Cuddington: a photo-scenographic investigation of the public park

Hunt, Nick (2020) Cuddington: a photo-scenographic investigation of the public park. [Video]

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Cuddington park was formed during London’s inter-war suburban expansion. Built commercially but promoted utopian ideals, these suburbs offered a new middle class of commuters the opportunity to live in a ‘natural’ environment of tree-lined roads, private gardens and public parks. Built on farmland, Cuddington park is both a relic of the previous working agricultural landscape and a newly constructed and regulated space for leisure activities. Cuddington investigates the park’s multiple natures through photography, firstly as a constructed, idealised landscape in the fashion of the 18th Century landscape architects and painters. The park is both an aristocratic landscape, now democratised, and a working landscape, now made bourgeois. It is also a place of habitation, where residents enact their leisure activities, while the park’s boundary of fences, shrubs and trees ensures a carefully calibrated level of visibility, with houses overlooking the neatly constructed public park, and park-goers able to glimpse the more-or-less orderly private domestic zone in return. My approach draws on representations of landscape in the visual arts, but also considers it scenographically, as a place of habitation – of action performed, and by implication, observed1. My project is therefore also a methodological enquiry, bringing together elements of the established disciplines of art history, social history, documentary and fine art photography with the rapidly developing discipline of scenography.

Item Type: Video
Additional Information: This video presentation was part of the programme of the AMPS conference, 'Connections: exploring heritage, architecture, cities, art media', University of Kent/online, 29-30 June 2020.
Depositing User: Dr Nick Hunt
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2020 11:49
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2020 11:49

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