Longwood Gardens patrons will have the opportunity to participate in an audio-visual journey as they trek through acres upon acres of botanical bliss this summer.
It’s called Nightscape, and it’s the latest installment from Philadelphia creatives Klip Collective.
The idea for a Longwood/Klip collabo sprouted two years ago, after Longwood Gardens executive director Paul Redman saw a 2012 Klip installment at Bartram’s Garden in West Philadelphia. That’s when Redman reached out to Klip creative director Ricardo Rivera.
“It began almost like dating somebody,” Redman said. “Let’s get to know each other and see if we can make something work.”
“I’ve always had this dream of doing an installation in the woods,” Rivera said. “We put together a few installations in one night [at Longwood], documented it and presented it to them.”
Longwood liked what they saw, and commissioned Rivera and Klip to put together an extensive art installation that patrons will be able to follow as they walk through the gardens.
“You’ll see one thing and then you’ll see something in the distance and walk through that, experience that,” Rivera said. “Some of these installations are truly immersive. They’re all around you, and they change as you walk through and discover them.”
“Without a doubt, people should expect to see something they’ve never seen before,” Redman said. “I think this will be different for anybody who has visited the Art Museum, other gardens, or even gone to the cinema to see a movie lately. This is something totally different.”
While the end result is promising, the process of installing this piece has been a challenge. After all, Klip is used to projecting art onto buildings, mist, smoke — even sneakers.
“The hardest thing is we’re projecting on organic forms. It’s chaos,” Rivera said. “It’s a very textured projection surface. What I’m looking at on my computer screen looks completely different when I’m projecting onto these textured spaces.”
Klip has been working in the gardens for a year, coming in after-hours to experiment with light, sound and video designs throughout several of Longwood’s varying horticultural spaces.
Rivera describes his muse as “the idea of nature and man, natural and digital colliding — creating this magical world that comes alive at night.”
Nightscape will open this coming July and close in October. Admission for adults 19 and older will be $27. Children ages 5-18 will be charged $17, and children under four and Longwood members will get in for free. And though the journey will obviously start at night (with prime hours in July starting at 9:30, according to Redman), make sure you get there early.
Longwood is also implementing a beer garden this summer in collaboration with Victory Brewing Co., which is creating two custom Longwood brews made with plant material from the gardens.
Really, what more could you ask for?
“We want people to come here and be immersed in the beautiful world we want to share,” said Redman.-30-