Dutch artist Andre Dekker is working on a project with California-based artist and writer Erik Bakke called “Lesnini Field“. The duo is working on 55 acres of land in California, from December 23 until January 4. Dekker is a founding member of Observatorium, an artist’s group (founded in 1997) that is active worldwide, and known for its large-scale artworks in areas of transition.
About Lesnini Field
Lesnini Field is a secret garden on the banks of the Salinas River in Central California—it is 55 acres of wild land recovering from industrial farming in which one can roam freely through sand washes and bushes to discover tree plantings, burnt murals, false doors and a cabin for contemplation. The public has access to the garden by invitation.
Standing between the river and cultivated fields, the garden is part of a narrow band of overgrown banks and wildlife-filled habitat, surrounded by wineries and vegetable farms. It offers the visitor routes of observation into a 21st Century kaleidoscope of monoculture, water shortages, labor, and the contested land of the past and the future.
A visit to Zandwacht, a major permanent sculpture in Rotterdam (completed in 2015) was the start of a discussion between Dekker and Bakke about artworks protecting and visualizing natural processes. Zandwacht is a destination artwork, a temple-like concrete architecture, prefiguring a dune landscape, slowly being covered by sand on the North Sea coast in Holland. It is the icon of the newly reclaimed land of the Port of Rotterdam symbolizing the building-with-nature methods in reclaiming land.
Bakke describes the Salinas Valley (also known as Steinbeck Country) location of Lesnini Field, “This parcel of land is regularly flooded; part of the project of the garden will involve restoration of habitat as a means to protect the ecology of the river and its banks.” At Lesnini Field, Bakke will create murals using sand and fire in the process. The installation of large-scale artworks will guide the visitor through the territory at threat and tell about the powers of nature and development that shaped it.
Lesnini Field is a special type of garden: a fenced off private property given back to the meandering river, recovering from mass agriculture, structured by lines of trees and a family of artworks, telling the story of the place and ethics and aesthetics in our relationship with the natural environment.
Lesnini Field is a project in progress. The team welcomes nature and art lovers to spend time in a private wilderness and get in touch with darkness, silence, wildlife habitat, and the expanse of the skies and mountains. Your involvement helps establish the resilience of a precious Salinas River environment and the development of arts in Monterey County. If you would like spend time at Lesnini Field while Andre Dekker and Erik Bakke are on site from December 23rd until January 4th, 2020, please email to schedule a visit: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also to learn more about the project and/ or support it, please inquire about the full concept and latest developments.