"A Garden of Time and Silence" as Feminist Ecocritical Project

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  • Title: "A Garden of Time and Silence" as Feminist Ecocritical Project
  • Author(s): Laura Severin
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Arts in Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts
  • Keywords: Feminism, Environmentalism, Mixed Media Art
  • Volume: 13
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2326-9960 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2104 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2326-9960/CGP/v13i03/1-7
  • Citation: Severin, Laura. 2018. ""A Garden of Time and Silence" as Feminist Ecocritical Project." The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts 13 (3): 1-7. doi:10.18848/2326-9960/CGP/v13i03/1-7.
  • Extent: 7 pages

Abstract

This article explores poet Valerie Gillies and visual artist Anna King’s “A Garden of Time and Silence” (Dawyck Botanic Garden, Scotland, 2016) as an innovative theoretical and activist artwork that creates new environmental insight. At its most abstract level, the piece critiques contemporary environmental theory, as represented by bioregionalism and eco-cosmopolitanism. Artists Gillies and King overcome the dualistic nature of these theories by connecting the history of a specific region—the border area of Scotland—to larger global concerns, conveyed through past and present environmental voices from Scotland, North America, and Japan. At the same time, Gilles and King create an activist piece that mobilizes concern about three contemporary environmental issues: human impact on animal species, fracking, and deforestation. The value of “A Garden of Time and Silence” lies in its wide-ranging scope that encourages its viewers to embrace both silent reflection and timely action.