The Walled Garden

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


This series of large-scale colour photographs by Moira McIver are based on plants within the Victorian Walled Garden located in Castle Park in Bangor. The gardens were originally built in the 1840’s and provided vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers for the Ward family estate. The South garden has recently been renovated and is currently being faithfully restored to its former Victorian glory.Walled gardens are spaces that are particularly intriguing, as they are often hidden spaces, discovered by chance. The walled garden in Bangor is just this sort of location, situated in the middle of a busy town centre. McIver’s work often explores individual histories in relation to particular historical events. This work is based on a historical location, which is being reconstructed as a living, growing entity. Flowering plants reflect cycles of nature and are reminders of the passage of time and our own sense of mortality.The theatrical lighting in the photographs foregrounds individual plants within the garden. The images are reminiscent of the museum ‘diorama’ displays, popular in the 1950’s, where three-dimensional objects are placed in the foreground against two-dimensional backdrops. McIver’s rich, colourful images emphasise a sense of hyper-reality, reaffirming the natural world while emphasising the artificiality of this re-constructed ‘man-made’ environment. The images also reference the work of the plant illustrator RJ Thornton, "The Temple of Flora", 1801. This project has been developed into a public art piece that was part of the annual ‘Art on the Seafront’ project in Bangor in July-August 09.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBangor Town Centre
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jul 2009

Bibliographical note

Outputmediatype: Large scale colour photographs on Billboards


  • photography
  • public artworks
  • walled gardens
  • botany history
  • 19thc botanical illustration


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