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Covered, 2009 - 2011

"The contemporary garden is a site of contradiction and uncertainty: part conflict, part co-operation: the garden of unearthly delights and earthly imperfections" (Mary Horlock, Representation and Intervening, Art of the garden, Tate 2004)
Covered, 2009 - 2011

Covered, 2009-2011 is an ongoing body of work that depicts plants in my father’s garden wrapped in material to protect them from frost over the winter months. The photographs are a documentation of objects that embodies notions of preservation and presentation. Within the photographs the object is in a shrouded state, a stasis that will not be affected by the advent of spring.


Originally inspired by Paul Nash’s late photographs in which he explored domestic landscapes in reference to  ‘object-personages’ – curious or evocatively shaped forms that seemed to resemble or take on the personality of something else- I seek to highlight the way that space can function as a matrix of unnoticed possibilities. In this project I see the garden as a studio space or stage where I have documented sculptural forms created by my father. 


The interpretation of the object within the photograph is dependent on projection, as the viewer may be unaware of what lies beneath the wrapping. In the photographs the plant becomes a sculptural object, the folds in the material imply jellyfish or mushroom clouds, resemble mouths, noses and eyes: anthropomorphic, faceless and silent forms. Rooted to the spot the object comes out of the ground as if fixed to a plinth. Presented as a series the images may be read as exhibits within the tradition of ethnographic display; the documentation of a ritualistic process of a North London suburban garden.

Peter Ainsworth

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