Robin Hopper has published a new e-book on a long time and very personal passion, gardening, particularly his “Anglojapanadian” garden in Metchosin, BC. It is a guided stroll through a 40+ year labour of love and love of life.
Now that he has moved on from making pots he continues his two other loves, writing and gardening and perhaps a third, philosophy. For those who think of Robin as just a potter the book is an eye-opener. It gives a deeper insight into key sources of his art and what inspired him in his career: nature and cultures, especially Japanese aesthetics. It shows a deeper side of Robin that few know about but is fundamental to his personality and aesthetic. His life has come full circle and now the garden encapsulates all his learnings and yearnings.
The book not only explains the why and how of developing this garden but also acts as a guide-book for visitors to enjoy its features, flora and fauna. It is divided into 5 sections that Robin describes:
“This book starts with a brief background about my life and the role that my unusual childhood had in both my passion for ceramics and gardening. The second section will introduce you to my one-of-a-kind “Anglojapanadian” garden complete with a virtual walkthrough of it with pictures of each area. The third section will look at garden design principles through an analogy to the human body. The fourth section will look at the ways that any knowledge of, experience in, or appreciation of one of more areas within the art field can be utilized in designing a garden. The final section will discuss the importance of the garden as inspiration and look at the role that the garden has played in my work as a potter.”
The garden has been part of his life and art plan in Metchosin from the very beginning, not some later life fill-in or afterthought. He describes its start-up with his wry sense of humour:
“Masochistic as it may have seemed at the time, the project entailed turning this mass of misery into a presentable family home, showroom, gallery, two studios and garden to entice people to visit.”
The book is not just about plants in gardens, but is also about thoughts and ideas. It has, therefore, particular delights for gardening enthusiasts. For the pottery lover it also has its pottery elements: section four looks at his bird forms, parabolic bottles and substrate paintings. It also includes mention of his 2D art and theatre design experience, quite typical of Robin and his writings. For Robin everything is connected. Here, for example, gardening and ceramics are both a combination of art and science.
For Robin as he reviews his life and career and the garden as focus:
“The end result has been well worth both the work and the wait! Paradise found.”
The 122 pages are well illustrated with photographs by his friends, and especially his wife and fellow potter, Judi Dyelle.
The e-book can be downloaded from the site https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/502522 for $9.99 US. It works best as an Adobe PDF document.
as Robin says,
“The going price would be about the same as three cups of good Coffee,”