I'm currently attending a great course at Tate Britain covering Contemporary Landscape which explores the peripheries of landscape by taking inspiration from contemporary and classical artists, in the galleries at Tate Britain. Led by Justin Hopper - who is very inspiring in his ideas and research. The course themes are pasted at the end of this blog.
1. ART WORK OF ESTER HOVERS
Thinking about 'Enclosure' and increasing private ownership of public land I came across this series 'False Positive' by dutch artist Esther Hovers, which examines classifications of possible deviant behaviour in surveillance flagging up people who "repeatedly looking back" or are "lonely objects" and thought worth sharing - this is an interview with her.
2. SUMMARY OF TATE COURSE THEMES
Draw inspiration from contemporary artists such as Trevor Paglen, James Bridle and others whose work examines landscape’s complicity in complex questions of enclosure and surveillance in the modern world. And take a new look at household names from the past through this lens, from John Constable and John Clare to Ian Hamilton Finlay.
Empires and Outliers
Who is contained within – or excluded from – the ‘frame’ of the landscape tradition? How does your work as a writer, artist or art lover involve this framework? We’ll look at artists and writers whose work implies or questions these boundaries, from J.M.W. Turner to Sukhdev Sandhu, and discuss landscape as it relates to access to the countryside and cityscape – and how we might expand a vision of such access in our own work.
One dominant aspect of contemporary landscape art and writing is liminality – the spaces in between city and countryside, land and sea, ‘natural’ and ‘human made’. How can we use these edgelands as writers and artists? We’ll look at edgelands in contemporary works by Patrick Keiller and Keith Arnatt, as well as looking back to seek out edgelands in classic landscape paintings.
Environment and Change
How can we reference environmental crisis in works not explicitly related to environmental change? From 18th century British landscape painting to the 21st century work of Alec Finlay, Autumn Richardson and Richard Skelton and others, we’ll look for signs of environmental change in works both old and new. Optional writing exercises will focus on referencing the grand question of ‘environmental change’ in small, subtle ways.
Decay and the Eerie
Decay, ruination, a dark vision of the passing of time – these are themes that extend back to the Romantic landscape tradition and beyond. We’ll look at how the revival of the ‘English eerie’ connects to themes of cultural and environmental loss, and find inspiration in works from Coleridge to Paul Nash to artists and writers of today such as Tessa Farmer and Adam Scovell. And we’ll try our hand at very brief, and very modern, ghost stories.