Shinto, or the Way of the Gods was the earliest Japanese philosophy and religion, whose intellectual and spiritual ideas formed the foundation for the creation of gardens. The Lady Murasaki Shikibu, during the Heian period (794-1185), in her novel The Tale of the Genji written a thousand years ago recorded the beauty of a Japanese garden. ‘It ‘seemed to become every day more enchanting…the little wood on the hill beyond the lake, the bridge that joined the two islands, the mossy banks that seemed to grow green, not every day, but every hour, could anything have looked more tempting…the shape of every little ledge and crag of stone carefully devised as if a painter had traced them with his brush…the boughs of an orchard showed above the mist, so heavily laden with blossom… it looked like a bright carpet was spread in mid air… a torrent of colour mirrored in the lake’.
Carolyn McDowall FRSA has gained considerable experience and business acumen in her professional career. An independent cultural and social historian, Carolyn is an interior designer by trade. She has been involved in the creative sector for over thirty years in Australia; completing interior design projects, creating and producing innovative corporate and not-for profit (social profit) community events. She has over that time continuously conducted independent research , while designing, developing, and producing educational art and design history programs in conjunction with renowned specialist colleagues.