The Landscape Artist

My name is John Camara. A hamptons native, I’ve been the proprietor of a local landscaping business for the past 18 years. We do all sorts of work related to the landscape including patios, stone walls perennial gardens, and water gardens. On a recent visit to the Metropolitan Museum of art, I was particularly intrigued by a sculpture called ‘Gyre’ by architect/artist Zaha Hadid. A futuristic sculpture, it appeared to be constructed from fiberglass composite materials and finished in an exotic green color changing automotive paint. It got me thinking of building some ideas I’ve had for some time but hadn’t considered this construction technique. Many years ago I worked in a custom cabinet/furniture shop where I had learned to apply lacquers and two stage automotive finishes as well as working with fiberglass and other composite materials. In the piece pictured I built a simple loop design finished in two stage automotive paint with contouring that I think has a interesting modern flow to it. At the same time, I was working with a client where we had done some fairly extensive work to the landscape but as time went by we just couldn’t find a suitable way to address the main entrance to the house. An admirer of Alexander Calder, the client expressed some interest in creating a sculpture that had some Calder inspiration for a focal point in this entrance area. It’s mounted on a slab of light tan quartzite stone and sits on a poured concrete pedestal surrounded by cherry laurels and tall midsummer perennials.

What I hope to achieve in landscape design is to explore the nexus of man and nature by incorporating modern artwork and water with what nature has always had to offer. To utilize existing mature native plants and trees with extensive but highly naturalized pruning techniques is, I believe a much overlooked approach. To get away from the sort of “factory fresh” appearance of exotic nursery plant material arranged in lines, borders or any overly synthetic or overused fashion is where the big challenge lies. In a way, we seem to have a tendency to believe that our creations are superior to the natural beauty that has existed for eons. They’re not. We can really only add our two cents.


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