Upcoming Projects
Press Publications & Essays


Contemporary Artspace
London 1997-2000

Tempered Ground
1 July to 31 August 2004
Link to catalogue pages

Danielle Arnaud contemporary art and Parabola, in association with the Museum of Garden History, launched a new series of commissions for the summer exhibition at the Museum of Garden History, London.
While previous exhibitions at the museum have investigated the building’s own history and artefacts, 2004’s show proposes collaborations between Head Gardeners and artists reflecting the many and varied roles and responses to the creation and maintenance of gardens in Britain. Establishing working dialogues with horticulturists, botanists, gardeners and caretakers, artists showing in this year’s exhibition include: Jo Addison, Anat Ben-David, Anna Best & Paul Whitty, David Blandy, Anna Boggon, Cleo Broda, David Cotterrell, Mark Edwards, Alexa de Ferranti, Rose Frain, Chris Jones, Janice Kerbel, Andrea Liggins, Marie-France & Patricia Martin, Maslen & Mehra, Eline McGeorge, Mr & Mrs Ivan Morison, Simeon Nelson, Natacha Nisic, Lyndall Phelps, Claudia Pilsl, Abigail Reynolds and Emma Tod.

Maslen & Mehra


As part of the Tempered Ground exhibition at the Museum of Garden History we are working in collaboration with Katie Treseder , Plant Health Officer at the Eden Project on the subject of Alien Insects.

Great Britain has a long history of importing exotic and rare plants from around the globe in order to create spectacular gardens and unusual collections of plants. In the beginning transportation by ship meant that a natural 'quarantine' process took place that enabled the discovery and elimination of any pests or infestations.

Nowadays relatively short transport times have allowed the movement of less hardy plants and consequently created a greater risk of inadvertently transporting pests.

Katie Treseder is the Plant Health Officer at the Eden Project in Cornwall. One of Katie's areas of research is to identify which countries to source plants from, from the perspective of plants supplied with the least risk of contamination. A good example of this is Katie's current research into Date Palms that need to be sourced for the upcoming new dry tropics biome.

"The Paysandisia archon is a pest of Palm trees and is being found in Europe, this pest has come to my attention as we are planning to import large date palms for the new biome." Katie Treseder

'Paysandisia archon came to our attention because it has recently been introduced into France (near Hyères) and Spain (near Girona), where it caused damage to ornamental palm trees.
P. archon originates from South America: Argentina and Uruguay. Found in France, in summer 2001 near Hyères (Var). According to a French association of palm amateurs, numerous dead palm trees were observed in several nurseries. Adults were observed flying near Hyères, Six Fours and Ollioules. In 2002, it was also found in the department of Hérault. Phytosanitary measures are taken to prevent its further spread. It is felt that the insect was introduced 4 years ago by various importers on Butia yatay and Trithrinax campestris from Argentina. In Spain, P. archon has been found in one nursery in Girona, Cataluña in 2000/2001 on Trachycarpus fortunei, Phoenix canariensis and Chamaerops humilis, and later in Comunidad Valenciana. It is felt that P. archon was introduced between 1985 and 1995 on palm trees from Argentina. In Girona, Trachycarpus fortunei was the most severely affected palm species. Reported in 2002, in United Kingdom (West Sussex) in a private garden.'

The work

The work will take the form of an outdoor sculpture installation. A series of cast mirror-finish insects will be hidden in and amongst the Virginiana Creeper, which drapes down the garden wall on the left hand side as you enter. John Tradescant apparently imported this creeper to London from America. We will be using the specific insect Paysandisia Archon as our starting point for creating a series of sculptures.

The installation Host describes the ability for insects to remain camouflaged and undetected and the unintended movement of creatures that occurs when creating exotic gardens. It also draws attention to the extensive planning required and serious concerns raised by importing plants to create plant collections from around the world.

Eden Photography by Charles Francis