Introduction

The Garden

“To plant a garden is to believe in the future” Audrey Hepburn.

Mankind has been creating gardens for thousands of years and not just for the growing of food crops. We can work, relax, seek inspiration and creativity in a garden. Cicero thought that with his garden and library he lacked nothing else.

Gardens are also a window on to the culture, fashion and time of their location and creators. Take the Islamic paradise garden for example. It is structured in design and has running water and trees for shade. It is for pleasure, relaxation and contemplation. Whereas an Indian Mughal garden is created around a tomb or mausoleum for remembrance. In Italy there are the most formal renaissance gardens and in the UK gardens that appear utterly natural but are far from it.

My project is to photograph and tell the story of gardens. Not only the view and structure but also the produce, the gardeners their tools and equipment. However as well as an interest in gardens I have a passion for hand crafting my photographs using the 19thC process of Platinum/Palladium printing. This process involves mixing a chemical sensitiser and hand coating a sheet of pure cotton paper. Once dried a large format negative is placed over it and exposed to ultraviolet light before developing. They take quite long time to make but the end result is a stunning photographic print. Not only do they portray more zones of detail than any other photographic printing process but are truly archival. They are still to this day the only prints that will last as long as the paper they are printed on.

I hope you will follow, support and enjoy my project on this website and on my social media links as well as visit my exhibitions whenever they are arranged.

Richard Freestone.

The work so far