Art in the Garden (26th July – 10th September 2016)
Laurel and Myrtle and what higher grew
Of firm and fragrant leaf: on either side
Acanthus, and each odourous bushy shrub
Fenc’d up the verdant wall, each beauteous flower,
Iris all hues, Roses and Jessamine
Reard high their flourish’d heads between, and wrought
Paradise Lost, Book 4, lines 694-700
Taking inspiration from Milton’s writing – and allowing Nature to play a collaborative role – 10 artists have created new work for Art of the Garden at Milton’s Cottage.
This Grade I listed writer’s museum – the only surviving residence of poet and parliamentarian John Milton – is also home to a unique literary garden. Stocked with trees, flowers and herbs referenced in Milton’s poetry, it is the only cottage garden in the Chilterns listed by English Heritage as a Grade II Registered Historic Garden.
Milton’s portrayal of the Garden of Eden in Paradise Lost has played a talismanic role in British culture, offering fertile imagery for art and literature across the centuries. This beautiful, fabled garden – and the words through which Milton describes it – provides the framework for Art in the Garden.
Responding to the poem’s universal themes of loss, desire, temptation, creation, failings and fallings, the art on display offers a way to explore the Garden of Eden – if only for a brief visit.
Participating artists: Tracy Allen; Sarah Doyle; Billie Mickwitz; Joanna McCormick & Frog Morris; Nicole Mollett; outré; Fabian Peake; Pixel Press (Julieta H. Adams / David Vassie)