Ministry of Controversy

Check out Lawn Nation


In person, if you can. I was unable to attend this weekend’s opening, as I had a big dinner party and a ton of gardening to do, but Jean Dickson, whose front yard travails I posted about (and posted about, and posted about …), is one of the gardeners featured in Lawn Nation: Art and Science of the American Lawn, an exhibition now on view at the Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago. A good sampling of it is online, including some fun interactive stuff. Just click on the “lawn gallery.” Jean appears in a funny poster that uses my photographs of her and her front yard. (I hope I have a credit somewhere.)

I wish I could see this. Love the graphics. It’s not all politics and polemic; there is work that looks at lawn games, lawn shrines, and the strange sport of lawn mower racing. There is also questioning of the natural resources devoted to lawns and the use of chemicals, and explorations of alternatives to lawns. A lot of it is quite amusing and smart. Kudos to the curators; I did not see an official list, but I was contacted by Anna Huttel from the museum. [CORRECTION: Anna is the artist who did the posters that include Jean.] Lawn Nation is on view until September 7, and does not travel.

Above, you see an image of Daphne Firos and Brian Peters’ flamingos—modified to harvest rainwater and act as watering cans. Don’t worry, they’re not serious.

Posted by on May 25, 2008 at 10:16 am, in the category Ministry of Controversy.
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3 responses to “Check out Lawn Nation

  1. Oh, I want a front yard full of those rain catching flamingo cuties.
    What a great set of lawn ornaments.

  2. peter hoh says:

    I have a garden coaching client who really should not try to grow grass in her back yard, but she has trouble visualizing what a back yard would look like without grass. She doesn’t want garden beds to take up the back yard. She already has generous beds in the back. Her goal is to decrease maintenance. I’m telling her that increasing the size of her lawn won’t do that.

  3. What a great idea for an exhibit–and a post. Thanks.