spaces as if imbued with the contrasts of light and dark, and evoke the garden as a social space.


In the darkness of the forest, a blue mirror stands apart, gazing out toward the distant river, ocean, and sky. Enveloped within its iridescence, one listens for the natural voices of the site that it gathers between water and earth.


The garden emerges as a “conversation” between man and nature along the intersecting axes of the mirrors, in terms of the cosmological qualities of light and dark, wet and dry.