Growth, Form and the Inevitability of Herself


In 2002 we moved from Rotterdam to semi-rural Scotland, from a flat in the centre of a dynamic city that has undergone continuous rebuilding since the bombing suffered in the second world war, to a house with a garden in a tiny village between two large cities. The partly abandoned garden that we took on re-activated interests in cultivated nature, land ownership and cycles of growth and decay.


In Growth, form and the inevitability of herself the growth cycle of a garden is shown in relation to the human process of ageing, focussed through images of Tracy’s mother. The development of the work coincided with the planning of the Merchant’s House Garden in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. The abandoned site is a former riggs garden attached to the mainly 17th century house of former merchants who traded from the east coast with the Baltic states and the Netherlands.


The video work questions accepted notions of beauty as extreme close-ups of decaying matter become images of striking beauty. The progressive stages of ageing in one woman’s life are juxtaposed with detail of plant matter and art historical references. The work is a contemporary still life, nature morte informed by the 17th century Dutch tradition. The extreme close-ups prohibit an instant understanding of any one full image. Eighteen images move hypnotically and independently of each other in a grid pattern across a large scale.


Commissioned by CCA for the centenary celebrations of the Entente Cordiale, supported by the Scottish Executive, the City of Lille and CCA Glasgow. Produced and presented by artconnexion Lille.

Centre d’Arts Plastiques et Visuels, Lille, France, 2004

Double screen video projection, 300 x 800 cm, duration 20:00


Large scale video of the growth cycle of a garden with the human ageing process


Commissioned by CCA Glasgow for the Entente Cordiale Centenary

Produced and presented by artconnexion

GROWTH, FORM AND THE INEVITABILITY OF HERSELF