Mankind loves gardens. They are the link between man and nature, that island of creativity, which visibly displays the scale of mankind's presence in big nature.
City dwelling mankind values in gardens the presence of nature itself within a small, private world. Thus the garden becomes the visible expression of the soul, cultivat-ing itself behind a wall, separating the territory of the individual from big society. The city becomes the symbol of the society, built as hierarchically and chaotically as the city itself. The garden is the expression of personal creativity, the expression of the man-creator.
For the man of culture, which arose from the Mediterranean region, from Asia Minor, Northern Africa, Greece, Ancient Rome, for the man of culture, which is defined ha-bitually as European, the nursing of one's own small garden also becomes an encoun-ter with Paradise, a recollection of It. The small garden, nurtured with one's own hands, is full of symbolism, which connects the gardener with the whole cosmos of culture. The garden may have style, there may be, subconsciously, in it quotes from the epoch of the culture close to the gardener, but it can also be a surprising mixture of times. The creator of the garden can have as many deep European-centered roots as one likes, but one's own garden, where old things remind one of a personal time, past and passing, becomes a garden, replete truly with the sorrow of the ageing of things of Far Eastern Culture.
The small garden bonds its creator with the history of culture, with his own past. But these bonds, with which the air of the garden is filled, become explicit in the photo-graphs of Brad Temkin. His pictures enlarge insignificant, inconspicuous signs of various times, his mastery of work with colour transforms live greenery of the garden into the brightness of Gothic stained glass windows with pictures of the Garden of Paradise. Temkin's photographs remove the veil of the mundane from the gardens and reveal the symbols hidden in them in their pristine brightness. In these photo-graphs the author does not overstep the threshold, which separates the lightness of the surprising knowledge of the artist from the categorising of the scientist, the pictures of Temkin remain as magical as light and colour in little corners of Paradise, created by the inhabitants of big cities for themselves.
Irina Tchmyreva, PhD._Moscow Museum of Modern Art
Translated from Russian by Ruth O'Dowd and Pavel Glebov