Benedict Ernst, The Sun Rising over Mt Fuji, 2008
Benedict's work for Match Box Friendship Wall and Facetnate! Match Box Gallery
Benedict Ernst is a sculptor, painter and installation artist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. His work has long shown the influence of both traditional and contemporary Japanese culture from the elegance of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints to the Pokemon revolution of the 1990s.
The Garden of Love is inspired by the art of the Japanese art of Suiseki, and the history of Japanese garden design. It is a body of work inspired by contemplative philosophers stones or Tahu rocks. It explores these traditions that create condensed 'views' of the natural world and contrasts these with the tradition of 'model making' in the western world using 'packaging' as an overarching metaphor for both. It also pays homage to Hokusai’s famous ‘Views of Fuji’ print series and the gold leaf folding screens of the Edo period.
By using cardboard and everyday packaging materials the artist is reinvigorating these art forms for a modern audience as well as re examining contemporary societies relationship with nature. More broadly it looks at the rich tradition of Japanese garden design and the idealised images of nature as represented in Japanese gold-leafed screens comparing these critically with contemporary trends in global architecture and urban living and cultures of consumption
Images © Benedict Ernst and Match Box Projects