I wanted to get to the other side


Commissioned in 2014 by the Maison du la Culture in Amiens France as part of there “Art Cities Landscape” festival, inviting artists to respond to the Hortillonnages site.

Maison du la Culture writes:

“On visiting the Hortillonnages, the landscape designer Sarah Ricketts and the artist Alice Cunningham had only one idea in their heads: that the concept of their coming installation should be inspired by the marshland gardens. Reviewing the different ways of looking at the Hortillonnages landscape, the idea suddenly came to them of a bridge to speak about this very special site where man and nature come together in balance. Bridges, which are a prominent feature of the Hortillonnages, can actually be transformed into a strong narrative: completed, unfinished or submerged, they tell a story, that of man attempting to interact in a harmonious fashion with his environment. Illustrating this quest, four walkways two or three metres high trace a route across the plot entrusted to the team. The typology chosen for each development, from the ruined bridge, to the inaccessible one which the visitor glimpses behind the undergrowth without ever being able to approach it, creates, on a small site, a real journey, an invitation to discover and contemplate. By blocking out the views, large flowered plants add an additional, fun component, camouflaging the artworks from the walkers, who discover them as they go.”

The Hortillonnages are a unique series of islands in Amiens, created in the Medieval period by flooding the river Somme, with the aim of making productive gardens for the surrounding towns. Through industrialisation and the passing of time, these island are no longer used as they were once intended and are constantly at risk of being enveloped by the rising water levels and environmental erosion. The festival has the aim of bringing awareness to this unique and environmentally important site and promoting art and outdoor activities for the general public.