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Beyond the Picturesque, the Manifestation of Landscape Change via the Embodied Experience.

Hastings, Jeremy (2023) Beyond the Picturesque, the Manifestation of Landscape Change via the Embodied Experience. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

This practice-based thesis examines how the walking artist spans the gap between themselves and the audience. The work is a physical, immersive, and phenomenological (Glossary p. 138) exploration of the landscape since William Gilpin's (1782) coining and contextualising the word picturesque. The research investigates changes since Gilpin's search for the pastoral and formal recording of landscape through painting. It was an interrogation of terrain and environment at a human pace of travel, following two rivers: routes favoured by Gilpin, the Wye and the Duddon. The research frames the work of the walking artist as both temporal and transitory, a visceral encounter as the mind and body engages with and experience the land. The process has clarified that through my practice, I find a silent comfort in being with nature, using a methodology of analogue photography and handwritten text to accompany my journeys. These moments of image-making and writing become places of significance along the route — capturing both 'now' and 'then' from something past. I use documentation and illustration of such incidents, which allows the research to explore and identify the 'gap' between the juncture and eventual translation to the audience.

Therefore, the artefact's physical surface becomes new strata as a story on which I, as an artist, can layer the distant physicality of the durational experience. This way of interpreting the photograph via audience intervention utilises the image as an interactive artefact, thus allowing a storytelling technique to emerge as decoding for an audience. Through this research, a specific dissemination (Glossary p. 137) activity, 'See:Saw', has evolved for both the artist and the audience. See:Saw is an outcome of my practice-based research and has become the core of this thesis. It enables a new way of storytelling and sharing perceptions of landscape in response to my practice of Walking Art (Glossary p. 138), bridging the gap between audience and artist.

Results demonstrate that See:Saw successfully engaged audiences in shifting agency between artist and audience. The audience's role in constructing the narrative around the images concerning landscape change occurred through this method because of the egalitarian approach of the model. See: Saw's impact suggests that this approach could be adapted to address other geographical challenges, such as climate change discourse and landscape planning.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 16 May 2024 14:27
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 14:27

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