The Mulberry Tree - cultivated in the East for silk production since time immemorial - was associated by the ancient Greeks with Athene, Goddess of Wisdom, as the tree appeared to be the wisest of all, sprouting leaves only after any danger of frost has subsided.
Classic mythology, as in Ovid's Metamorphoses, features the legend of the Babylonian lovers Pyramus and Thisbe. Separated by a wall and the disapproval of their families, they killed themselves under a mulberry tree in their final, failed attempt to be united. The plant's roots were bathed with their blood, causing it's white berries to turn red. William Shakespeare incorporated this tragic narrative in his comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Smykla made the mulberry plant itself spell out Shakespeare's comically dramatised version of this mournful myth.
Over the course of the exhibition Smykla impressed and perforated the words of the two young lovers into the young leaves of a mulberry bush and the mulberry tree. The Walled Garden is a quiet, contemplative place virtually designed for leisurely reading or romantic encounters. He created text seemingly eaten out of the leaves of this living book by exceedingly literate silkworms.