THE GARDEN - A Self Portrait
Updated: May 23
The Garden is a self portrait in the symbolic sense. It represents experiences of life that I have gone through personally and have seen others go through as well. There are six mini gardens making up The Garden as an entire collective and each has its meaning. There are electronic low-fi beats that play for each section in each VR experience on VRChat and Side Quest platforms (links coming soon).
Featured in Juilliard's Beyond the Machine Live Show.
The Gardens Within The Garden
The first garden you will find yourself in is The Gazebo Garden. This area is welcoming, fun, and comfortable with a curved lounge couch and lights hanging above. There are strawberries, blackberries, and glow berries around the gazebo that are showered in a magical rain fall. Ferns are placed at each end of the couch and there are tender climbing vines which create a curtain around the gazebo for privacy. There is a rich meaning to each of the elements in the scene, for example, the ferns represent new life and beginnings found in a family, eternal youth found from reuniting with your family and telling stories of youth, and hope for the future usually found in the next generations. The Gazebo Garden represents starting from your family and springing forward in hope.
The second garden is The Fountain Garden. This garden has a fountain in the middle with three entryways leading to new garden areas. These entryways represent opportunities that open to us as we mature. The fountain in the middle is where we can refresh ourselves and think about what we need to do before entering or re-entering the gardens. The Fountain Garden represents the place where various layers of life are balanced through choices then decisions; the place of maturing.
The third garden is The Trellis Garden. It is on the right side when entering The Fountain Garden from The Gazebo Garden. This is a walk through an arched trellis filled with ripening vegetables and fruits that nourish you and provide energy for life. The specific fruits and vegetables might subconsciously have meaning for me but I did not pick them on purpose for this garden area, I just let my creativity take the brush. This garden symbolizes the hard work it takes to maintain your life energy and activities for success, but also a reminder of the beauty it can show when given productive attention.
The fourth garden is The Herb Garden. It is the garden entrance to the left when entering The Fountain Garden from The Gazebo Garden. Once you enter around the entrance wall you'll see that there are medicinal herbs potted in holders that look like chairs. Chairs represent a resting place and this garden is all about rest and balancing the energy of life in your body and spirit. There are five types of flowered herbs represented by one plant each, each with their symbolism and importance in healing, and there are five plants of one type of medicinal herb, the Aloe Vera plant, which rejuvenates and heals. The number five is represented in this garden through the appearance of multiples of five things at a time. It is in the shape of a five sided octagon, a pentagon. The number five is associated with the human body as we have five senses, five major appendages, and digits in multiples of five. The Herb Garden is a place where we heal our body, mind and spirit and are able to relax while enjoying the psychedelic colors of the brush strokes ;-)
The fifth garden is The Hidden Garden where you can find secrets of life, love, and happiness. There is a wall that hides the garden before entering to the left or right into the main area (not seen in the Oculus Quest version because of optimization purposes). The back wall of this garden has two archways to enter the final sixth garden area. The garden contains willow trees (one in the Oculus Quest version) which are known for their feathery delicate leaves and root system. The root system can be destructive if not maintained but useful in times of flooding because they fervently search for water. Water is symbolic of emotions and feelings, and the roots in this garden are the growth of relationships between people whether romantic, friendly, professional, or spiritual. Some plants in this garden have shallow roots while others are deep, some are constructive holding the ground together while others are destructive and volatile. This Hidden Garden is a place where we experience relationships of all types and create a beautiful landscape with them.
The sixth garden can be seen as a final garden called The Sitting Garden. This garden has two willow trees and a sitting area. This is a thinking area after going through The Hidden Garden but the exit from this garden is back through The Hidden Garden. Interpretation is left up to you.
I hope you enjoy this garden and the displays of animations while listening to the theme songs paired with each piece.