Thursday 17 June 2021, 6.00PM
The sugar plains of Saint-Domingue, now Haiti, arguably contained the most ambitious and complete designed landscapes of the eighteenth-century Atlantic world. Their integrated infrastructural design,
Villa landscape and its translation as plantation landscape, however utilitarian it may strive to appear, is still affected by the changing mores and fashions of landscape design, particularly where owners are resident, less so if they are not. This lecture will compare the designed plantation landscapes of Saint-Domingue (Haiti) and Jamaica by examining the Irish-owned plantations of those who in Kit Candlin’s words, “did not fit (or would not fit) into any one empire”?[i] It will explore how landscape design is affected when the markers of national identity are in flux. By interrogating the uses and misuses of the colonial picturesque it will also recreate some of Europe's most calculated, damning and lost environments.
Finola O’Kane is a landscape historian, architect, and Professor at the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin. Her books include Ireland and the Picturesque: Design, Landscape Painting, and Tourism, 1700–1840 (2013) and Landscape Design in Eighteenth-Century Ireland: Mixing Foreign Trees with the Natives (2004). She has also published widely on eighteenth-century Dublin, Irish urban and suburban history and plantation landscapes, with a co-edited volume Ireland, Slavery and the Caribbean: Interdisciplinary
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Location: Online via Zoom