Sunday, February 8, 2009

Transience and mortality

Recurrent themes are evident in the reading I've done about gardens and how gardens are portrayed in art . A review of my observation journal kept during my two week stay in the gardens at Birr Castle reveal similar themes which in turn are evident in the work I'm creating.

Transience and mortality
Everywhere you look in a garden there is evidence of the transience of life. The cyclical nature of plants, the decay evident in plant matter below trees and garden beds etc. mark the passing of time.

It's impossible to spend time in a garden and not think about your own mortality. There are also objects in gardens that reference mortality, e.g., sundials, funerary urns, fragments of antique statuary, doors.

Certain areas of gardens that are more functional and not for visitor eyes, or ones that have evidence of neglect , e.g. collapsing fences, decaying buildings, rampant weeds, etc. also reference mortality.

.... and the setting sun.


Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I like these photos...a true journal. Gardens give so much to a visitor who takes the time to study with open eyes and heart.
I had the pleasure of visiting your city in 2001 but only for a day. We took a taxi from our ship and visited special places ...a bit of a tour. I'm sure as tourists we missed so much but I do remember enjoying the area...we went on to Halifax which was also special.
Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting on Florie's painting.

Margaret Ryall said...

How nice to know you have seen St. John's and Halifax, which is also a beautiful city. I feel very privileged to live in a place that has a relatively small population, and is rich in culture with a thriving arts scene. It seems everyone I know has a hand in some form of production/creation.

I think I appreciate gardens so much because creating them is an extra challenge here with our climate and rocky terrain.

Mary Buek said...

Margaret, my garden has taught me the virtue of patience, because you absolutely cannot hurry nature. And while it may bring up thoughts of my own mortality, it also reminds me that I am but a small portion of the cycle of life. What a miracle it is to consider the life force in a small seed, or the mighty struggle of a perennial root to survive winter, or the joy I feel when I see the new sprouts appear again in the spring.

Margaret Ryall said...

Mary, I can tell you are a "the glass is half full" girl from your comments. Alas, I am a "the glass is half empty girl"! My mind automatically goes to the negative. Don't be fooled by my upbeat smile! Isn't it interesting how this is the first theme I chose to address when there are other much more positive ones as you've pointed out so well. I will address the upside later. You make excellent points.