Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 10, No. 3, 2011
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Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Bernard Dubé
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David Solway
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Farzana Hassan
Andrée Lafontaine
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Sylvain Richard
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
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Bernard Dubé
Remigio Valdes de Hoyos
Mylène Gervais
Christina Coleman
Laura Hollick
Louise Jalbert
Rosemary Scanlon
Manitoba Art
The Gambaroffs
Francine Hébert
Marcel Dubois
Ruben Cukier
Raka B. Saha
Purivs Young
William Kinnis & Dominique Tremblay
Gudrun Vera Hjartardottir
Gee's Bend Quilt Collective
Magie Dominic
Ryan McLelland
John Gordon
William Noguera
Manita Shine
Ken Matsumoto
Amy Bernays
Howard Finster
Owen York
Rena Meren
David Moore
Carol R. Scott
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward


reviewed by



still from Women in the Dirt

A little while ago I was sent by Ms. Angela Alston, co-founder of MocaMedia: Outreach Design & Management for Film, information and rave reviews for a retina arresting documentary entitled Women in the Dirt, conceived and directed by Carolann Stoney. The film is about seven women garden architects and the gardens they’ve created.

The garden, as an art form, is not a new invention and it could be arguedstill from Women in the Dirt that gardens were, after all, the original installation art. People travel from all over the world to view famous installations such as Versailles, Luxembourg and the Alhambra, to name but a fraction of gardens whose only purpose is to delight the senses. These works of art must be enjoyed in situ; visitors can’t buy or take them home; they serve a purely aesthetic function, just like any other form of installation art.

This movie reawakens us! Everyone watching will remember his or her own sacred places. My own are Ossian Cole’s Simond’s Illinois park where I rambled through my teen years, and the northern California farms where I found summer work and came of age.

Women in the Dirt reveals landscape architecture's unique status as a modern profession founded by both men and women. This history is graciously deepened by vignettes of seven contemporary women landscape architects. Director Carolann Stostill from Women in the Dirtney has selected top landscape architects whose contributions to American landscapes will now receive their due. “Just as anyone can enjoy histories of women artists, Women in the Dirt is gendered in its subject, but not its audience,” observes Katie Kingery-Page, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at Kansas State University.

The above is only one of many testimonials to which I wholeheartedly add my own; kudos to Carolann Stoney for an aesthetically challening, thought-provoking, beautiful film.

I was fortunate to see the screener -- respectfully sent to Arts and Opinion -- by Angela Alston. I asked her where or when our readers would be able to see the documentary. She advised me that the film has been submitted to film festivals and that she is waiting to see when and where the still from Women in the Dirtofficial premiere will take place. A screening is planned for Oct. 29 in San Diego, California. Angela apologizes for such vague information, explaining that the film’s release is at the mercy of festival programmers who receive thousands of entries. Sundance, for example, had to pick and choose from among 10,000 entries this year, so all you can do is submit and wait.

I urge you to keep the title Women in the Dirt in mind, confident that it will soon be available to a much larger audience.




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