Villa Barr Botanical Tour

Novi, MI, United States
Est. 456m / 48 mins / Map

Villa Barr Botanical Tour - Cya On The Road

David Barr transformed this property from a marshy wetland into the park you see today. The park was created to provide locations for his sculptures, create habitats for local wildlife, and to act as a source of relaxation for visitors to be present in the peace and tranquility of this environment. David and his wife Beth planted and nurtured hundreds of trees in this park, many of which are still thriving here today. David was fascinated by exposing what nature presented, but what we don’t see; in his artwork, he doesn’t mimic what is revealed to us plainly in everyday life, but rather displays what’s inside the things we see everyday. His interest in connecting nature, mathematics, history, and geometry through a fluid source inspired many of his works. A major focus of his artwork is the Fibonacci Sequence: a sequence of numbers where the previous two sums added together equal the next number in the sequence: a+b=c, b+c=d, c+d=e, etc. Interestingly, this sequence has an unexpectedly abundant presence in nature, as seen in the branching patterns of trees, the flowering of artichokes, and even in the spirals of the pinecones that you may observe resting on the ground. The unseen forces that unite the human and natural worlds greatly interested David, becoming a muse for him as he created his artwork, including the park itself. David was fascinated by the idea that the trees, land, and stone he used to create his work were only borrowed; he manipulated the materials in order to create his vision, though he knew that they would exist long after he passed on, just as they have existed long before he was born. He knew that he was only borrowing the materials from the Earth, and that the Earth would eventually reclaim them long after his time had gone. Nature is a fluid and evolving force, which is perhaps what inspired his idea of this park being used by other artists after he passed away. David insisted that Villa Barr not be a static museum representing his own legacy, but rather something that evolved with time. He wanted things to change, new artwork to be installed, different plants to be added, and for the park to exist as a moving, living being.

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