Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dali and Restraint

Dali's sculpture and local plant material

This week found me at the National Gallery of Victoria's winter masterpiece exhibition on Salvador Dali. I was accompanied on my outing by my mother and my seven year old son. As you can imagine my tour around the gallery was a speedy one. My son was literally hauling me around the gallery following the "ant trail" to various points where there were items selected especially for children.

While I probably need to visit again to obtain an adult perspective my brief tour of the exhibition visit brought back to me memories of my trip to Port Lligat in Spain the location of Dali's summer retreat.

I started to look through photos and two things became clear. The very distinct building materials of the area and the very distinct plant materials. I probably harp on too much about this but I honestly think limiting plant material and hard landscaping material can only be a good thing particularly when it reflects the local materials. Of course we don't all have such a distinct architectural style to work with but I hope you agree that sometimes there is a great deal to be said for restraint.

I know it seems impossibly ridiculous to mention Dali and restraint in the same context but in this case I promise you it is appropriate.

The materials of his home are local and his eccentricities on the whole are not on display to the outside world but contained within his walls. With his artists eye he framed the exquisite views through small windows and openings. The garden itself is a series of courtyards mainly inwardly focused. The largest of which containing a long pool reminiscent of the very famous pool at Granada.
The Courtyard Garden of Dali's Port Lligat home

The main planting material on display in the garden is olive trees. The house and garden are simple, reflective of the local vernacular and yet of course it remains an intensely personal expression. A great artist indeed.

A house built using the local materials

PS forgive me my absence. I vow to post more frequently and more briefly so I can maintain the conversation!


Serena's Secret Gardens said...

Hey Tina love your blog, you're not the same Tina who went to NMIT are you?

Tina said...

Not not me I'm afraid. Glad you like the blog.