Frontera – Laurent Garcia – 2017
Laurent Garcia’s personal creation is entitled Frontera. This is a 300-liter aquarium. Implemented in 2017 as part of anaquascaping practice – the development of its plants and the evolution of its decor required over 8 months of diligent work. The depository photograph of this production, was taken on May 30, 2017.
That same year, Frontera made a name for itself by taking 28th place (out of over 2,000 participants, 3rd in Europe) in the World Aquascaping Championships organized by theIAPLC.
A landscape with a natural accent – we could say that this aquarium is made up of interdependent elements, i.e. mineral and plant matter, as well asanimals (including shrimp and fish). Frontera appears as a composed, lively, harmonious and balanced whole, with its interweaving planes and vanishing lines. It really is a point of view. Vegetation proliferates. A carpet of moss fills the depths, while roots and plants frame the center of the composition. There, more remote and bordering a sandy path, stand rocky concretions. These further open up the perspective through a gap in the skyline.
The whole is bathed in a special light. It’s easy to get carried away. The water, which is almost forgotten as the composition of this aquarium imitates “terrestrial” nature, reminds us of its undulations. This poetic work is a real invitation to travel and imagine.
For the uninitiated, Frontera is representative of a specific category in aquascaping. It’s a diorama, in other words a “terrestrial landscape”. The originality of this work lies in its combination of mountain and forest landscapes. It features a self-sufficient, three-dimensional natural setting in an aquatic environment. It’s also a creation that was consciously composed on a reduced scale. Nature, on the other hand, is unaware of its works.
The term “diorama” evokes the dioramas of the 19th century. These monumental paintings resembled theatrical sets, creating grand romantic and illusionistic tableaux animated by the play of light. Light is important here, even if it’s artificial. It adds to the overall atmosphere. Frontera is also a painting of light. As we said, this aquarium is a composition, a staging of a natural setting that resembles nothing more than itself. This work is not a fiction of nature, an imitation of a pre-existing nature, as figurative painting could be. It’s a microcosm, a universe in miniature, with its laws of equilibrium and complex relationships, a tableau vivant we might say, in perpetual flux, whose conservation, or at least maintenance, is delicate.
This small-scale world promises an aesthetic experience unlike any other. What brings Frontera closer to the Great Mimetic Painting is that, like a painting, it is also a threshold, an interface between the reality of physical experience and the imaginary. It’s an open window on the world. We tip over to the other side of the mirror without realizing it. More than just entertainment, this is a creation that inspires dreams.