Beware the Roaming Gnomes.
There were some of us, at first, who thought the Night Garden might have been made by the gnomes. Which is to say the ceramic sort, the ones with pot bellies and crumpled cherry-red hats which you find, sometimes, in your aunt's back yard garden. One of our friends told us that every time she visited her aunt, there was another gnome, or a part of a gnome, or a gnome she'd seen in someone else's yard the week before. We reasoned that something about the garden must have drawn the gnomes there.
Our friend also suspected that her elderly landlord—who lived in her apartment building's sub-basement with the spiders—might be a gnomefather. It was he who built the rooftop deck (the lumber he used flew past our friend's window on its way to the roof, one night), and he planted the first flowers in the rooftop garden. But our friend planted the yew tree herself, right in the middle. It's still there, and she still tends it, along with all the other plants she's added to the garden over the years.
There are things which come to a garden at night, and things which are already there. Their world is a place of stillness, and a place of upheaval, permanent yet ever-changing; it's a place of sublime ugliness, of loathsome beauty, of terror and joy and love and longing—
—or whatever else a visitor brings there, or takes away. The world seemed much different to Alice, when she came back up the rabbit hole. Adam and Eve did not leave paradise unchanged.
The rooftop garden I told you about is real. It exists because our friend saw what it might become. It grows because she keeps watch over it.
The Night Garden exists because our friend planted a garden, and told us a story about gnomes. It grows because we see what it might become.
Roots, Shoots, Branches and Grafts
Ideas are connected. Every story, every piece of art, every thing a human being can invent has its roots in another idea, another story, another work—and that source, in turn, has its source. The Night Garden Project seeks to illuminate these connections, and to highlight both the fundamental interconnection, and the utter uniqueness, of each artist's contribution. Our goal as the project grows is to see those connections grow, each individual work speaking, in some way, to the whole.
Our contributors come from a variety of backgrounds, and their works represent a range of experience and artistic skill; some are experts in their chosen medium, while others have extended themselves to a given form for the first time. All their works speak to the desire to create, and to find connection through creating. The Night Garden Project does not simply showcase individual talent. It is a lesson in the power of a shared idea: through it, many may speak with one voice, and likewise, individuals may find their own voices.
We hope that the works here will inspire others to join this multidisciplinary and ongoing collaboration. To get involved, see the section on submissions.