Gabriela Albergaria

Constructions designed and conceived as an architectural project, gardens are one of our oldest forms of producing images of nature. Over the last two decades, Gabriela Albergaria has found in the structure of gardens and their history a basis for thinking about how the representation of nature operates in our understanding of it, but also how such representation reveals processes of transformation through the historical and political consequences of European colonialism and expansion.

Text Delfim Sardo
All images Courtesy by the artist. Photo: António Jorge Silva

This interest in gardens emerged from a more general idea of landscape as a possible means of rigorous reconstruction of the visible field through an experiential dimension.
The practice of drawing is rooted in her artistic training, growing more sophisticated over time until becoming an important tool for understanding garden design itself as spatial, architectural, didactic or illustrative structures, sometimes intersecting with the methodologies of scientific drawing as the revelatory language of structures of classification and inventory.

The activity of gathering (or collecting) is structural in the sense of constructing a worldview. (…)

The mycelial web is Gabriela Albergaria’s most recent interest, a result also of her perennial walking and watching. Her motivation is the uncovering of a field of connections that is closely linked to life, in which transformation, fermentation and decadence are synonymous with renewal. Her wandering walks through parks and gardens from the Redwoods of California to Trianon Park in São Paulo, the Botanical Garden in Lisbon and Wave Hill Garden in New York have followed a flow of references that make these parks and gardens – the sites of her interventions in North and South America and Europe – into moments of a common journey with two fundamental themes: the representation of Nature, and the historical, political and biological connectivity of the world. And perhaps along the way she will also find a mushroom, a piece of wood or a leaf to take for safekeeping.

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