Monday, 23 May 2011

Green & Pleasant Lands...

If you haven't watched 'This Green & Pleasant Land' yet on BBC i player, hop to it. I was of course thrilled to see Emily Allchurch speaking about her approach to re-create a famous Richard Wilson work (pictured here). The fascination with procuring Italian style landscapes is a story well told by this documentary. After the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII the patronage of the arts fell dramatically in the UK. This changed the cultural landscape dramatically & despite studying Tudor history at A-Level this was never touched upon. Frankly I feel quite robbed as this area is fascinating. The program goes some way to explaining the development of British Landscape painting, but only briefly touching on the future of it, with regard to the technical advances in image output with the use of new tools such as computer drawing programs etcetera. Some landscapes drawn by David Hockney on his i phone & ipad are interesting. A whole new debate about the validity of this work is stirring. I have found the BBC piece & the article in the Telegraph online are worth looking at. (I have occasionally been tempted by the graffiti application from time to time on Facebook) However I must admit, that although my finger had to keep hitting the pause button to view the works spoken about, there is nothing better than seeing work in the flesh where it can be observed, contemplated & responded to in real time. The momentary nature of digital imagery is a subject that needs more discussion & debate. Having just watched the fantastic Adam Curtis documentary, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace the use of the internet is questioned (albeit briefly) as a way of commodifying oneself online, I have much to think over. I urge you to watch both these programs & compare the projection of imagery, its uses & power over the populations of entire countries. The image is still power, perhaps it's how we use it that is important.

Picture credits:
Richard Wilson: 'Holt Bridge on the River Dee' 1760-62
David Hockney, ipad Landscape

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