There’s a sculpture… it’s standing on its own… at the end of one of the central axis alleys of the garden, adjacent to the pond. A classically detailed plinth supports this representation of a man holding an instrument: a small harp, maybe a lyre. This makes me think it’s meant to be the figure of Orpheus though I can’t be sure. Still, Orpheus, a symbol of the power of culture over nature would seem to make sense in such a location.
He’s stood there on his plinth looking away to the side. Not down the ally to see who’s coming, but has turned his head away to the right. Chin cocked slightly upwards he appears to be looking nowhere. A gaze of indifference or boredom. This laissez-faire musician seems preoccupied but not by his music. I feel he’s not really here….
I look again at him. He doesn’t look back. My questions go unanswered. He arouses an instinct of sorrow and frustration in me. What is he really doing there? Is he there to evoke a way of framing my experience in this garden: a way of placing an experience within an abstract context? Is he saying that we have the possibility to form nature in any way we want? Perhaps… but his distraction makes me wonder if he’s not grown tired of such power, being so separated from the reality of the world. What is he longing for?
As the flies chart their rectilinear flight paths around his crumbling torso and the spiders spin their traps beneath his chin, the pleasing feeling starts to dawn on me that his authority might be starting to wean.