During its International Garden Festival — on from now until November 2016 — French designer Mathieu Lehanneur brings a ‘liquid marble’ installation to the courtyard of Domaine de Chaumont-Sur-Loire Centre d’Arts et de Nature in France. ‘Petite Loire’ highlights the ways in which marble, water and light come together to evoke a dynamic feeling of a river in motion. comprising a single piece of hand-polished green marble designed using 3D software, the surreal object reproduces the effect of wind passing over the surface of water, transforming an ephemeral moment into something solid. ‘Petite Loire’ — a continuation of Lehanneur’s ‘liquid marble’ series — explores the potential of using algorithms to manifest a transitory moment in time.
‘I wanted to address the garden with water as my muse,’ Lehanneur says. ‘The water whose presence we sense even before we first catch sight of it below the château, flowing uninterrupted to the sea. Some say the Loire is France’s last wild river; it shapes and nourishes the landscapes, it passes through without ever pausing along the way.’
‘Petite Loire is a freeze-frame, the river’s perpetual movement caught in a frozen, fossilized moment. A few dozen meters above the river’s natural level, Petite Loire cuts cleanly through the garden’s surface, delving into the soil to reveal a fluvial relief, both vertiginous and practicable, in green marble. I hope that, when passing the chateau gates, the visitor will experience something that comes close to a magic portal, to a forbidden place in so many fairytales. Everything is liquid in this space, evanescent, enlightened, and yet it is executed in a material that is the one of the most solid imaginable.’