The garden at Portrack designed and created by Charles Jencks (1986-2004): entrapment and release

Michael Spens

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This paper investigates the extent to which a major contemporary garden, that at Portrack in south western Scotland, created by the designer and architectural historian and critic Charles Jencks has been able to extend the realm of experience in landscape and garden art by developing a range of new definitions and responses to contemporary existential issues, as bearing upon new cultural and social preoccupations within society. The possibility of exploring this garden within its own temporality has to acknowledge that a garden as such, like a work of art, does possess its own temporality and, indeed, as the philosopher John Dewey would claim, can offer a sequential process, having a beginning and an end. The extent to which Portrack, for instance, participates in a shared language of gardens and indeed of nature itself, is clearly important to identify. To what extent, in this process, does Jencks develop new cultural forms of expression within the field, allowing for the interaction and transfer of theses ideas with and to others, so fostering new cultural forms in the twenty-first century?
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationContemporary garden aesthetics, creations and interpretations
    EditorsMichael Conan
    PublisherDumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection
    ISBN (Print)9780884023258, 0884023257
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Publication series

    NameDumbarton Oaks colloquium series in the history of landscape architecture


    • Garden art
    • Garden aesthetics
    • Landscape architecture
    • Portrack


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