Friday, 10 September 2010

The Ghosts of the Weed Garden

Kathryn Campbell Dodd - The Ghosts of the Weed Garden - photo: Kirsten Hinks

Yesterday, I installed a new piece of work in the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire. It is part of an exhibition called Exposed - textiles in the open by Fibre Art Wales members. I have a space inside the Great Glasshouse.

I'm really pleased with the work in situ. The title of the work comes from the book The Divided Self by R.D.Laing, it is a line from a poem written by one Dr Laing's Schizophrenic patients. In the strange atmosphere of the glasshouse, slightly unreal and artificial, the work takes on other dimensions for me. I have used the old garden tools of my Grandfather along with a wheel barrow and wellington boots of my own that have gone beyond repair. I think it is fascinating that the simple act of covering something with white fabric signifies the idea of a ghost - it suggests that the object (or person) is either permanently or temporarily out of use; it becomes 'other'.

The exhibition opens on Friday 10 September at 2pm and continues until November 2010.


  1. I wish I was nearer.
    It looks so fascinating.

  2. i will go and see this:)

  3. What a beautiful spot for your beautiful piece. Congratulations K!
    That white covering immediately disengages us from the object as familar. I was thinking about in films how rooms full of the dust covers draped over not in use furniture in grand houses always lead to spooky moments and lost memories.

  4. Oh my God. Say it's not true. Since I had also written a long-short story titled 'Schizophrenia Simplex' in 2000 from that line of poem? I read the Divided Self by Dr Laing and thought she (the schizophrenic patient) said she was with the ghosts from the weed gardens and not coming back.

    In fact, I remember that's the reason she couldn't be cured or she was the only one not cured.

    Good to find your page as I searched my old text so I put it on WordPress.



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