Art, Girls and Green Provocateurs


When a Provocateur is waving and dancing in front of you, even though you want to go forward, one must pause, be quiet, listen and look back. Photographer Paul Clemence is a provocateur for architecture and design and one must stop and listen to him.

As Green Provocateur readies for its Milan launch, Paul waved his photo above in front of me insisting that we look at this project.

Indeed the Meek shall inherit the earth. The way a small green seed becomes a forest or a tiny voice for nature grows louder,  Glavovic Studio‘s design for The Girls Club in Ft. Lauderdale, just outside of Miami is just such a whisper of power. The design plays with and pays homage to Florida’s sun and sub-tropical landscape as elemental forces in the design. Light, shadow of building surface and waving trees play with each other to stimulate shifts in perspectives in a space dedicated to community exchange of art, culture and discourse.

Margi Nothard’s design solution utilizing a sustainable resin-based façade as the skin wrapping the existing concrete block building and a cleared interior inspired Paul’s lyrical photographs of the space. Paul’s exhibit, “SKIN,” at Young Arts Pavilion, which was also designed by Glavovic, was the seed for this continued mutual collaboration.

Of the space, Margi says, “The feminist orientation is intentional, the collection of Francie Bishop Good, along with those of other local and non-local artists such as Diane Arbus, Cindy Sherman, and Nan Goldin will reinforce the contribution of women to the field of contemporary art. The mission of Girls’ Club is to educate the public, and to serve as a resource for art scholars, curators, and practicing artists.”

This building’s story immediately reminded me of a personal heroine of mine in Florida. At age 79, Marjory Stoneman Douglas took up the cause of the Everglades after writing her book, “River of Grass,” seen as seminal in the environmental movement as Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring.” “River of Grass” helped me survive the tiny, tiny provocateur mosquito bites of a week in the Everglades, one of the most fascinating wetland bio-spaces on Earth.

The Everglades bobcat which darted across the road one day in front of our car was another Green Provocateur which I will never forget. The mystery and force emanating from the cat’s leap across the highway was a rare glimpse, a symbolic call of the Wild and the call of Art. The call of Ecstasy and Action. One never destroys what one loves. Let’s keep talking to Green.

Listen to Francie Bishop Good at Art Talk at The Sagamore Hotel, Miami, on March 1st. Click the link to join Cricket and Martin Taplin host artist, Francie Bishop Good.


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