The 2020 edition of the International Garden Festival in Chaumont-sur-le-Loire was opened last May, and among the gardens of the exhibition is Paysage de Feu, Vazio S/A’s installation made with trees from the Cerrado.
With an international reputation, Chaumont is “the world laboratory in the field of gardens and contemporary landscape creation”, and takes place on the premises of a castle built 500 years ago in the Loire Valley, the region in the interior of France listed by UNESCO and known for its splendid Renaissance castles.
In February, and after a long Brazil-France trip of more than 9,000 kilometers, the branches of the Cerrado arrived in Chaumont, where they were assembled tip down.
The second largest ecological formation in Brazil, the Cerrado is a tropical savanna that spreads over the hinterlands of Brazil and has an area of approximately 1.5 million km² (more than twice the area of France). It has about a third of the Brazilian biodiversity, 5% of the world’s flora and fauna and is the source of waters that form the country’s three major hydrographic basins (Araguaia/Tocantins, São Francisco and Paraná /Paraguay).
Unfortunately, because it is a tropical savannah seen only as the poor vegetation biome and as an expansion reserve for agricultural areas, the Cerrado is helpless in terms of legal protection. Unlike the Amazon and the Atlantic Forest, the Cerrado is not classified as a Heritage in the Federal Constitution, despite its biodiversity being considered one of the 25 richest on the planet and, in terms of savanna, being the richest.
Paysage de Feu, our proposal for the Chaumont Festival whose theme this year is “Return to Mother Earth”, takes the destruction of the Cerrado as a project motto. In the last few months, the eyes of the world have turned to the burning of the Amazon, while the Cerrado continues to be destroyed to become soy and pasture without any national or international repercussion.
Awarded by the Festival’s jury, Paysage de Feu is an arrangement of pruned branches and burned logs collected in a protected area at the foot of Sierra da Moeda, a mountain range close to the Cerrado House (also designed by Vazio S/A). The project showcases the branches in line, like slaughtered animals hanging in a refrigerator, and functions as a “posthumous botanical garden” of species found in the states of Minas Gerais, Goiás and Bahia. In principle, it is a dead garden made up of plants exposed upside down.
PAYSAGE DE FEU
INTERNATIONAL GARDEN FESTIVAL 2020 | DOMAINE DE CHAUMONT-SUR-LOIRE
Designer: VAZIO S/A
Photography: Eric Sander