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Updated: Jun 13

Credit: Bernhard Duss

Hortus Conclusus, currently on display at Galerie Praxis in Basel until 23 June, presents a captivating fusion of nature, historical works, and contemporary art. The exhibition reinterprets religious narratives through the lenses of immensely talented trio —Bernhard Duss, Scenographer and Textile Designer, Thessy Schoenholzer Nichols,Textile Researcher and Designer, and Guido Fauro, Poet and Byzantologist.

Hortus Conclusus, the latin term for ‘closed garden’ appears in literature from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance as a symbol of purity and protection of the Virgin Mary.  In bygone eras, garden culture had at its core our need as humans to cultivate food and medicines. Yet, even at that time, it transcended mere practicality, as it engaged the senses of our ancestors through colour, shape, sound, and touch. Within this sanctuary, magnificent flowers, perfect fruits, calming fragrances, and healing herbs would harmonise alongside crystal-clear waters. What a story and how wonderfully portrayed by this exhibition.

Courtesy of Galerie Praxis

As visitors explore the presentations, they embark on a transformative journey— and one not to be missed. Guido Faro, whom I had the pleasure of speaking with, emphasised the show's underlying theme: a call to reclaim our time and find solace in our own “happy place.” Whether alone or with loved ones, this immersive experience fills us with peace, tranquility, beauty, and inspiration.

And so, as I stood before the magnificent reproduction of a tapestry portraying the Virgin Mary's paradise of the closed garden—I felt truly immersed in my own happy place.

Bathe in some of the enchanting images that bring Hortus Conclusus to life:

In memory of the late Martin Kamer

© Copyright Hazel Clarke 2024


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Jun 12
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great post!

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