At the recent Alchemical Landscape conference in Cambridge, there was some interesting analysis of the portrayal of landscape in the opening sequence of Alan Clarke’s Play For Today episode, Penda’s Fen (1974). The point in the analysis was to show the subversive nature of the opening in regards to its melding of two potentially differing realities of English landscape; on the one hand, the typical pastoral … Continue reading Wire and Grass: Landscape Binaries in Television and Reality.
The sculptor Henry Moore saw a stark link between the rock that was both his material and inspiration, and the grazing calmness of sheep. The animals stand out in the landscape in the same, oblique way, providing an aesthetic of both fitting in and being anomalous; they litter the vista in a way that is puzzling and warmly mysterious. Roger Deakin saw this relationship himself … Continue reading Responses: Henry Moore’s Sheep Sketchbook (1980).
Nature is always present or at the very least contrasted against something in Gideon Koppel’s nostalgia portrait, Sleep Furiously (2008). In spite of the film being a very clear ethnographic postcard from the director’s past, having lived previously in the Welsh town of Trefeurig, it manages to underline its gentle portraiture with a sense of pervading nature and landscape; where even the most concrete of … Continue reading Emerson’s Nature and Sleep Furiously (2008) – Gideon Koppel.
I thought it would be last my time – The sense that, beyond the town, There would always be fields and farms, Where the village louts could climb Such trees as were not cut down; I knew there’d be false alarms – Going, Going, stanza 1 – Philip Larkin. Above is the opening stanza of Philip Larkin’s 1972 poem, Going, Going. The poem captures the … Continue reading Demise Of The Rural in Requiem For A Village (1976) And “Going, Going” (Philip Larkin).