St Michael's garden is now installed. In just over a month, Akira Takizawa has brought his harmonious design to life.
On the last day of completion, Takizawa talked through the garden, its design and his intent. He expressed his thanks to St Michael's for giving him the opportunity to work on another special project, and hopes for its acceptance from the community at St Michael's and all those who pass by in the bustle of the city.
There is much philosophy behind the design of the garden, with the themes of spirituality and connectedness appearing prominently through the garden.
Takizawa wanted to connect the garden with the spiritual aspects of the church and Mingary. He brings the peace and harmony of Mingary and the calm meditation of the church into the landscape and exterior. The garden becomes another place for quiet reflection and cleansing of the mind. In an enclosed space like the Mingary Garden, a Zen garden, with its small rock fountain a person can retreat from the noise of the world and reflect. ‘Inside and out, there is a spirituality that can also be found in life.' Takizawa feels it is important to make this connection between all three places.
Just as vital is our connection with nature and what we can learn from it. The garden comes together in a work of harmony. The colours, the plants and rocks have a connection. If you look closely you can see how the stones in the garden fit together without force. The Celebration Garden is a perfect example. The rocks form a neat border creating an intimate space for those using it, often after weddings, to gather, mingle and bond. This is how Takizawa sees the church, Mingary and the garden - fitting together with ease and harmony. The garden becomes a symbol of how we should live our lives, working with each other and our surrounds to create harmony.
Takizawa compares himself to the composer of a symphony. He hand picks each individual plant and rock to complement its surroundings and then pieces them together to create a whole. Examples of this can be seen throughout the gardens. Take a walk around the new grounds and discover them.
The Spiritual ‘Waterfall' is beautiful. Running from the Mingary niches into the garden, it allows the spirit to flow into and become a part of the garden.
Look for the stones around the garden that invite sitting. Takizawa chose these rocks as they naturally suit this purpose.
Stand at the rock podium, look out at the city rushing by and notice what is happening. Address the world around.
Notice the colours and plants. They are visual symbols of life around, constantly changing. The grasses' movement, for example, add life and energy.
Take a journey into the Mingary Garden, along the stepping stone path. Once enclosed the quiet space, sit and reflect in front of the stone fountain that Takizawa exclaims 'found him'.