Reflective Journal Week 48, 23 Aug – 29 Aug 2020

A specifically interesting article was found. It talked about the landscape identity after a catastrophic forest fire in Sweden. The topic is intriguing. The result indicates the more interaction conducted with the landscape, stronger the sense of identity will be developed. However the case seemed to be too specific, therefore it needs cohesion in order to be used on my Essay. 

Peter Lanyon probably considered the extinction of mining, and the significant decline of fishing industry “a catastrophic incident over Cornish landscape”. Not only it compromised the original economic structure, but also it forces Cornish people to alter the environment they live for survival. I am surprised to read about Lanyon’s statement regarding the loss of identity due to the county’s transformation into a leisure resort, and that was back in 60s! I guess achieving a successful PhD identity, I will need to shift my focus on theoretical development of the concept “landscape Identity” as well as artist’s critical reflection upon the topic. 

There are many interesting articles hiding in Journal like Landscape Research, World Archaeology and Landscape and Urban Planning. The relevant research of landscape identity seems just gained its popularity that the majority of existing articles were published less in three years. Seldom I saw writings in the perspective of specific artworks or artist —— art is generalised in this topic. A scholar of Cornish Study in the University of Exeter, Prof. Deacon, his open access researches regarding Cornish history and landscape is a perfect example of the current situation. Art and art colonies are generally treated as cultural impact on the landscape. The fact of swarming of travelling artists has been noticed, however, how artworks shaped the landscape identity of region, and how these images enhanced the preoccupied impression, how the new generations of artists including those indigenous ones tried to alter the existing shape, these questions are often overlooked. 

A particularly useful journal, Siren, published by a familiar historian David Tovey, which can be accessed on Stivesartinfo, is extremely useful. Not only it serves the quality of a catalogue, but only it details drafted artworks, methodologies of artists who engaged in Cornish topics. Many images were discovered and sent to Mr Tovey, the historian himself organised the information and convert them into perhaps quarterly based journal. 

I noted many useful paragraphs on my sketchbook. I believe their value is incomparable for both the graduate essay and the future research. 

“Representing a postmodern perspective, Daniels and Cosgrove considered that ..landscape seems less like a palimpsest whose ‘real’ or ‘authentic’ meanings can somehow be recovered with the correct techniques, theories or ideologies, than a flickering text displayed on the word processor screen whose meaning can be created, extended, elaborated and finally obliterated by the merest touch of a button. (1988p8

Daniels, S. & Cosgrove, D. (1988) IntroductionL iconography and landscape, in: Cosgrove. D. & Daniels, S (Eds) The iconography of Landscape (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press). Entrikin, N.I. (1984, Carl O. Sauer, philosopher in spite of himself, Geographical Review, 77, pp)

  1. To some other landscape historians, however, landscape is, emphatically, a palimpsest0a manuscript on which earlier writing has been effaced to make room for other inscriptions, but on which the travel of the earlier hands can still be discerned. Hoskins sake of reading the landscape, and all three of our subjects based their approach on the view that when subjected to the proper expertises, unspoiled landscape would reveal information about successive generations of colonises and occupants and would testify to the character of past societies and their value. Landscape had more than aesthetic interest: it was a fragile repository of a people’s history, and as such it was irreplaceable. 
  2. Through their intense fascination with the landscape imprints of successive societies, Hoskins, Hawkes and Sauer came to appreciate the enthralling intricacy of the processes of landscape creation. Better than others, they were able to comprehend the threats posed to countrysides that had been thousands of years in the making by a new society with immense destructive potential, greatly advanced in naked industrial and technological power, though not in intellect or sensebility. 

Reading the landscape, rejecting the present. Muir, Richard. Landscape research; Abingdon Vol.23 Issue 1, Mar 1998: 71.

4.I am eating N.Z. butter with a Wellington brand on it & S. Australian honey, both about 3d cheaper than the local product & much nicer. Cornish butter is filthy stuff – they are too lazy to squeeze the water out of it. Meat is very dear & bad but vegetable plentiful & varied & earlier than elsewhere. I take a sandwich to the Studio & have my one meal at night. I meant to write to Willie this mail but there have been so many compulsory letters to get off.

Letter, Frances Hodgkins from St Ives to Rachel Hodgkins.

Institutional No.

MS-Papers-0085-29 

Credit Line

Letters from Frances Hodgkins. Field, Isabel Jane, 1867-1950 : Correspondence of Frances Hodgkins and family / collected by Isabel Field. Ref: MS-Papers-0085-29. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. 

https://natlib.govt.nz/records/23224416

Access on https://completefranceshodgkins.com/objects/29414/letter-from-frances-hodgkins-to-rachel-hodgkins

14 Jan 1915

5.A big boat torpedoed a few miles from here at Gurnard’s Head, 14 drowned & today another crew landed. It is horrible. There are strong rumours that there is treachery on this coast. It looks bad – Cornish men have always had a taste for wrecking & the traditions of the country are all that way. A mild & lovely fortnight – & the daffys are in bud.  

Frances Hadgkins to Rachel Hodgkins, St ives, 3 Feb 1918.

Institutional No.

MS-Papers-0085-34 

Credit Line

Letters. Field, Isabel Jane, 1867-1950 : Correspondence of Frances Hodgkins and family / collected by Isabel Field. Ref: MS-Papers-0085-34. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. 

https://natlib.govt.nz/records/23182852

https://completefranceshodgkins.com/objects/29476/letter-from-frances-hodgkins-to-rachel-hodgkins

6.The Cornish are a powerful virile race , 02 Mov 1918 to Isabel Field from Rosehill in the Fern, Camborne, Cornwall. 

https://completefranceshodgkins.com/objects/29489/letter-from-frances-hodgkins-to-isabel-field

Institutional No.

MS-Papers-0085-35 

Credit Line

Letters. Field, Isabel Jane, 1867-1950 : Correspondence of Frances Hodgkins and family / collected by Isabel Field. Ref: MS-Papers-0085-35. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. 

https://natlib.govt.nz/records/23024549

7.Real landscapes however, unlike paper ones, cannot be read like texts or viewed like pictures. To get to know them, they have to be inhabited. Only by spending time in them, and becoming accustomed to the sights, sounds, odours and feelings they afford, under varying conditions of illumination and weather, can they properly “sink in:. And to appearciate their features you have to explore them on foot (or if need be, on all fours), getting a sense of how they look and feel from different angles and in different conditions. 

8.Since I do not accept stone has a fixed essence it cannot ‘nature’ as opposed to ‘culture’ – the ‘nature’ of stone is in its ‘culture’. This is an important property of its very materiality as a medium relating to social practice, and why it can be experienced and understood in many different ways. 

Comments on Christper Tilley: The Materiality of Stone: Explorations in Landscape Phenomenology. Oxford: Berg 2004.

9. The meaningful spaces of landscapes are constructed through the temporalities of historical acts, forming both the medium for, and outcome of, movement and memory. Past actions, events, myths and storms “colour” landscapes. An important aspect of the experience of landscape os the directness or indirectness of experience — locales that are close at hand or far away, those which are familiar or unfamiliar, visited daily or only on special occasion, those that have been seen and those that exist in the imagination. Knowledges of particular locales previously encountered set up structures of expectation and feeling affecting the interpretation and “reading” of others. 

10. The positioning of the stone circles and stone rows indicates a concern with processions and specific paths of movement through the landscape, of serially ordering and arranging activities and events. The frequent linear arrangement of the cairns in the landscape betrays a similar concern. During the Bronze Age the landscape of Bodmin Moor becomes, quite literally, filled with cairns. The eternities of the land, oak and stone were integrated by the cairns, in inter visible constellations. Unlike the stone circles and stone rows the cairns were built n their hundreds. They crowned the ridge and hilltops, resembled, encircled, incorporated and hid the Tors. Knowledge of the landscape became bound into them. Through time they became the most significant permanent sacred reference points in the landscape of Bodmin Moor, usurping the social role that the Tors had previously played, a cultural triumph over the sleeping powers of the rocks. 

The Powers of Rocks: Topography and monument construction on Bodmin Moor. Tilley, Christopher. Bradley, Richard. Article. 10.1080/00438243.1996.9980338. Department of Anthropology, University College London.

11. Landscapes change because they are the expression of the dynamic integration between natural and cultural forces in the environment. Cultural landscapes are the result of consecutive reorganisation of the land in order to adapt its use and spatial structure better to the changing societal demands. 

Antrop, M 2004. Landscape change and the urbanisation process in Europe.

12. It provides a frame for questioning who defines the landscape identity? How can change develop new identities? What happens when the population changes? And what conflicts of identity can we expect to encounter through landscape change?

13. This suggests that the more frequently participants enjoyed nature and foraged for berries and mushrooms, the stronger attachment/closeness/belonging they evolved in relation to the landscape (emotion component), as well as recalling, reasoning and thinking more about the landscape (cognition component) …This highlights the significance of activities for attaining well-being and developing identity through the landscape. More specifically, it raises the relevance of foraging in a Swedish context for keeping alive these positive attributes after catastrophic change. 

As stated earlier, activities facilitate connection with landscape (Lorimer, 2012; Ness, 2011; Wylie, 2002) and are fundamental in the formation of landscape identities (butler et al,. 2017). In the study we have presented, all of the activities previously undertaken in the landscape or with the landscape present practices which helped develop landscape identity in the pre-disruption phase (Butler et al., 2017). However, drawing on the result of our study, it can be observed that not all activities are equal in developing these connections. In these case of a forest in Sweden, it was enjoying nature and foraging for berries and mushrooms that were identified as helping to develop strongest landscape-related identity. …both activities are embedded in the landscape; they require direct engagement with our surrondings. This objects of observation for those enjoying nature and the fruits of foraging are part of the landscape. Consequently, those involved in foraging and enjoying nature develop a nuanced knowledge of the area and processes which create the landscape, recognising the character of a potential foraging site or habitat. Consequently, the landscape is not just a backdrop but is central to these activities. 

The period of post-disrupting of identity is just beginning. This period involves the processes of coping with the loss and re-establishing personal and collective landscape identifications. From the results presented in this paper, we can hypothesise that those who foraged in the landscape will potentially have an easier time reconnecting with the landscape. Perhaps this is not just the effect of activity they previously undertook, bit may also be tied ups in the mind-set of those who engage with foraging. 

Although the memories of foraging remain, the possibility to continue this activity has now gone. New activities, which provide connections to the landscape, will have to develop in order to strengthen the landscape-related identity of individuals who engage with this landscape and help redevelop the well-being that the connection with their landscape previously provided. An alternative coping strategy is for individuals to relocate the activity to another site. This can help build connections to new landscapes, linked to memories of this transformad landscape. 

As Scott et al. (2009) reason, the experiences which were undertaken in the landscape can inform activities which are transferred to other locations. If individuals continue these activities they will choose places which can allow them to be who they see themselves as being (Dixon & Durrheim, 2000). Consequently places develop where new landscapes can provide anchors through the activities undertaken. 

Foraging represents what Butler et al(2017) ten a ‘practice of landscape identity’ and is linked to and formed by numerous other practices, which are undertaken in the landscape. While our study has highlighted the relevance of foraging, in other contexts it will be different practices which provides similar effects, It is a case of identifying what they are. In this case we presented, foraging strengthens individual relationships with the landscape and as the results have highlighted undertaking such an activity can have a central role in mitigating the impact of extreme landscape change on individuals. 

14. Focusing on activity gas allowed us to address how landscape identity develops and is retained in relation to engagement with the landscape and what occurs after dramatic landscape change. This supports landscape as put forward through the ELC; the results life the relevance of engagement with the landscape as an important part of quality of life and elevate the nee to recognise everyday landscapes. The landscape, the related activities and their perceptions from before the fire still live on in the memories of those who foraged in this landscape. These memories provide continuity in this landscape and provide anchors for forming new identities in this landscpe. 

Foraging for Identity: the Relationships between Landscape Activities and Landscape Identity after Catastrophic Landscape Change. Andrew Butler, pge 303-319, 15 Mar 2019. 

Scott, A., Carter, C., Brown, K., & White, V. (2009). ‘seeing is not everything’: Exploring the landscape experiences of different publics. Landscape research, 34, 397 – 424. 

DIXON, J., & DURRHEIM, K. (2002). Displacing place-identity: A discursive approach to locating self and other. British Journal of Social Psychology, 39, 27 -44.

15.The concept of landscape identity is often referred to in landscape policy and planning. A clear definition of the concept is lacking however. This is problematic because the term “landscape identity” can have many different meanings and thus easily lead to confusion. We define landscape identity as ‘the perceived uniqueness of a place’ and endeavour to describe the content of this definition more concisely. 

..the paper introduces the framework of the landscape identity circle for the various dimensions of landscape identity based on two axes: differentiation between spatial as opposed to existential identity, and differentiation between personal and cultural landscape identity. This framework is valuable in positioning research approaches and disciplines addressing landscape identity. 

16. We will conclude that, by restoring the importance of the reformulation of the Cornish identity in Cornwall’s industrial period in the late eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries, we can better understand the modern Cornish identity.

Following Paasi, the imaginations of Cornwall and its people that emerged by the early nineteenth century can be seen as part of the symbolic shaping of the region (Paasi, 2001, 17)

Paasi, Anssi (2001), ‘Europe as a social process and discourse: considerations of place, boundaries and identity’, European Urban and Regional Studies 8.1, 7- 28.

17, Agents from outside Cornwall have always, in the modern period, heavily influenced images of Cornwall as a place. Cornwall’s size, its place on the periphery of England and its fascination for members of the literate, metropolitan classes have led to an avalanche of works on its special character, its mystique and its attractions. In this deluge, representations of the landscape have been of major importance and, for these reasons, outsiders have been crucial in articulating some dominant views about the Cornish landscape (Westland, 1997)

Westland, Ella (ed.) (1997), Cornwall: the cultural construction of place, Patten

Press, Penzance.

18.Baker, Alan (1992), ‘Introduction: on ideology and landscape’, in Alan Baker and

Gideon Biger (eds.), Ideology and landscape in historical perspective,

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1-14

Traditional academic approaches to landscapes saw them as ‘expressions of material culture’; landscapes were the result of human endeavour as different economic needs resulted in particular landscapes (Baker, 1992, 6-7). This approach

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to landscapes as material products, however, ignored their symbolic aspects. Landscapes are, indeed, created by productive forces, but they also have meanings for people and are interpreted within shifting cultural norms and fashions. They are thus symbolic as well as material. Landscapes can be seen as visual expressions of identity, certain landscapes acting as the symbols of particular places.

19.For example, the importance of rural landscapes to notions of Englishness is now well recognised. During the later eighteenth century a taste for the picturesque and a fashion for landscape gardening paid for by the rents and profits of the landed classes helped to establish a dominant vision of the countryside, producing what Darby terms ‘unpeopled landscapes’ (Darby, 2000). Wild picturesque nature gave way during the early nineteenth century to tamed and ordered pastoral landscapes, arboreal, small scale and neat, producing a dominant domesticated ‘south country’ image of the English countryside for the twentieth century (Daniels, 1993. See also Matless, 1990; Lowenthal, 1991). As these images continue to be institutionalised and commercialised through the activities of English Heritage, the National Trust and the mushrooming garden centres of suburbia ‘nowhere else (than in England)’, in Lowenthal’s words, ‘is landscape so freighted as legacy’ (Lowenthal, 1994, 20)

20.A second reading was the landscape of nature, one influenced by romantic readings of the countryside as a primitive and timeless arcadia世外桃源, read in opposition to the growing presence of urbanisation and industrialisation (Daniels, 1993). This can be illustrated by early guidebooks with their references to places such as Lands End or Kynance Cove: wild, picturesque places usually on the coast. A good example of this reading is presented by Cyrus Redding’s Illustrated Itinerary of the County of Cornwall, published in 1842. Interestingly, Redding was an insider, originally from Truro. He wrote of the ‘charm of some of the most romantic and sublime scenery in the Empire. Cornwall is the land of the wild, the picturesque and the imaginative’ (Redding, 1842, 3; for an earlier example see Paris, 1816).

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However, while this was later to become the dominant representation of Cornwall, it was relatively subdued in the early nineteenth century and competed with another reading.

21. In the Cornish context, as elsewhere, the content and form of dominant or hegemonic representations of place and people are constrained by certain social parameters. Of course, these parameters are not confined to Cornwall itself. Indeed, representations of Cornwall can be and were produced outside Cornwall and may in that case owe much more to cultural processes and pressures being worked out elsewhere. This possibility of simultaneous insider and outsider production of images is recognised by Paasi. He divides the identity of a region into two parts, the ‘subjective’ images held by the inhabitants, demarcating their place from others, and the ‘objective’ images held by outsiders, classifying regions in broader social consciousness. Both insider and outsider, internal and external images are essential parts of the dynamic process of regional identity creation and

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reproduction (Paasi, 1986, 133). This might seem to provide us with a possible classification of place images. However, insider and outsider representations overlapped and intertwined so considerably in Cornwall that this proves to be an unworkable division. The description of outsider images as ‘objective’ also carries a debatable implication and implies an unwarrantable distinction between ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ views.

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About cechenpaints

An artist, painter, illustrator based in London.