Why photographer Allan McDonald likes things a little bit wildby India Hendrikse
Photographer Allan McDonald’s series of intriguing garden spaces asks us: wouldn’t it be better if things went just a little wild?
McDonald is unimpressed by the manicured gardens he sees in his own neighbourhood of Grey Lynn. “What’s happening everywhere, particularly in an urban landscape, is space is getting more and more expensive, more and more commodified, and people doozy it up so it’s worth more,” he says. “So, it gets domesticated, it gets tamed down.” McDonald prefers for nature to run wild, creating urban gardens such as Madrid’s Casa de Campo. “You get something like Casa de Campo, and there are these areas of wilderness or semi-wilderness and they exist within the urban fabric, and to me they’re a more exciting type of landscape space. I mean sure, we need formal parks, but also within the urban environment it’s great to have these non-domesticated spaces,” he says.
Dunedin, 2013: “This tree alongside the random application of paint on a wall, blocking out graffiti maybe, creates a sense of playfulness that unintentionally enlivens the industrial environment.”
Karangahape Road, 2017.
Mount Roskill, 2005: “These are the last remnants of a suburban garden that was destined to become a motorway,” says McDonald.
Grey Lynn, 2014: “This garden appears to be a landscape riddle. It gives the appearance of a wild void in the middle of what has become expensive real estate. In fact, it is tended by a woman in her nineties who has lived on the property her whole life.”
Allan McDonald is represented by Anna Miles Gallery, annamilesgallery.com
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