Making and Growing: the art of gardens 
Lissant Bolton (British Museum)
Jean Mitchell (University of Prince Edward Island)
SOAS Senate House - S108
Saturday 2 June, 9:00-10:30, 11:00-12:30 (UTC+0)

Short Abstract:

In many places people invest creativity into making their food growing - their gardens and fields - into works of art, committing energy into making the utilitarian beautiful. This session investigates the significance of these forms of creation.

Long Abstract

In many places people invest creativity into making gardens and growing food. Gardens and fields grow into works of art through the energy directed into making them beautiful. This session investigates the significance that underlies these processes by asking: how can studies of gardens contribute both ethnographically and theoretically to rethinking the aesthetics of daily life? Ingold and Hallam have suggested that material culture has privileged making over growing and that attending to artefacts has overshadowed organisms. This panel considers their contention through a series of questions. What are the relations between art and growing? To what extent are gardens, fields and orchards made beautiful, how much are they intended to provide aesthetic satisfaction? What kinds or forms of agencies, selves and relationships are at work in making/growing gardens? Are there alternative ways of knowing and doing that bring art and gardens into the same frame? How do ideas of difference embedded in human and nonhuman, material and spirit, rural and urban, invasive and exotic plants and so on shape gardens? How does the environment or more specifically weather, trees, soil, microbes humans and other animals enable and/or constrain the artful making and growing of gardens? We invite papers that consider art and making and growing gardens, fields, orchards and more.

Accepted papers: