Hortus Beatus . The Garden

Hortus Beatus . The Garden

A mother with a green thumb.
A mentor with an inspiring book.
The German allotment culture.
A pandemic that closes the city.
...That's all it took to bring this photographic project to life.

Der Kleingarten, the allotment garden, is a German specialty dating back to the beginning of the 19th century, originally conceived so that the poorer social classes could plant fruits and vegetables and to complement their nutrition. Today it is a place accessible to everyone after a few years on a waiting list because of the high demand. When my friend takes me for the first time to his allotment garden, which he obtained a few months before, it is winter. He has just finished renovating the datcha. The garden is empty and looks like nothing. 500 square meters of sadness, abandonment, bad treatment. With the end of winter I start to read, to research, to draw, to order, to plant. A new garden is born.

I have always loved watching my mother work in her garden, hearing her say incongruous words in Latin, resting under the big apple tree, surrounded by flowers with bewitching and funny names: coquelourdes, euphorbias, agastaches, phlox, hostas, miscantus, and so many others. She naturally transmitted to me the pleasure of proposing something to the garden and the patience of waiting for its response, as well as the immense satisfaction of seeing what we planted take root, grow and bloom.

In March 2020 the whole world has to be confined. Me and my friend retire to our garden for a few months. Spring is perfect to take care of it. And the garden is perfect for healing the soul in times of distressing international news. It sustains me, allows me to soothe myself and meditate in the fresh air, an incredible opportunity when others are forced to stay in their apartments. It is my salvation.

And little by little, the images of my late mentor, the photographer Arno Fischer, come back to me. A work of polaroids on his own garden. I begin to photograph the life of my garden, and enter into a virtual correspondence with Arno.

This series is the result. A personal work on a simple garden linking my origins, a tradition of my host city, a world catastrophe and my photographic education. 

A simple garden that gives me serenity and for which I am grateful.

Amélie Losier


2022 Hortus Beatus, NABAD Art Gallery, Image Festival Amman, Jordan

© Amélie Losier . 2023 . All rights reserved