Matt Shaw
The Underground Garden II: Boxed In
metal, welding, plants, stones, paint, diamantés
installation view ©2009

The Underground Garden installation at Platform is a living project that was devised to creatively deal with the leaky cabinet in the rundown subway. Following road works in Degraves Street above the subway, pipe damage led to a water leak problem that destroyed artwork and led to the closure of the end cabinet of Platform’s exhibition space. When artist Bernadette Trench-Thiedeman began experiments for her exhibition with botanical specimens in the leaky cabinet, she discovered that certain plants could survive underground for many months under fluorescent light.

After local designer Matt Shaw worked with Trench-Thiedeman on the living garden wall in Melbourne Central for French horticulturalist Patrick Blanc, the pair devised a plan to create a completely underground garden. Matt created the first experimental garden in mid-2008, which survived through much of year. This year Matt will create Boxed In, a new garden commission for The Underground Garden designed to remind us of nature’s enduring strength, and our opportunity for future sustainability.

Matt Shaw is a garden designer with more than ten years experience working in horticulture and landscaping. He also has an established practice in sculpture, in which he combines reclaimed industrial waste with hardy, drought-resistant plants to create unique and sustainable garden creations for Australia’s harsh climate.

Visit Matt Shaw's website here.