Earth Art

Art in the Gardens; Hendrie Park

Earth Art, also known as “Ephemeral Art”, is an exciting genre of art that has emerged of the contemporary world’s growing environmental consciousness. Art is created using natural elements – earth, stone, trees, plants, even ice, to create an art form that dialogues with nature.

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Sculpture Locations

The Dan Lawrie International Sculpture Collection can be found throughout Hendrie Park, accessible via RBG Centre at 680 Plains Road W. Burlington.

Click the link below to download a map outlining sculpture placement within the garden (pdf).

Download Map

tall organic structure in centre of pond made of large sticks of wood with woven birds nests throughout

Organic Refuge

Artist: Alfio Bonanno

Denmark; installed in 2014

This is a water-based organic tower that incorporates various species of living small trees, bushes, and plants that can grow in this specific area. At the same time, it attracts and offers shelter to birds, insects, and other living creatures.

“With all of my projects, I want to create something site specific that collaborates with the natural environment around it. For such a high-traffi c area, Organic Refuge incorporates plants and provides shelter for the animals I have seen here: water snakes, snapping turtles, fish, butterflies, dragonflies and other insects. This tower is a sustainable biodiversity project, providing a safe haven for wildlife.”

woodend shelter with curved roof


Artist: Arthur de Mowbray

UK; installed in 2008

This installation offers a place to reflect on the surrounding environment. It responds to the environment and shelters people underneath its naturally curved roof.

“I like to make art that has a purpose and uses elements in nature. I built a dynamic structure that responds to the climate. This work is a shelter from the weather, the rain. It is curved and shaped into a design that works with nature. I hope visitors use the structure as a place to rest, to reflect and to appreciate the surrounding environment.”

two sculptures of large heads made with wood

Venus and Marte

Artist: Pilar Ovalle

Canada; installed in 2008

These sculptures create human faces as the art merges with the smooth wood. They stand together in partnership.

"The two heads symbolize the male and female heart of the same brain, but are separated. the female has wood and is more grounded, with woven wood overtop. The male has a round head and lines on the top to connect him to the cosmos and the rational part of the mind."

large cube made of smaller cubes of wood alongside a trail

V = B0 + B1 *D^ B2 + B3 *D^ B4 *H^ B5

Artist: Neville Gabie

UK; installed in 2008

The title is a mathematical equation used to calculate the total volume of wood in a tree while it is still standing. RBG’s science and conservation staff calculated the total volume of this red oak (killed by gypsy moths). The resulting work is the entire tree, from the largest sections of the trunk to the smallest branches.

“The work is as much about the space that is left by the absence of the tree in the forest canopy as it is about the object itself. It is located just 30 metres inside the last remainders of a wilderness area and in line with formal gardens — the sort of location in which I often choose to work.”

Art in the Gardens

Art brings beauty into our gardens, adds a human element, tells a story, and creates dialogue. Discover the abundance of art installations that grace our garden setting.

small bronze sculpture of a rabbit in Veggie Village

Dan Lawrie International Sculpture Collection

In 2013 Dan Lawrie, Hamilton businessman and Burlington resident, made a 10-year commitment to donating sculpture to Royal Botanical Gardens, creating The International Sculpture Collection.

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two wooden sculptures representing large round heads

Other Permanent Art

Discover some of the lesser-known art pieces that have found their home at the Gardens throughout its rich history.

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bronze sculpture of man with a head that appears to be made of plant material

Hours and Admission

We dedicate our expertise in horticulture, conservation, science and education to connect people, plants and place for the purpose of nurturing and preserving healthy growing life on our planet.

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