Mérida’s La Ermita Botanical Garden is a tranquil urban oasis attached to the Chapel of Santa Isabel where you can meditate in a created natural environment. Curator Alfredo Cruz Ramírez has transformed the space with a new exhibition – Hortus: Sculpture and Installation – that is on display through February 19 as part of Festival de la Ciudad 2011 celebrating Mérida’s 468th anniversary.
The exhibit’s title is taken from the Latin term hortus conclusus, which means, “enclosed garden.” Within the walls of the Jardín Botánico de la Ermita, outdoor contemporary works by nine Merida artists interact with and comment on the garden’s permanent display of Yucatan’s native flora. Using natural and industrial materials, the artists have created works, which inspire the viewer to rethink the relationship between man, art, and the natural environment.
The artists participating in Hortus – Gerda Gruber, Vanesa Rivero, Yolanda Gutiérrez, Beatriz Castillo, Saúl Villa, John Thompson, Isaac Zambra, and Gerardo Espejo y Hernán Medina – all reside in Mérida. Cruz has interspersed their works throughout the garden’s abundant trees, medicinal plants and flowers, terraced spaces, and splashing waterfall.
In Rastrera, Isaac Zambra has covered one section of the garden floor with carefully aligned and upturned aluminum pie plates that shimmer in the dappled light. Through her use of an industrial water gel placed around the shallow, intertwined roots of a soaring ficus tree, Yolanda Gutierrez, in her work Cultivo de Agua, illuminates the natural design. The most whimsical sculptures are cartoon-like birds covered in Corn Flakes and Cocoa Krispies by Gerardo Espejo – Dejad Que Los Niños Se Acerquen A Mi – that will feed La Ermita’s resident avian population.
Subtly and simply, curator Alfredo Cruz Ramírez and the Hortus artists make an important statement: art, like nature, is fragile – man’s actions determine whether they flourish or deteriorate.
What It Is: An Outdoor Exposition of Sculpture and Installations, curated by Alfredo Cruz Ramírez
Where: Jardín Botánico de la Capilla de la Ermita de Santa Isabel, Calle 77 between 66 and 64, Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico
When: Now through February 19, 2011. Tuesday to Friday, 7:00 am to 2:00 pm. Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
What It Costs: Free
For Further Information: http://t.co/dIK4zQq