The Giant's House - Mighty Mosaics
The Giant's House, in Akaroa, New Zealand, is a hillside garden terraced with mosaic paths and walls, and crammed full of mosaic sculptures. You can sit on mosaic seats and chat with huge people, while a towering white angel watches from the top of the hill. Just down the path an owl and an elephant are unlikely friends, one perching in, the other charging out of, a bed of parsley...
It's is the creation of artist Josie Martin. She has other pieces of art displayed throughout her garden, but the mosaics are my favourite. There are so many! Too many? Let's just say this is not the garden of a minimalist.
I can't remember being so amazed, entertained, thought-provoked, etc. ever before in someone else's garden. How vibrant and clever the artist is. No, more than clever, scarily creative, with swirling colours, not afraid to throw in oodles of whimsy.
Of course there are garden plants - Aeoniums, Echeverias, Agapanthus - and lawns, trees, and hedges. They cleverly frame and display the artworks. The mosaics read like some Victorian gentleman collector's catalogue. For example, this could be page one :
- Two Duck-people, with Cat, seated
- Grand Piano and Cat Stool
- Elephant, charging
- Large White Angel, with Motley Attendants
- Three Jazz Musicians, with Singer
- Five Acrobats, with Balls
And that's just the first page!
I'm overwhelmed by a towering dancing woman, the bottom of her skirt level with my eyes. Then I notice the beautifully delicate patterns around her hemline. I walk past a seated blushing beauty - her cheeks are floral crockery, with the tiniest blush-pink flowers. This continual 'toggling' of scale, from the big grand view to the tiniest little treasure, is so enjoyable. It's the essence of great garden design, after all, and this is an artist's garden. I love it.
Mosaic Grand Piano