Thursday, April 23, 2015

Philosophy in the Garden...in the Gardens (Brisbane)

At the pulpit in Old Government House (Photo: Megan Williams)
Last weekend I was in Brisbane to speak at the QUT Art Museum, situated in Brisbane's lush City Botanic Gardens.

The Art Museum was hosting a new exhibition, Garden, which showcases a fantastic variety of themed works: from traditional oil or polymer paintings, to sculptures, to interventions.
Sybil Curtis, 'The grey and the green'
Tyza Stewart, 'Dense plant scenes plant sculptures'
Hiromi Tango, 'NatureNurture in the rose garden'

In front of Salvatore Zofrea's
'Rock lillies with flannel flowers
and egg and bacon pea'
(Photo: Kim Woods Rabbidge)
My talk was on Philosophy in the Garden, which included a reading from my chapter on Jane Austen.

The audience asked some excellent questions, including one I'd still like to answer properly (paraphrased): why do some create gardens for themselves, and some for others? This might be a question about talent, but it can also be about existential orientation: a garden for experience or status, for private pleasure or public good?

The trip also gave me a chance to meander in the City Botanic Gardens themselves. Moreton Bay figs, mangroves, dragonflies, ibis, lizards and waterlilies -- all in the middle of the CBD.

Moreton Bay Figs, City Botanic Gardens

Waterlilies, City Botanic Gardens
Fountain, City Botanic Gardens

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