October 15, 2003 - April 15,2004
Philadelphia artist Susan Hagen has created a sculptural project inspired by a 16th-17th century Persian Tree Carpet in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The large carpet, originally 40' long (about half has survived), features a densely patterned garden scene dominated by cypress trees, almond trees, and other blossoming plants. The carpet depicts an imagined paradise, a Persian word for "walled garden" or "enclosed park," where luxuriant trees and beautiful flowers bloom eternally.
Astounded by its presence and symbolism, Hagen has reinterpreted the carpet three-dimensionally using her own visual language. Hagen's small, hand carved wooden sculptures represent her vision of a contemporary garden of earthly delights.
She has said, "My sculptures show the essential rootedness and spiritual connectedness of human beings to the world in which we live. Animals, plants, and human forms are interwoven, interdependent, and firmly based on the earth."
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