In the beginning there was a garden.
The latest work by Denis Piel, Down to Earth, is in many ways an exploration of myths of origin, ranging across classical mythology and late 19th, early 20th century, Western art history.
In 2001 Denis Piel witnessed the violent destruction of The World Trade Centre, where the office of his then current venture was located. The following year, Piel, his wife and son embarked for the South West of France, to take up residence at Château de Padiès, a 12th century renaissance château which they had been restoring since 1992; it is their home and the location of Les Jardins du Château de Padiès. The move to Lempaut was a retreat from their world, which had violently lost its innocence.
‘Down to Earth’ was shown at Phillips in London Feb 2018, an exhibition curated from Piel’s book of the same name; the collection of images were produced over the course of a year at the château and gardens. The exhibition presents: 38 single images from Down to Earth; a framed series of 12 images presented as Growth at Sunrise; a series of 12 images from Everyday Reality, available as a limited edition box set. A special edition of Down to Earth, the book, including a limited edition print will also be available for sale at the exhibition.
The title of the work suggests a lack of pretension, an essential ‘realism’; it suggests falling, and a notion of something unworldly returning to the world.
“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
Walden, Henry David Thoreau