Ian Berry New York Museum Show The Secret Garden

British artist Ian Berrry just opened his new and spectecular museum show The Secrect Garden. The latest project from the very talentful Ian Berry is launched in New York at Children’s Museum of the Arts in Manhattan. After a busy December month of showing during Miami Basel Ian returned to New York to install an installation of a garden. All made in his trademark denim.

Ian Berry’s idea behind his project The Secret Garden is to inspire young kids with art. As New York is famous of his parks, not many of the children have their own gardens. The Secret Garden is a place where they can play and get inspired.

Ian Berry about the project: ”I was the one at school who was into art but I listened to those who said there’s no career in art and I first went another route, but I got back into it another way. I think kids need to be able to see artists creating art and be inspired by it. I’m still relatively young and have done some projects with schools and love to get emails from parents or students saying they have been making work inspired by mine, including the one that complained her kid saw it and cut up her curtains! School teachers have done projects based on my work and Scholastc the American education magazine also featured me, it went to all the schools in the US. It’s nice seeing what the kids have done. For me it’s the biggest honour and pretty cool.”

Ian Berry at The Secret Garden

The Help of Profesionals from The Denim Industry 

Ian Berry couldn’t create The Secret Garden without the help of professionals from the denim industry. He worked for this project together with Italian company Tonello. Tonello is a family runned business and global leader of high-end garment finishing technologies since 1981. They has been contributing to the success that made in Italy has enjoyed all over the world. Tonello helped Ian Berry with much of the technology needed. For the first time he lasered a lot of the denim and used special washing techniques to play with the shades of denim.

Ian Berry about his partnership with Tonello for The Secret Garden: ”I’ve always prided my work on it all being handmade, just scissors and glue, and my hands. But this was a big ask and I had met Tonello a few times. I thought it was a perfect time to use this technology, especially because of how it has advanced. It’s not seeing it as just technology but another tool in my art, combining it with washing techniques I believe is an art form in itself. It’s the tools the denim industry now uses so it’s fitting to bring it into my art. Beside they strive for sustainable techniques that save on water and don’t produce waste, which I think has got to be the way forward for the industry and how fitting that it was used to make something as environmental as a garden.”

Next to Tonello two dozen of other people has helped Ian Berry as well to create The Secret Garden. Next to assistants that helped him to install it in New York to people fotwolding flowers in London, he partnered with the legendary Cone Denim from the U.S.A. Cone Denim is over more than 125 years one the leaders in the denim industry by making high-quality and outstanding fabrics. They’re most famous of their partnership with Levi’s Jeans where they’re working with over 100 years already. For this project Cone Denim gave him one of the last rolls of denim fabric from their iconic White Oak plant. The White Oak plant will close their doors by the end of this year, so this makes The Secret Garden even more special. (Read here about the closing of White Oak by Cone Denim.)

Also the help from NYC factory, BPD dyehouse, Carey Tricia at Lenzing and Christine Rucci helped Ian Berry to accomplish his latest denim project The Secret Garden.

The Children’s Museum of the Arts

The mission of the Children’s Museum of the Arts is to introduce children and their families to the trans-formative power of the arts by providing opportunities to make art side-by-side with working artists. As you go to the museum you see Ian’s work in the window. A piece titled Behind Closed Doors and it is behind the doors that you start to see the garden taking over the museum. In the entrance, you can look up and see the trellis through the windows and plants growing wildly through the museum. The Bridge project was a huge challenge and took two weeks to install. Ian spent a night in the mseum too, working overnight in time for the show to open. And all the effort paid off with the crowds stunned by the work.

A nice touch was at the opening of The Secret Garden show, when Ian displayed a cotton plant, and explained that while the kids are seeing denim plants, that denim itself came from a plant. The kids will do work inspired by Ian’s work, in a museum that boasts 130,000 visitors a year including many celebrity parents.

The Secret Garden will be on display at Children’s Museum of the Arts until April 2018.

Children’s Museum of the Arts
103 Charlton St – New York
NY 10014 – USA

Pics by Lucinda Grange

About denim artist Ian Berry

Ian Berry is an artist who works specifically using denim to create his unique pieces. He has worked with denim for the past 10 years; at first glance many believe that his work is either a photograph or painting. After a close look at his work you will see all the details within the piece, becoming aware of the depth and texture through the use of jeans with washes and fades, helping him to create his fluid, painterly tone.

Ian Berry his work has lead to him being named as one of the leading top 30 under 30 artist in the world. He has worked on commissioned portraits of Debbie Harry, Jennifer Saunders, Giorgio Armani and Ayrton Senna. His work has been seen in many countries, giving a chance for people to see the work in person. With a number of sell-out solo shows in London and Sweden, he has also shown across Europe and the States, including the home of the modern jean, San Francisco. It has been written about in major mediain all corners of the globe.


Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.