Sam Songailo’s “Zen Garden,” a site-specific installation that reads like an all-over, three-dimensional drawing, is anything but soothing. Black lines, interrupted by sporadic, rock-like clusters, ran through the main floor, and evenly spaced rectangles covered the white walls of Fontanelle Gallery in Adelaide, Australia, where the piece appeared in September 2013. The repetitive yet inconsistent patterns have seductive but clashing and chaotic elements that draw you in with caution. The grittiness of the thick, encroaching black lines act as a reminder that this space is actually anything but a peaceful retreat. “Zen Garden” is not typical of Songailo’s brightly colored, inviting public installations, however its minimal and industrial feel fits right in with his urban body of work.
“Zen Garden,” September 2013:
Installation at the Splendour in the Grass music festival, July 2013: