LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. — When you step through the gates of Descanso Gardens, you will see a colorful object so out of the ordinary that you just have to touch it.
That’s at least what Your (Un)Natural Garden Artist Adam Schwerner is hoping.
“This exhibition is not about distance. This isn’t about staying away from the object,” Schwerner said.
These sculptures are called “snake ways” because they line the “snake-like” path at Descanso Gardens. They’re erected to show the juxtaposition between the natural foliage of the garden and the unnatural vibrant manmade objects.
They’re also made from materials that came out of the trash from a recycling center in Irvine.
“I’d walk around in the yard and see these huge piles of this waste wood, and I knew I wanted to do something with it. I also think it’s a really interesting commentary about how much waste we produce,” Schwerner said.
The nine-month exhibit is the longest-ever at Descanso and opens just in time for Earth Day.
From April 16 to Jan. 8, visitors can see how materials are reused — from the outside sculptures all the way up to the indoor rooms of the gallery and historic house.
Descanso Gardens marketing manager Jennifer Errico said the exhibit offers visitors a brand new way to interact with the garden.
“These are colors you don’t see in the garden. It’s kind of like this exhibition is another flower, another plant, another tree. And that’s why it’s Your Unnatural Garden,” Errico said.
The exhibit took about a team of 20 to fully come together, and while it emphasizes trash and the waste we produce, Schwerner also hopes it serves as a way for people to connect with one another.
“If you’ve got pretty fun stuff, then maybe you can have a conversation that is civil and respectful and you can learn from one another,” Schwerner said.
They’re using interactive art to remind people of the things they use and inspire them to reuse, while sharing the experience of Your (Un)Natural Garden.