The Garden Caretaker, Herlev, Denmark

The Garden Caretaker - what happens when we listen to a place before we develop it?
  • The garden caretaker
  • Future activities

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Once untouched by human hand, this then became a grazing area for cattle, with shepherd paths moving through the grass. After that, a social farmer's community which then turned into proud industry with years of asphalt production. Today the asphalt factory is gone, and a housing project is in the making.

While this place will be a construction site the Garden Caretaker (Havevært) will inhabit an area on the site. With the inhabitation, these questions are explored:

What happens when we inhabit the site as artists who facilitate sensory and aesthetic encounters with the landscape and multi-species community? Could such an exploration be a greening of the inner landscapes, potentially manifesting in the outer landscapes?

Herlev Garden Caretaker www nxtbrand dk 09

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A housing project of 445 apartments is concurrently being constructed on this demonstrator site (18.975 M2), while the Garden Caretaker process unfolds. From the early phases of this transformation of the site, NXT has implemented the method Being of Place (Stedets Væsen) which asks – what happens when we listen to the place before developing it? Listening from the intersection of circular, multi-species, art, and storytelling.

The Garden Caretaker and the related artistic and sensory activities on site will potentially influence the local environment, opening a sensitivity towards the multi-species community, seeking to reconcile this urban area with Nature.

The physical manifestation on site during the one-year territorial inhabitation is the Caretaker’s House; a pavilion, “The Droplet”, which will serve as a workshop, a laboratory, community and exhibition space, where the local community is invited to participate.

Photos from the second Garden Care Taker, Georg Jagunov. Image credit: Siv Werner www.nxtbrand.dk

The second Garden Caretaker in the Greenhouse was the multi-disciplinary artist Georg Jagunov. From August 7-20th 2023 he has been working with locally found materials such as moss and flint to create a site-specific, living sculpture.

Georg is interested in exploring the area’s geological history and aims to connect our shared history and future: 

“The unique thing about art as a method is that you can get really close to a phenomena and choose the angles from which you observe and interact with it. I primarily work with two materials, flint and moss, that I find in the area. Using performative walks, storytelling and installation art, I seek to recreate our ancient connection to these materials.”

As Garden Caretaker he has been working in the cross field of digital art, installation and landscape design, on a micro and macro scale, while inviting local citizens to join him in his practice.

Image credit: Siv Werner www.nxtbrand.dk

Image credit: Siv Werner www.nxtbrand.dk

Image credit: Siv Werner www.nxtbrand.dk

Image credit: Siv Werner www.nxtbrand.dk

Image credit: Siv Werner www.nxtbrand.dk

Image credit: Siv Werner www.nxtbrand.dk

Image credit: Siv Werner www.nxtbrand.dk

Image credit: Siv Werner www.nxtbrand.dk

Image credit: Siv Werner www.nxtbrand.dk

Image credit: Siv Werner www.nxtbrand.dk

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What happens when we listen to a place before we develop it? Our partner NXT tests this new way of thinking, explains Madeleine Kate McGowan. Press the icon at the bottom right of the video to expand the image and see the entire video.

Garden Caretaker - Summer 2023, Photo: NXTBrand.dk

Photo: NXTBrand.dk

Photo: NXTBrand.dk

Photo: NXTBrand.dk

Photo: NXTBrand.dk

The first Garden Caretaker - April 2023, Helene Johanne Christensen - writing workshop

The droplet was established in March 2023 in Herlev.

Sometimes the weather in March in Denmark changes a lot. From very cold and windy and snow to sunshine.