garden gnome

This was my submission for the Doodlers Anonymous showcase sponsored by Tom Bihn.  Go over there and vote for it, the garden gnome will be most grateful.

The story behind it:

“I have been reading a Hundertwasser text called the garden gnome where he says the garden gnome is a reminder of how we used to talk to the grass and the birds and we no longer know how. The travel theme made me think about the film Amelie and how she convinces her father to travel the world by stealing his garden gnome and having a friend send postcards with the gnome around the world. I dream of traveling around speaking to the birds and the grass and the people and I’d love to send my friends postcards with a funny -yet deep- character that goes around clothed with whatever he finds in his journey.“

The garden gnome

The text by Hundertwasser that inspired the gnome drawings:

The absence of kitsch make our lives unbearable.

We can’t manage without romanticism.

The garden gnome symbolizes our right to dreams and our yearning for a fairer, better world.

The garden gnome is a bulwark against the soulless, nihilistic dictates of our times. Just as we hunt Dracula with garlic and crucifixes, so we use the garden gnome to drive out sterile, tyrannical dogma.

Aggressive rationalists and passive dreamers of a better, more beautiful existence part company at the garden gnome.

Long before the christian world picture, long before the gods of the ancient Romans and Egyptians, long before history was ever recorded, we were able to talk to the birds, the animals, the plants and the trees, indeed even to water, rocks and clouds, and communication brought harmony.

Thus it is written in fairy tales.

The garden gnome, together with the elves, pixies, gnomes, giants and the whole host of magical beings, is a last survivor from that distant past.

Man lives by virtue of his identity, by virtue of his memory of the roots of his being. We may now be very “intelligent”, but we have forgotten the language of nature.

Hence the small gnome in the garden.

You talk to the grass and the birds for me.

I no longer know how.

And ask nature for forgiveness for the evil we do her, and help me against the cold, all powerful enemy.

I no longer know how.


April 1990

(I found this piece of text in Harry Rand’s book about Hundertwasser published by Taschen).