Sunday, 7 February 2010
It's been a good gardening week, though not in the outdoor, productive sense. The Vista lectures resumed their first Tuesday of the month slot at the Garden Museum. It's always a good chance to talk gardens with designers and writers and eat some great food. This month, Tim Richardson and Noel Kingsbury quizzed artists Kate Whiteford and Julia Barton. They discussed how they used landscape, plants and irrigation as another creative medium. But although what they do is manipulation of natural elements in the landscape, they still label themselves firmly as Artists (note capital A). I really like their work, particularly Kate's chippendale sofa set into a Capability Brown landscape like those great chalk figures on west country hillsides. But it makes me wonder at the gulf between landscape design and Art. Kate and Julia suggested that because their work is temporary and deteriorates over time, that makes it Art, not gardening. So if garden and landscape designers don't call themselves Artists is it just because their work aspires to be more permanent? Surely all gardens are ephemeral and change over time? So surely all gardeners are Artists. Just a thought.