Monday, December 3, 2007

The Roerich Garden, b. November 2007.

The Roerich Garden is a temporary community-collaborative earthwork. It was created in November 2007 to oppose the 9M$ development plans in the Mile End. The arrondissement du Plateau-Mont-Royal plans involve extending St-Viateur further east towards Henri-Julien, expropriating and demolishing several resident homes along De Gaspé, as well as destroying most of the field and garden. Plans are said to begin as of 2009-2010. The garden project is made as an homage to the field as well as to draw attention to its cultural importance.

The Roerich symbol (red circle with three dots inside) developed by Russian artist and mystic Nicholas Roerich, became a symbol of commitment to the protection of historical, cultural or scientifically significant monuments. In WWII, it was intended to protect cultural landmarks from aerial bombing.

This project is on-growing. If you would like to collaborate, please contact Emily Rose:

Le jardin Roerich est un terrassement communautaire et collaboratif temporaire. Il a été crée en novembre 2007 aux fins d’opposition aux plans de développement de 9$ millions du secteur Mile End. Ces plans pour l’arrondissement du Plateau-Mont-Royal comprennent l’extension de la rue St-Viateur vers Henri-Julien à l’est, l’expropriation et la démolition de quelques résidences sur la rue De Gaspé, ainsi que la destruction du champs et du jardin en question. Le tout doit commencer en 2009-2010. Le projet de jardin rend hommage au champs et souligne son importance culturelle.

Le projet de jardin Roerich est en voie de développement. Si vous voulez collaborer, svp contacter Emily Rose à :


I seek to bring art into public spaces, using the earth as my discipline to create works that act simultaneously as symbols and practical efforts towards a feeling of collectivity. Enchanted with the cycles of growth and decay, I work with seeds because they are physical embodiments of creative potential and life force.

I work to generate human interaction, hope and creative response, drawing from the earth as a tangible source of sustenance. Sensing a way in which the natural and the urban may interact upon common ground, I'm engaged with questions about the reclamation of outdoor landscape and the socio-political, ecological and physical environments that we are a part of. Concerns and ideas about the role of human culture in the natural world are expressed in my direct and ephemeral processes and interventions that the active body can relate to.

There are many overlapping and intersecting communities of which I am a part. As my art becomes collaborative, my earthworks and public interventions aim to access a wide range of individuals. Since 2006, I've reclaimed the historic Roerich symbol as an archetype for the preservation of culture. This symbol was used in WWII Europe to protect scientific and historical and cultural monuments from aerial bombing. Its three circles are also found worldwide and are primordial symbols of the triune nature of life. By exploring the manifestation of this symbol in a myriad of forms, its relevance is allowed to resonate in our current globalized world, locally and globally.

Emily Rose Michaud
March 29, 2008.

Photos by Melissa Campbell