Pax Dryades > English Garden of Peace, 2018
The village of Thiepval was an important site during the Battle of the Somme and was completely destroyed during the First World War. On the site where the village once stood, the Franco-British memorial commemorates the violence of the fighting. Here in the shade of the small wood, Helen and James Basson have designed a garden inspired by the scars on the landscape left by the war. Two paths planted with shrubs will face each other: the alignment of the paths is marked out by chestnut posts which represent the sinuous shape of the vegetal trenches and which form a labyrinthine route that winds between the trees. The visitor is then enclosed in a green corridor and walks between the foliage, seeing through the gaps in the vegetation, white chalk monticules. It is therefore by a form of topographic inversion that the scars of the conflict are cured. At the end of the trail, the paths converge in a beech clearing, where one can take a breath after a walk charged with emotion.
Helen & James Basson