The Sanctuary

Gavin Hipkins

The Sanctuary is a travelogue of sorts that reveals a range of very different sites. The sequence begins with three images taken in royal parks in London – the first a slow-incline exterior stone staircase and a row of trees running parallel out from the edge of the steps. This is an anchoring image, in a way a declaration of intent. The steps lead up to the (brightly re-gilded) memorial statue erected by Queen Victoria to her husband Prince Albert in Kensington Gardens. Hipkins has chosen to avoid the ‘money shot’ of the Victorian Gothic edifice but depicts the slow (funereal) approach. In the second image, we are still in a royal domain, further northwest in Regent’s Park. Architect to the crown, John Nash, designed this vast round park in the late 1640s, including a lake and canal, a second home for the Prince Regent, and surrounded it with palatial terraced housing. The park became host to a number of organizations including the Royal Botanic Society and the Zoological Society. Like most royal properties, it wasn’t open to the public (until 1845 and then only for two days a week). In the 1930s it received a massive reconfiguration that reflected its civic uses – which these days include the Open Air Theatre, tennis courts, sports pitches, a golf and tennis school, a petanque area and a Wildlife and Waterfowl Centre.

Heather Galbraith.

ISBN 0473106671
70p, chiefly ill. (some col.), 22x24cm
RRP NZ $30 plus post and packaging

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