L’île Perdu(e) > Elyse Ragueneau, Astrid Verspieren, Xavier Dumont, 2011
In the Hortillonnages, it is common practice to give the plot the name of its owner. An irony of fate, as the owners of this island, who were very difficult to find, were actually called Monsieur et Madame Perdu ! The geographical location of their property, in the centre of the étang de Clermont, makes it an ideal observation point for the changes in the Hortillonnages, which since the 1980s has seen its market garden identity evolve towards the cultivation of little gardens. The île Perdu(e) project supports this metamorphosis : preserving the existing piece of island, the landscape designers chose to restore the banks by interweaving living willows, refashioning the surface of the island of yesteryear. This « stitching » work in several stages helps to register the impact of time. The new bank is planted and is crossed via barges in Corten steel, which direct the view and allow access by boat. Visitors can then explore the island as if itw as an open book, a « pop-up » book of headstones. In the centre of the island, a cabin has been restored as a « souvenir shop ». Here you can find souvenir post cards, to spread the message of the island well beyond its bank : « the landscape, a living monument ».
Elyse Ragueneau, Astrid Verspieren