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Title: Cataloguing Nek Chand's Rock Garden, Chandigarh : an analysis and interpretation of the sculpture, architecture and landscape
Author: Jackson, lain Douglas
ISNI:       0000 0001 3588 0579
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2008
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The topic of this research project is Nek Chand's Rock Garden, an 18 acre development built on the edge of Chandigarh, India. It contains a large collection of natural rocks, sculptures and architectural works built incrementally from 1958 by an untrained artist/architect called Nek Chand. The garden is a significant intervention in the planned Modernist city of Chandigarh and was developed in contradistinction to the original planning laws. Despite the size and popularity of the site it has remained an unknown entity in terms of its contents and the process of its development. Alms The aim of this thesis is to document the Rock Garden and through an analysis of its material and built fabric, to develop further interpretations of it, as a component of Chandigarh and postcolonial India. Cataloguing and Documentation The process of documenting a large site made up of sculptural, architectural and landscape works, all built without plans and in some cases out of found, natural and discarded objects requires a specific methodology and clearly defined approach. What constitutes 'a work' and what aspects of the site are to be recorded, as well as omitted, are duly considered. Analysis and Interpretation Creative output of this nature needs careful methods of interpretation and analysis. This research has focused almost entirely on the material fabric of the work, rather than the external factors of influence. Specific components of the Rock Garden were chosen for analysis based on the three basic distinctions of sculpting, architecture and landscape. Through these lenses, the analysis considered the changes and developments in the gardens growth and possible reasons for particular decisions and aesthetic choices. The sculpting focused on the development of the anthropomorphic aspects of the sculptures, which form the largest type of the sculptural works and as such give the broadest amount of data. With the architectural analysis the discussion stems from the initial colonisation of the site through to the larger, less functional works, seeking to identify the reasons for the changes and possible influences. The landscape is considered along with the notion of 'journey' and the passage through the site. The analysis and cataloguing were then used as a base from which three interpretative chapters were developed. These chapters conceptualise the Rock Garden according to the themes of collection, ruin and theatre. These themes are all interwoven with the agenda's of Modernism and thus provide a means of considering the Rock Garden and its relationship with Modernity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available