The Last Conservatory

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.
— Henry David Thoreau

As the natural world becomes increasingly scarce, a yearning arises for a connection to the earth. The Last Conservatory is a near-future artefact, manufactured to allow people a moment to feel close to nature once again.

This multi-sensory sculpture, a collaboration between Oliver Blank and Asha Jimenez, is constructed entirely out of found and foraged materials.

Visitors lay their head on the damp earth and listen to the sounds emanating from within

Sound emanates from the soil, inviting the audience to physically embrace the trunk of a tree and in doing so touch, smell, and feel the earth.

A living sculpture constructed out of a found tree trunk containing local foraged plants

A fresh bed of mint and moss makes for a scented spot to rest one's head

Exhibited in Serenbe, Georgia, in 2017, The Last Conservatory continues Oliver's work exploring physical and emotional intimacy. In this piece, the at-rest posture established in The Bureau of Manufactured History is repeated and extended as individual audience members affect an embrace in order to engage with the sculpture.

 

The audio for  The Last Conservatory features original music by Oliver Blank and makes use of Quetzalcontla's Night in Nature field recording created in Puebla, Mexico.