From May 27 to June 3 in St. Petersburg, in the Mikhailovsky Garden of the Russian Museum, the II International Festival "Imperial Gardens of Russia" was held. The beginning of this colorful landscape festival was timed to coincide with the City Day, and the joyful mood of St. Petersburg, combined with the beautiful summer weather, made its atmosphere even more festive. The main symbol of the festival is the labyrinth - as a landscape term and as an artistic image. According to the organizers, an attempt was made to a new museum approach, where the perception of art is not the main goal of the visit, but only the first part of the chain “perception - understanding - comprehension - consolidation - application”.
“The gardens of the Russian Museum are a continuation of the museum halls, they are no less valuable than museum expositions,” said Vladimir Alexandrovich Gusev, director of the Russian Museum, opening the festival. - The Mikhailovsky Garden is one of the first three gardens in St. Petersburg: two of them are in the Summer Garden, the third is on the territory of the Mikhailovsky Garden. The theme of the competition - a labyrinth - was also not chosen by chance, because the first labyrinth in Russia, the mention of which was found in historical documents, appeared in St. Petersburg, in the Summer Garden, and Peter I himself participated in its creation."
Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent, whose charitable foundation helps a lot to preserve the cultural and historical heritage of St. Petersburg, delivered a welcoming speech to the festival: “I myself am a passionate gardener, and I am delighted with what I have done for this festival”.
Maria Mikhailovna Kopyeva, President of the Art Line charity foundation, and Alexei Lvovich Loginov told the romantic story of a rose associated with the Mikhailovsky Garden. This yellow-orange rose called "The Beautiful Lady" returned to its homeland and was solemnly planted in the Mikhailovsky Garden by members of the international jury of the festival. On the opening day of the festival, this story could be read in the latest issue of the Literaturnaya Gazeta entitled The Return of the Beautiful Lady.
The opening ceremony was completed with the symbolic dance "The Birth of a Moth" performed by the Theater of Plastic "Man", which was the personification of the emergence of a new life, which perfectly corresponds to the idea of a labyrinth, passing along a winding path which once meant a life path from birth to death.
The theme of the festival is "Labyrinth - Ornament - Symbol"was reflected in 20 competitive expositions created on the territory of the Mikhailovsky Garden by designers from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Germany, Holland, France. The expositions, different in design and style, are presented, from the ancient northern labyrinth of stones to technological solutions made of modern materials - polystyrene, mirrors, metal. But the main place belongs, of course, to plants. Here are the oriental traditions of the Japanese garden, and the European baroque style, and the fairy-tale labyrinth of the Little Prince A. Saint-Exupéry, and the English Hampton Court, descended from the pages of Jerome K. Jerome's book Three in a boat, not counting a dog. The rich history of St. Petersburg formed the basis for a number of projects. The idea of the French exposition was inspired by the moss bogs on which St. Petersburg was built. The famous lattice of the Mikhailovsky Garden is reflected in the flower labyrinth-ornament.The openwork pavilion of the Summer Garden has been recreated, which was once entwined with grapes and formed part of the first St. Petersburg labyrinth. The city's revolutionary past is reflected in an interactive labyrinth with red calico walls and sailors meeting visitors at the entrance. The greatest success among the guests of the festival was enjoyed by interactive labyrinths, which invited to enter, solve a riddle, look into secret corners, feel the philosophy and magic of the labyrinth.look into hidden corners, feel the philosophy and magic of the labyrinth.look into hidden corners, feel the philosophy and magic of the labyrinth.
For those who came not only to relax, but also to learn, master classes were launched. Professor of the Ikebana Institute Ikenobo SO-KATOKU Midori Yamado taught the principles of creating a real Japanese garden. The landscape firm "Neskuchny Sad" demonstrated the techniques of flower decoration with the use of simple but original accessories - rubber gloves, umbrellas, wood cuts. The florists of the studio A. and V. Bermyakov created a floristic object on the theme “Metamorphoses in the Garden”. The Guild of Blacksmiths of St. Petersburg and the North-West Region held a master class on making forged labyrinths, flowers and plants, and everyone who was able to lift a blacksmith's hammer could try their hand at this craft.
Unique lectures were continuously held in the lecture tent. The greatest interest was aroused by the speeches of the designer and the largest expert in the field of labyrinths, the author of more than 500 grandiose projects around the world, who devoted 30 years of his life to the study of the history of labyrinths and their creation, Adrian Fisher (Great Britain) - "Labyrinths and mazes in the history of gardening" and "Ultramodern design mazes ". According to E. Fischer, most of the world's labyrinths are concentrated near the Baltic Sea, where there are about 600 of them, 144 of them are located on the territory of Russia. So St. Petersburg had every right to this topic.
Elena Stieglitz, Chief Architect for Gardens and Territories of the Russian Museum, delivered lectures "Labyrinths of the Mikhailovsky Garden" and "Symbols, Emblems, Labyrinths under Peter I", in which she spoke about the St. Petersburg labyrinths of the 18th century and the forthcoming reconstruction of the Summer Garden. After May 6, the Summer Garden will cease to receive visitors until 2011. During the reconstruction, it is planned to restore the labyrinth in accordance with the appearance of the gallant 18th century.
The entertainment program of the festival was extensive - performances, performances by orchestras and children's groups. The fair sex was happy to try on the crinoline of fresh flowers, created by florists. A lot of people wishing to take pictures with frozen antique sculptures performed by patient street performers lined up. A soap bubble show and a balloon modeling workshop delighted the young festival goers.
Along the Moika embankment, young graffiti artists presented their impressions on the theme of "Colored Petersburg" - this is a good alternative to vandalist bombing and an act of recognition of the informal direction of high art.
The festival turned out to be bright and memorable. One cannot but agree with the words of the President of the Union of Landscape Architects of Russia Taisiya Iosifovna Volftrub: "This is a great holiday of landscape architecture, illuminated by the art of the Russian Museum." We wish the organizers the continuation of the traditions of the imperial gardens, new ideas and inspiration for the next festival!