In this new monograph artist Corinne Silva considers how gardening, like mapping, is a way of allocating territory. Garden State is the outcome of exhibitions at The Mosaic Rooms and Ffotogallery, co-organised by the UAL Photographyand the Archive Research Centre and supported by the London College of Communication and was published in the UK in 2016 by Ffotogallery and The Mosaic Rooms. Offering an ‘unexpected view on gardening’ (Wall Street International) Silva presents 53 colour plates which trace suburban settlements in Israeli occupied territories.
Between 2010 and 2013, Silva made a series of visits to Israeli occupied territories between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. She travelled across twenty-two Israeli settlements making photographs of public and private gardens. Silva presents this visually rich photographic journey and examines how the gardens in these occupied lands are both material and symbolic evidence of a continuing colonisation.
Her photographs trace details of the suburban settlement gardens extending from the coastal areas surrounding Tel Aviv, unlawfully across the Green Line and into the Occupied Palestinian Territories, covering over Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948, and cutting off Palestinian communities in the West Bank from each other. Through systematically photographing of these micro-landscapes Silva reflects on how gardening has been used to progressively expand territory.
The publication also features a taxonomical table of colonising plants by Sabina Knees (Middle Eastern plant botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh), an essay by Professor Val Williams (curator and Director of the Photography and the Archive Research Centre) and the artist in conversation with Professor Eyal Weizman (architect and Director of Forensic Architecture) reflecting on the work and the political relationship between gardens and colonisation that has existed from the eighteenth century to the present day.