Octopus Garden

Melanie Schoeniger
January 18, 2023
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I started this series based on my sorrow about the almost inevitable loss of the coral reefs. The notion of not being able to protect this amazingly rich underwater jungle nor to share that wonder of life with future generations breaks my heart. Playing around with some flowers in an underwater setting, I realized how they turned into stunning beings. I started dreaming a life-sustaining future imagining that plants contribute to a new form of underwater life. That’s how I turned my grief into this ongoing art activism project. I am still full of awe about this unfamiliar yet impressive beauty. The title octopuses garden refers to the Beatles: Childhood memories of this song came up looking at my underwater geranium perennial which reminded me of tentacles. One image reminds me of that moment within the never-ending story, where Bastian saves Phantasien and creates a whole new world and everything starts to grow from scratch. And I think about humanity acting like the nothingness in this book, erasing everything. I think about nature evolving like it always does. I think about our connection to the natural world and our urgently needed shift of consciousness, culture and myth that Joseph Campell described so brilliantly.

Melanie Schoeniger is a visual artist from Germany. Traveling the world she fell even deeper in love with the beauty of nature fascinated by the abundance of rainforests and coral reefs. With her art she aims to shine a light on the wonder of life. Hoping - like Rachel Carson - that wonder and humility do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction “I want to evoke a deep connection with nature and have a wish to protect and preserve it for future generations.“ She cultivates an indoor and outdoor jungle, a cornucopia of biodiversity, and uses these home-grown plants for her art. A Photolucida Critical Mass 2022 finalist, her multi award-winning work is published and exhibited internationally. She had a career as creative director for a number of years. Since she has a family she focuses on her artistic career. Currently she resides with her husband and their two boys south of Munich.
Melanie Schoeniger
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