Client: Paredise Palms Sculpture Garden
Location: Delray Beach, FL, United States
Completion date: 2018
Artwork budget: $18,000
Artwork of Chris Guarino
Clever Tiger Gallery
I created the Lotus series in 2015 while my father was dying of pancreatic cancer. All of the pieces in that series have an air of contemplation about them. Mostly to do with the temporary nature of our existence as humans, appreciating what we have in the moment, and striving to become something more – not through dogma, but through inner reflection, and self examination. The Guardian of the Garden was created to be just that. A reflective creature at one with the world she exists in, who exudes tranquility to the garden she is protecting, and the life that dwells within it.
Years ago when I was in Nikko, Japan, I came across a forgotten temple in the forest. Most of it was in ruin and covered with thick moss. In a nook carved into the black rock of an overgrown cliff face, several stone figures stood side by side. Each one covered in the same thick moss, and in various states of falling apart. That experience was a huge influence on this piece. My hope for The Guardian is that she ends up somewhere where plants and vines can grow over her, and give the appearance of a relic from a forgotten time and place. When people stumble across it, they should have to decide for themselves, “Who is The Guardian of the Garden?”
That answer should be different for everybody.
The goal for this project was to create a sculpture that added to the tranquility of the landscape of the sculpture garden it was placed in.