Q & A: Arnaud Daurat & Christina Duthil on celebrating philanthropists and gardens — 16.07.18

A book celebrating philanthropists and their gardens is being published by the good people at Branché Landscapes, and they're donating some of the proceeds to The Arts Foundation.

GARDENS OF THE GREATS: EXPRESSIONS OF EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE celebrates philanthropists in New Zealand and overseas who have devoted their love, time, money and energy to the causes they care for and the book illustrates how their gardens reflect the people they are.

What inspired you to create this book, and why did you choose to focus specifically on philanthropists? We sincerely appreciate those who have a higher purpose than just being successful entrepreneurs. Those who give and have a positive impact on our planet are people that we look up to.

The impetus for writing this book also comes from having a landscaping practice and our belief that our environment shapes who we are. A garden is also a reflection of our essence, an endless source of inspiration that gives us a sense of belonging essential to our human nature. So there were our book’s twin topics that are dear to us: philanthropists and their gardens. 

Pictured: Christina Duthil (left) and Arnaud Daurat (right). Directors of Branché Landscapes and authors of the book. They are Patrons of the Arts Foundation.

Could you tell us about one art philanthropist in the book you enjoyed writing about? John and Jo Gow. Their vision for restoring the ecology of the land and creating ‘rooms’ for artworks that blend seamlessly into the landscape resonate with us. Also, their passion for sharing art and fostering talents is inspiring and contagious.

Do you see landscaping as an art form? Are there any great landscape artists you are inspired by? Absolutely, landscaping is a blank canvas that allows us to paint on a grand scale. It is a multi-dimensional art: it breathes life and is a forever changing and evolving artwork. And there is no need to intellectualise to be touched and moved.

Roberto Burle Marx, Isamu Noguchi are Landscape Architects we admire but also Architects like Richard Neutra, Tadao Ando, Frank Lloyd Wright, Javier Senosiain for weaving and merging homes into the landscape.

Pictured: An extract from the book featuring the garden of Arts Foundation founding patrons, Sir Eion and Lady Jan Edgar.

What inspired you to donate some of the proceeds to the Arts Foundation? Art is food for our souls and wellbeing. We have always been inspired by art so the Arts Foundation was a natural fit and it is a great family to belong to!

Who is your audience? Businesses that want to buy a gift with purpose for their clients at the end of the year. The interviewees are people that their clients will resonate with and be inspired by. People interested to find out more about philanthropists entrepreneurs and their stories and connection with their garden. Garden lovers interested to see a garden not for its design aspect but for its deep connection with people and how it reflects their ethos.

Where and how can people get a copy of the book? From now and until December 2018, you can order it through our website https://www.branchelandscapes.com/our-book/