La Géométrique Pratique

This group of works was made for the exhibition Curved Stream which was held at Traquair House in the Scottish Borders, 2015. It responds directly to four volumes published in Paris in 1702 that can be found in the Old Library at Traquair.

La Géométrie Pratique, Allain Manesson-Mallet, links with Hyslop’s interest in John Reid’s book The Scots Gard’ner of 1683 which is the first book published that deals solely with gardening in Scotland and combines extremely practical advice on planting and weeding. Alongside this it details an insistence on planning and measuring out land and includes a strong element of geometry in order to create extremely regimented gardens. La Géométrie Pratique describes geometry itself and includes numerous illustrations that are set out with diagrams and angles positioned alongside ornate images of landscapes and gardens, mazes and grand chateaux.

Hyslop took La Géométrie Pratique as a starting point to make a volume of drawings that was installed in the Old Library that imagines the garden designer at Traquair as they initiated plans. Hyslop also created three dimensional forms inspired by those described in La Géométrie Pratique which were housed in the pavilion adjacent to the garden and maze. Measuring devices sit alongside each set of work – for planning on paper and then out in the garden. The proportions of these devices are based around the Pied de Roi system that was used in France until 1789.