Blaire Johnson was one of thousands to drive past Mary's Garden on the busy Holden Beach Rd, and to make the quick u-turn for a closer look. It was a cold and rainy Valentine's Day in 2004 when Blaire got out to explore the garden, despite the freezing rain. She just happened to have her video camera along, and was searching for a subject to invterview for a homework assignment at Duke's Center for Documentary Studies. The garden reminded her of her beloved Grandma Johnson, and her love of bright things and all that littered, as she admired the bright painst and glitter that covered everything from pots and pans to toilet seat covers. Blaire felt a bit like Alice, having stumbled upon Wonderland, and she wanted to know who had dreamed up such a magical world, and why?
As a young girl, Blaire's mother had taken her to see the Visionary Folk Art Garden of The Reverend Howard Finster near Atlenta, Ga. The visit made a huge impression on her. Such magical worlds are unique and sacred places along the landscape of America and The Imagination. One doesn't stmble upon them everyday. Mary comes from the same Visionary School of Art as The Reverend Howard Finster, and from William Blake before him. Like Finster and Blake, Mary lives in a realm visited by angels, and has answered a call from God to make sacred art.
Blaire was especially taken with Mary's sense of humor, as she single-handedly recycled thousands of lbs of trash into art, which she then sold to help feed thousands of hungry kids. Mary was having a blast doing her part to save the world. Blaire wanted to help share Mary's story in hopes of inspiring others to creatively recycle and make their own way to Mary's garden.
While Mary's artistic abilities came to her overnight, Blaire studied many different facets of art before finding documentary filmmaking. She fell in love with documentary filmmaking for it's unique ability to tell stories and to capture the magic that she saw all around her.