Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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We Do Not Have an Adequate Conception of Art Until We Have One that Accommodates Gardens

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posted on 2021-11-12, 12:47 authored by Powell, John Francis

In the first part of this thesis (chapters 1 – 4) I argue that we do not have an adequate conception of art until we have one that accommodates gardens. I argue for this by demonstrating that gardens are sufficiently like paradigmatic types of art to be included in the category of art. While doing this I show not just how gardens are similar to other types of art but also how they combine qualities shared with other types of arts in a way that is unique.  In the second part (chapters 5 and 6) I develop this claim. I consider the dynamic nature of gardens and argue that gardens are most like performance arts such as music and dance, and that their distinctiveness relies on the particular dynamic character of the living organisms that constitute their principal materials.  I concludes this thesis (chapter 7) by considering gardens in the context of the contemporary art genres of installation and environmental art.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations


Barwell, Ismay