Civilising Grass: The Art of the Lawn on the South African Highveld (Hardcover)

Civilising Grass: The Art of the Lawn on the South African Highveld Cover Image
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Civilising Grass is a socio-cultural analysis of the lawn on the South African highveld, exploring the complex relationship between landscape and power in the country's colonial, modernist and post-apartheid eras

Drawing from eco-criticism, queer theory, art history and postcolonial studies, this book offers a lively and provocative reading of texts and illustrations to reveal the racial and gendered aspects of 'natural' environments. It argues that the lawn, an ordinary and often overlooked feature of South African everyday life, is neither natural nor innocent. Rather, like other colonial landscapes, the lawn functions as a site of commonplace violence, of oppression, dispossession and segregation. This book explores an eclectic archive of artistic, literary and architectural lawns between 1886 and 2017, analysing poems, maps, gardening blogs, adverts, ethnographies and ephemera, as well as literature by Koos Prinsloo, Marlene van Niekerk and Ivan Vladislavic. In addition, Civilising Grass includes colour reproductions of lawn artworks by David Goldblatt, Lungiswa Gqunta, Pieter Hugo, Anton Kannemeyer, Sabelo Mlangeni, Moses Tladi and Kemang Wa Lehulere. Examination of these and other works reveals the organic relationship between lawn and wildness, and between lawn and human/non-human actors - thereby providing rich and unexpected insights into South African society past and present.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781776144679
ISBN-10: 1776144678
Publisher: Wits University Press
Publication Date: July 1st, 2019
Pages: 264
Language: English