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Solitary Garden Installation | Florence Griswold Museum

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

As part of their current exhibition, Social & Solitary: Reflections on Art, Isolation, and Renewal, the Museum collaborated with the New Orleans-based artist jackie sumell to install one of her “Solitary Garden” beds on their grounds. Volunteers worked with the artist to create the fixtures and plant the garden.

The Solitary Garden project comes to life through correspondence between a volunteer and a currently incarcerated “gardener.” Their letters articulate to the Museum what kinds of flowers or plants are grown in the garden bed. Each Solitary Garden is a gesture of hope connecting an isolated person to the outside world through the restorative act of nurturing plants.

The size and layout of sumell’s 6’ x 9’ plots replicate prison cells, with “fixtures” made from biodegradable materials that will disappear over time as the plants and flowers mature.

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