The Secret Gardener

Phoenix artist Mayme Kratz once told New Times that she spent her childhood “burying things and digging them back up and dissecting them.” Kratz’s predilection has paid off as an adult with scores of shows and representation by Scottsdale’s Lisa Sette Gallery. As the current artist-in-residence at Desert Botanical Garden, Kratz has created a living-art exhibition called “The Breathing Room” -- an open reflection of our planet’s cyclical nature, how the Earth replenishes, and (since we all too quickly become compost for the next generation) how it’s nice to stop and smell the flowers.

Back in the fall, Kratz sowed seeds in sturdy, low-built wooden planters – they remind us of pine caskets – and allowed nature to take its course. Now her constructs are alive with springtime color, but that’s not the point, she says: “I am not waiting for the flowers to bloom. I am tending the garden from beginning to end, and inviting people to celebrate the experience, observing each day as things grow, change, and die. Allowing the garden to decompose is especially important, and the celebration of decay completes the process.”

Jan. 18-May 31, 2008
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Leslie Barton
Contact: Leslie Barton