The international conference GARDENING OF SOUL: RESOURCES OF PERSPECTIVES will take place on 22 and 23 February 2024 and will be an interdisciplinary platform for critical reflection about the project GARDENING OF SOUL: IN FIVE CHAPTERS.

More about conference

International conference
in Ústí nad Labem

The interdisciplinary understanding theme of the conference GARDENING OF SOUL: RESOURCES OF PERSPECTIVES explores diverse real or symbolic aspects of gardening (in terms of care for the environment and nature, general well-being, individual communities, specific individuals and sustainable practices) from the perspective of current curatorial strategies, contemporary artistic expressions and broader philosophical, social, economic, geographic and environmental contexts. The conference focuses on capturing the metaphorical complexity of the garden and gardening. It also emphasizes the interpretation and contextualisation of specific creative socio-cultural approaches that, in diverse dimensions of artistic research and practice, incorporate these phenomena associated with care, nurturing, cultivation, cooperation or sharing into the creative process. The selection of conference contributions emphasizes both the presentation of specific curatorial concepts and the authorial strategies representing efforts to incorporate elements of gardening into environmentally, communally, participatively or activistically oriented artistic expressions. It also highlights the possibilities of implementing cultural or creative gardening into broader contexts in the fields of environmental, gender, social, economic or education processes. As a key perspective, which significantly influence the thematic conception of the conference and individual conference contributions, can be considered the issue of interdisciplinarity understood as a tool enabling a comprehensive capture, interpretation and conceptualisation of social issues fundamentally shaping current social discourses. The conference program is devided into three thematical blocks focusing on areas of creative practices utilizing expressive methods related to gardening as a tool for the realization of complex artistic projects, curatorial approaches emphasizing cultural and community aspects representing the phenomenon of gardening in exhibition or institutional practice and finally, exploring connections between strategies of artistic caregiving and the current complex philosophical, historical, environmental, urban and social discourse. In this context, the metaphor of the garden can represent an inspirational approach to expressing the profound transformations occurring in the context of dynamic processes of climate changes and the necessity of strengthening aspects of sustainable development, as well as community sense of belonging and responsibility. 


The selection of conference contributions is carried out in collaboration with the organizing institutions of the Ústí nad Labem House of Arts, Faculty of Art and Design at Jan Evangelista Purkyně in Ústí nad Labem and with the contribution of institutions that have been actively involved in the GARDENING OF SOUL: IN FIVE CHAPTERS project, such as: Skaftfell Art Center Seyðisfjörður, Dowd Gallery – SUNY Cortland, Kharkiv Municipal Gallery, Kunst Meran / Merano Arte, Museum of Fine Arts Split, PRECEDEE Hong Kong, <rotor> Center for Contemporary Art Graz, Schafhof – European Art Forum Upper Bavaria Freising a The Trinity Session Johannesburg.

Beside artists, art curators and researchers representing a wide range of interdisciplinary approaches to the phenomenon of gardening, the conference also includes participants who are representatives of target groups and collaborating community organisations involved in the project of GARDENING OF SOUL: IN FIVE CHAPTERS. The conference simultaneously marks the beginning of another phase of the long-term creative and research programme of the Ústí nad Labem House of Arts, symbolically framed by the theme of gardening. It aims to deepen the interdisciplinary research and social responsibility, proceeding from long-term socio-cultural mission of this university exhibition institution.