Green Varnish / Nomad Studio


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This is the first significant installation located in the courtyard of the Contemporary Art Museum of Saint Louis, which completely modifies and alters the space.

Green varnish / nomad studio
© Nomad

The studio is in process of preparing the second stage, to be installed in May 2016. Both concepts, which will be interrelated, are part of a work structured into two acts.

Green Varnish, designed by landscape architecture firm nomad studio, is the first installation of its kind which is located in the courtyard of CAM in Saint Louis, with the aim of completely transforming and altering the space. A green fabric made up of thousands of plants floats in the space, symbolically covering the inconvenient facts of society. The structure occupies approximately 200 square metres and has turned the courtyard into an exuberant sculpture filled with life. It is a natural tapestry which plays with the architectural space, while provoking it.

Green varnish / nomad studio
© David Johnson

This project has been directed by William E. Roberts and Laura Santín, founding Partners of nomad studio, known for its intuitive approach of combining contemporary art and design with natural elements. Their work, which has been internationally awarded, has mainly focused on projects closely related to the social and environmental impact of landscape architecture.

Green varnish / nomad studio
© David Johnson

The Green Varnish Installation
With Green Varnish, nomad studio explores the necessity of hiding inconvenient realities with politically correct beauty. A spectacular green fabric elegantly floats over the floor of the museum’s courtyard.

Green varnish / nomad studio
© David Johnson

With this installation, William and Laura reflect on society’s tendency to ignore and hide any relevant information which represents an inconvenience. In this specific case, on how our lifestyle is altering natural systems. We live in denial within vanishing landscapes, refusing to accept reality. Landscapes are gradually ceasing to be operative in their ecological structures and therefore, will transition into a completely different landscape in search of a new ecological order.

Green varnish / nomad studio
© David Johnson

For William and Laura:

Deep inside the collective awareness, it is clear we need to overcome major changes in order to cope with climate change. Currently, our response is completely reactionary and we mainly express it in two different manners: pure rejection or some form of green shift that enables us to continue business as usual.

Green varnish / nomad studio
© Jarred Gastreich

With Green Varnish nomad studio is making an ironic gesture towards the ‘greening’ trend camouflaged beneath the mantra of sustainability, resilience and other words which are often abused in the current world of design.

Project Details:
Location: Contemporary Art Museum of Saint Louis (CAM), USA
Design: Nomad Studio
Consultants: Iria Perez and Assoc., LIA Engineering
Assembly Team: Collab – Portico, Green Roof Blocks
Photographs: David Johnson – Jarred Gastreich – Alex Elmestad


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