Art and the built environment cannot be viewed in isolation from each other. The functionality of our finest public and private spaces has always rested on solid aesthetic and spiritual principles; our greatest buildings either showcase challenging artworks or incorporate artistic designs into their very fabric, reminding us that buildings without art are mere shelters.
Artist Lloyd Godman is at the forefront of a modern trend to bring an appreciation of the natural world into our structural domains. Buildings do not rest ‘above’ or ‘outside’ a landscape, separated from the surrounding environment. On the contrary, structures interact with the natural world as objects that cast shadows, consume resources and provide rich habitats for life.
Godman’s living, plant-based artworks reinforce the necessary connectedness of buildings and the wider environment. Not only do these artworks convey powerful messages and philosophies of sustainable and ethical physical interaction, but they also reach out beyond ideas to become part of the actual structure – as physical objects, Godman’s artworks are purifiers of the air as well as the soul, suppliers of colour as well as calmness, and filters of water as well as the human spirit.
As mentioned above, it is highly unusual for an artist to forge new aesthetic, philosophical and architectural directions through his work; Godman, however, has managed to use his diminutive plants to convey global concepts, and in the process participate in a new wave of appreciation for plants in the built environment.
John Power - October 2011
John Power has been a Melbourne-based journalist and magazine editor for more than fifteen years. He has worked as editor of ‘Facility Management’ and ‘Building Connection’, and written articles for publications including ‘Architectural Review’.
I have been following the work of Lloyd Godman for about seven years and publishing his very innovative and groundbreaking work in Artlink over that time. He is a dynamic thinker and maker who has realised a very extensive number of complex ecological art projects in New Zealand, the USA and Australia. His conceptual thinking and design ability is outstandingly original, and he has single-mindedly forged new directions in thought and practice in the very exciting and timely area of using living plants in the urban space and in tandem with architectural design.
His ideas are ambitious and far-reaching, and through sustained commitment and hard work he invariably finds the physical means and situations in which he can carry them out, seizing opportunities in live events and temporary installations. As his work with live plants slowly becomes understood he has achieved some permanent installations in public arena.
Executive Director - Artlink