Thursday, 8 October 2015

The Fantastical Garden Of Villius Orvydas

File under self-possessed outsider art. We've been to a few indescribable attractions, places that are the product of the boundless will of a unique person to express himself or herself. Usually for love or other personal quest. Think Watts Towers. And amazing places like here and here.

Lithuania surprises us again. Vilius Orvydas was a Franciscan monk, didn't live long (died at age 40), had a farm in the Western part of the country. What did he do? Orvydas built a meandering, Hobbit-like garden, stocked it full with religious carvings, crosses, shacks, mounds of rocks, a giant steel buoy, a tank on a mound. Why? He needed to establish a "spiritual center."

Orvydas lived during the Soviet occupation. Somehow, despite many attempts by the communists to shut down his project, he kept building. Today, the garden is a project worthy of inclusion in any roster of unique, folk art installations.

Cross the bridge and enter a world of one man's imagination.

Crosses and religious figures dominate.

The space is divided into meandering grottos and fields, framed by boulders and carvings.

Jesus taking a beating. Monk bird rest.

Suckling squirrel?

Orvydas definitely didn't like the Soviets, but he kept building.

Hobbit hut.

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