Sara Maitland on “The love that dare not speak its name”

August 17, 2007

in Articles, General Interest

Comment on Anne Wareham’s article on beauty and gardens

I am completely baffled by Anne Beswick’s comments. They seem to me to partake of a curiously misplaced “egalitarianism” which is rife in society more widely, where it is called “dumbing down” – and is itself “patronising”

Of course “you don’t have to make an art work of your garden if you don’t want to” but why would anyone whose gardening was a “joy” to them and who did not want to make an art work feel “hectored” or “patronised” because a group of people who do want to make art works of their gardens decide to talk to each other about that?

Most people with cameras do not want to make art works either. Does that make it hectoring and patronising to treat some photography as art, to run courses in art photography, to have galleries displaying photographs – and for those sorts of photographers to buy particular magazines and join particular groups that reflect their interests. “Ordinary photography is often a joy” but I do not see how that joy is diminished by some individuals wanting to create art and discuss how to do so.

Where on this site does anyone “denigrate” gardening as just enjoyable? For me thinkinGardens increases my enjoyment of gardening. If it does not add to my pleasure I can simply stop reading/ looking/ thinking. There are all sorts of subjects I am not interested in. I do not feel denigrated or patronised or alienated because other people are interested in them – why should I?

Sara Maitland

Sara Maitland’s website

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