top of page

Secret Garden, 2015

Title after green Dulux paint named Secret Garden 70GY 46/120

Handmade plaster filigree based on Colonial decoration in Mexican homes

Silicon molds for casting made from wood filigree  purchased at Home Mart, Mexico City

Federal white cement, Dulux acrylic paint, white cement, silica sand, no more nails

Dimensions variable

Exhibition: Centre[3], Hamilton, Ontario


Secret Garden (Dulux 70GY 46/120) is a re-configuration of a sculptural installation previously mounted by the artist in Mexico City, Pearce's former place of residence. Exploring notions of embellishment, restoration and the redemptive value of decorative materials, the work is based on replicas of elaborate architectural filigree found on the facades of historic buildings throughout Mexico. Having lived in a home that featured traditional handcrafted Baroque-styled fixtures, these ornamental components are increasingly in decay in many spaces due to a lack of resources. Rather than having craftspeople restore decorative cornices and wainscoting, many simply replace them with painted wooden replicas. On a visit to Home Mart (now Home Depot), Pearce came upon wooden filigree in a myriad of historic designs. Intrigued by this contemporary response to colonial styles, she made silicon moulds of these intricate forms and began a production line of her own “reproductions” created from low-grade plaster and now cement. The result is an extensive assembly of crafted objects, an overflowing garden-like archive of sorts, comprised of botanical motifs, including flowers and leaves, rococo swirls, and embellished Fleurs de Lis. Invested in the connotation of the original objects, the chipped and broken surfaces of these delicately molded plaster forms stand as a tangible metaphor "for the passing of time and the fragility of history, the end of a former time and the need for maintenance to retain beauty" according to the artist. Drawing on these associations, the work is a point of access, signal and marker for examining material culture and our relationship to change in communities and neighbourhoods. (Pamela Edmonds)

bottom of page