The Gardener




Polish photographer Jan Brykczynski spent a year travelling between Nairobi, New York, Warsaw, and Yerevan in order to document urban gardens, seeking the link between our increasingly disconnected rural and urban lifestyles. Brykczynski, who is an urban dweller, illustrates the problem through his own experience: “My feet get to touch real earth just once a year during a two week holiday.” Focusing on low-income communities that create makeshift gardens using available materials, his images reveal a certain ingenuity common among people around the world: small green areas are enclosed using scrap metal, butter tubs and old tires serve as planters, and bathtubs turn out to have many useful gardening functions. The gardens are not pristine examples of flower beds, but rather, they’re humble and earthy, a little bit wild but always illustrating evidence of a person’s tending presence.

The Gardener is the winning project of the inaugural Syngenta Photography Award, which invites photographers worldwide to be part of a creative dialogue about our changing planet.