Interview with Jean-Marc de Pas, creator of the Jardin des Sculptures

Interview with Jean-Marc de Pas, creator of the Jardin des Sculptures

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The park of the Bois-Guilbert castle has this element of mystery and unexpected that enchants each of its visitors. A skilful mixture of sculptures and nature, this large 7-hectare wooded area has been entirely landscaped by its owner Jean-Marc de Pas, who has put his creativity to work for this former abandoned pasture. Over the years, the meadows have been transformed into a magnificent landscaped garden, each plot of vegetation spreading around a sculpted work. We had the pleasure of meeting Jean-Marc de Pas, gardener by day and sculptor by evening, who told us about his extraordinary career as a landscape artist.

Tell us the story of Bois-Guilbert park…

The castle around which the park stretches has belonged to my family since 1620. It was bought by my ancestor Pierre Le Pesant de Boisguilbert, a recognized economist in the time of Louis XIV whose work is still studied today. The adjoining garden had several lives before being transformed into a horse pasture by my father, who was one of the pioneers of pony clubs in France. I myself inherited the estate in 1983 at the age of 21. From the outset, I wanted to replace the family home in a beautiful green setting: I therefore set out very early on to refurbish the park, while following art studies in parallel.

How did you understand this titanic work?

My family did not have much financial means. It was therefore alone, without any outside help, that I undertook the first transformations. I set up a small nursery in order to grow my own plantations, while reflecting on the park's design over the long term. There was no landscape plan for this area, so we had to design everything from A to Z with a fresh and creative look! Not having followed a training in botany, I drew on my knowledge of architecture and cabinetmaking to draw the plans of the park by a show of hands and choose the different tree species. It was important for me to respect the tradition of French gardens, while maintaining a certain freedom of plant expression. In the end, I was able to dream of all these spaces on paper and carry out my plans over the years.

Why did you choose to integrate sculptures in your garden?

Sculpture is my second nature, a passion that I have developed since my adolescence! During my 15 years of study in art, in parallel with the landscaping of the gardens, I thought a lot about the symbolism of nature and how to reconcile art and vegetation. My works, but also those of other sculptors, have been integrated into the various plots that make up the garden during its restructuring. Each of them maintains a close relationship with the earth and nature: there is thus a garden dedicated to the cosmos, another dedicated to the goddess of the earth Gaïa, a cloister of the four seasons, the garden of the five continents ... Nothing n 'was done at random, and we undertook a great substantive work to make visitors discover the world of contemporary sculpture still unfairly unknown to the general public.

A sculpture biennial, paying homage to a lost artist, is currently presenting numerous works by contemporary sculptors: More info on

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