I felt my pulse racing;
I felt like sobbing;
I felt out of breath.
As a result of my state of mind, when I ran into the artist early in my wandering through his gardens I was nearly speechless -- I did manage to grab his hand (you know I'm a toucher!) and say "Thank you" repeatedly. I'd say that he went off thinking me "mad," but I bet he's used to people rendered speechless.
What are the Magic Gardens, you ask?
The gardens take up half a city block on South Street in Philadelphia. But this is no ordinary garden: enter a mosaic-covered building and find yourself inside an entirely mosaicked space; that's right, entirely! Walls, floor, ceiling -- no surface is untouched. Wander into mosaic rooms, an interior courtyard, and enchanting "gardens" -- complete with grottos, arches, stairways, and nooks -- all created by a combination of sculpture and mosaic (the arches, grottos, stairs, and walls were clearly not there to begin with!).
Here are a few photos that I took with my trusty iphone, but if you want more images check out the website for this remarkable place.
|An interior room -- no space uncovered!|
|Wall and roof-line mosaics draw the eyes up to the sky.|
|A stairway in the outdoor garden also draws the eyes up to the amazing creations that adorn the garden walls and the roof of the building.|
|An enchanted grotto.|
|A poet's wall?|
|More wonderful arches, creating a private room within this very intimate corner of the garden.|
|The garden walls are constructed of everything you could possibly imagine, but a sizable amount of the armature is provided by bicycle wheels that offer glimpses into yet other spaces in the garden.|
|And here is one of the many glass tiles embedded in the wall, letting light in and revealing a mosaicked wall beyond.|
|Looking through spokes into a lower "room" in the garden.|
|A harmony of green mugs and an old bicycle wheel capture my eye.|
|With ART above my shoulder and magic all around, I can't wipe the smile from my face!|