Sustaining an out-of-placeness: Some Remarks On landscape, Literature and Photography. Of the Earth: Art, Photography, Writing and the Environment conference, University of Plymouth.

Research output: Published contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Edward Thomas’s long and solitary walks allowed him to fill notebooks with acute observations of the changing landscape near to, and beyond his home in Hampshire in 1908, and were published the following year in The South Country. My own walks, in contrast, are often made in the company of family or friends, and cross paths with Thomas’s Hampshire landscape more than one hundred years after the first publication of his text. My subsequent photographs of these pastoral landscapes attempt to bring forth (Heidegger, 1977) connections posed by questions about our relationship to place, and what effect places might have on us. That places remind us of other times, of other experiences – of a ‘sustained out-of-placeness’ (Macfarlane, 2012) as creative condition – is a thread that ties and unties much of my photographic work.

In previous photographic works, I have collaborated with the poet and artist Alec Finlay, uncovering, perhaps obliquely, something of our shared interests in the characters of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Kurt Schwitters and W G Sebald; most recently in the exhibition Wall to Wall (The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University, March 2014). In Sebald I recognized a dialogue of critical reflection and an image of lament articulated through a dialectical working of the lyrical romanticism of travelogue, and at once countered through part-historical account, part-phenomenological remnants of the incomprehensible events of modern history.

In contrast, Edward Thomas’s writing is dense, keenly mindful of the natural world, and arguably like Wittgenstein and Schwitters and more contemporary writers and artists such as Rebecca Solnit, Olivia Laing and Clare Woods; it is the experience of living with, and through landscape (Norway, Ireland, The English Lake District, Hampshire for example) that shape, and measure a thought, or a proposition, or a novella, or a picture.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2014

Fingerprint

Ludwig Wittgenstein
Photography
Artist
Plymouth
Art Photography
Earth Art
Travelogue
Natural World
Alec Finlay
Modern History
Poet
Martin Heidegger
Writer
Norway
Critical Reflection
Notebook
Kurt Schwitters
Romanticism
Ireland
W. G. Sebald

Cite this

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title = "Sustaining an out-of-placeness: Some Remarks On landscape, Literature and Photography.: Of the Earth: Art, Photography, Writing and the Environment conference, University of Plymouth.",
abstract = "Edward Thomas’s long and solitary walks allowed him to fill notebooks with acute observations of the changing landscape near to, and beyond his home in Hampshire in 1908, and were published the following year in The South Country. My own walks, in contrast, are often made in the company of family or friends, and cross paths with Thomas’s Hampshire landscape more than one hundred years after the first publication of his text. My subsequent photographs of these pastoral landscapes attempt to bring forth (Heidegger, 1977) connections posed by questions about our relationship to place, and what effect places might have on us. That places remind us of other times, of other experiences – of a ‘sustained out-of-placeness’ (Macfarlane, 2012) as creative condition – is a thread that ties and unties much of my photographic work.In previous photographic works, I have collaborated with the poet and artist Alec Finlay, uncovering, perhaps obliquely, something of our shared interests in the characters of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Kurt Schwitters and W G Sebald; most recently in the exhibition Wall to Wall (The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University, March 2014). In Sebald I recognized a dialogue of critical reflection and an image of lament articulated through a dialectical working of the lyrical romanticism of travelogue, and at once countered through part-historical account, part-phenomenological remnants of the incomprehensible events of modern history. In contrast, Edward Thomas’s writing is dense, keenly mindful of the natural world, and arguably like Wittgenstein and Schwitters and more contemporary writers and artists such as Rebecca Solnit, Olivia Laing and Clare Woods; it is the experience of living with, and through landscape (Norway, Ireland, The English Lake District, Hampshire for example) that shape, and measure a thought, or a proposition, or a novella, or a picture.",
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