Last Garden (with two prints)


Hand sewn with open page binding
305mm x 305mm
33 images
Edition of 50, numbered and signed
Each book includes two signed and numbered A4 prints

"Come and look at the garden" were often amongst the first words his mother spoke to Philip J Brittan when he visited. She was a dedicated gardener who gained immense pleasure from the many hours she spent working in the garden that she maintained for most of her life. The results were magnificent, combining a wide variety of plants in ways that enticed complimentary comments from visitors and from strangers passing by.

Sadly, as her health and mobility deteriorated, Philip’s mother spent less and less active time in the garden; a cause of great frustration and sadness. Philip moved house to be close to her and gradually took over the care of the garden.

During this time Philip started to make images in the garden using the plants, soil, water, sun and rain, initially with no clear plan about how to best produce and process the finished work. Eventually Philip decided that he needed to have a more intimate and physical connection with the prints and to include a process that allowed the garden to directly influence the finished work. He painted on the prints with various media and buried them in the garden (some with fabrics from his mother's house) for extended periods of time, allowing the place to mark the work in a very direct way.

The images do not reflect Philip’s state of mind at the time of their creation. In a period marked by reluctant absorption into the world of doctors, hospitals, and care workers, of fatigue, anxiety and sadness, it would perhaps have been more accurate emotionally to have smeared a mass of mud across the prints. But it wouldn't have been true to his mother's spirit or to the garden she created. She took pride in its success and delighted in its life-affirming beauty. With Last Garden Philip has endeavoured to be true to her positive vision. He wanted to make images that are alight with love, images that through their glowing beauty radiate a clear sense that this very personal work really matters.

In memory of Ivy Brittan

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