In 2013 Julia received a commission from the Maison de la Culture in Amiens, France to develop a new piece of permanent public art on the Hortillonnages floating gardens. The work forms part of the Art, Villes and Paysage festival that is taking place in the summer of 2013. Thanks to Stephen Down and Keith Wakenshaw as well as the gardeners of the Hortillonnages for their help constructing this piece. Photo Credit: Paul Blakemore.
"Hidden in the hollows of a copse, the work of the artist Julia Heslop blends in with the trees, a structure of wooden planks in harmony with the undergrowth. Both inside and outside, the trunks emerge from the structure, gently connecting it with the landscape. Half hut, half boat, its frame resembles that of a canoe destined to float on a canal, just as much as that of a shed used for storing the vegetables produced by the market gardeners. Sitting down and chatting, relaxing or taking shelter: here everything has been done to encourage people to meet: just like the marketplaces of yesteryear, which, when the Hortillonnages were flourishing, played a great role in Amiens' social life, the artist wished to create a place where people could gather, reminiscent of traditional communal spaces. These areas devoted to commercial transaction were also areas for socialising, as gossip and news were exchanged there along with commodities and money. With its tens of metres long structure, the work takes the visitor aboard and sails them through the Hortillonnages, a journey through time but also a chance to meet their fellow walker." (Art, Cities and Landscape)