Elise & Martin Hennebicque

The work

Between the land and the water, the Hortillonnages exist thanks to the patient work of the market gardeners, who each year keep their patchwork of market gardens afloat by maintaining their land. While others are working tirelessly to maintain this ecosystem, it is a tough task for the handful of market gardeners who alone cannot cope with the closure and the silting up of the waterways. Landscapers Elise and Martin Hennebicque reveal something that is not normally visible on the site, often forgotten in the fabric of its atypical landscape: the mud. What some consider a waste obstructing the streams, others use it, like the market gardeners who use this fertile silt to top-dress their land. The two designers transformed it into a sculpture: after drying 100 m3 of the sediment, Elise and Martin Hennebicque dug meandering paths through it, which, like corridors, guide the walker to the discovery of the site, opening up vistas of the surrounding gardens and huts. The result is a vegetal base where one can roam, and whose boundaries are tightly contained with the help of willow wicker work, the traditional technique for retaining the banks which farmers have been using here for generations.

The artist

Born in 1984 and 1989, Elise and Martin Hennebicque graduated from the « Ecole de la nature et du paysage” in Blois. Their company is now based in Conty in the Somme. They strive to create new spaces while preserving the memory of the places that they appreciate.