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Part 2: Artistic processes

Chisholm: Literature is important in your life. What role do poems play in your life and in particular in your painting?

Garden: For a long time I have had a profound relationship with lyrics. Particularly during phases of apparent stagnation in the process of painting, when brief poems related to my pictures burst from me - and I simply let these texts flow out, uncut, just as they come. Subjects are journeys, dreams and observations. Later in the studio I use these texts to return to the painting process.

It is a kind of mutual fertilisation between writing and painting. In this way sometimes the “pupation phase” of the creative process can be shortened.

Chisholm: Some of your titles seem to be taken from your poetry, for example "Unter dem Baum des Schweigens" ("Under the Tree of Silence") - are there any connections or is there no direct association between the title and the painting, as it is for example with Franz Kline who simply gives an unconnected title to the picture?

Garden: Yes, for me there is a connection between the title and the picture. The title "Unter dem Baum des Schweigens" (“Under the Tree of Silence”) can also be a found in one of my poems. Others have psychological connections as, for example, with "Geheimer Garten" ("Secret Garden"), others still are seemingly rooted in reality, like the cycles “Liguria” or “Mekong”.

Chisholm: You often use symbols and writing in your paintings.