Lena’s Garden (Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park)

Lena’s Garden is the fifth piece I’ve completed for the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. It’s also an example of how documentaries take on a life of their own. You may start with one simple objective and a year and a half later end up with something totally different.

In the case of “Lena’s Garden” we originally set out to capture just the installation of the Chihuly sculpture that now adorns the ceiling of the renovated cafe but as shooting progressed it became obvious…at least to me…that there were several stories here. Besides the intensity of installing hundreds of pieces of precious glass in a ceiling from 2 lifts while people watched and dined around the perimeter, there was the story of how those pieces came to be. The art of glass blowing is a fascinating story in the most ordinary of circumstances but throw in Dale Chihuly and glass blowing jumps to a whole new level…something everyone should have the opportunity to see.

There was also the story of how an institution like the Meijer Gardens goes about acquiring permanent pieces of art. We had never told this story before and here they were commissioning a world famous artist to create a very expensive and fragile piece for a very public space. Many factors had to be considered from beginning to end.

And so I set about capturing all of these stories and weaving them into one piece not knowing until the very end if I was making a tasty stew or inedible gruel. You be the judge.


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