Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


Faculty of Communications and Creative Industries

First Advisor

Nicola Kaye


Gardens are retreats that offer sanctuary from the tensions of modern life, Spiritual needs have stirred the Western psyche the most to embellish myths that account for the inconsistency of life. The original myth of the Garden of Eden has represented the ideal paradigm between imperfect nature and human nature, accounting for human frailty and anxious yearnings for a utopian perspective. In attempt to improve human nature, throughout time humans have aspired to transform or improve the natural environment, thus making every garden an image. As an art form, that draws on the past as it looks to the future, a garden is a visual statement of the relationship between humans, their cultural values and their natural environment. In order to locate a sense of place and establish identity with nation, 'high culture' gardens employ symbolic features that represent the needs of society whether social, political or spiritual. However, nature intersects with culture to conceptualize new meanings for promoting invention and sustaining tradition through local and imported agendas. The results are often illusionary worlds that attempt to satisfy determined dominant ideologies, but often produce contradictory forms. Hence, created illusions are mediated on culture and not on natural conditions, therefore, generating tensions that challenge the concept of nature. While the processes of society change with time, the life processes within nature remain the same. It is these life processes that can be an indispensable world of metaphors that can reconcile the individual with nature, rather than the embellished stories of myths and dominant ideologies within society.