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Reflective space: A personal journey towards a re-envisioning of the Australian landscape

Whilst the notion of the ‘Reflective Space’ could arguably encompass many conceptual positions and propositions, for the purposes of this research investigation the ‘Reflective Space’ referred to in the title of this exegesis will focus upon what I consider as an emerging and growing consciousness of the natural world. As a theoretical and conceptual construct, the investigation considers how this growing consciousness can be seen to be expressed through the medium of representations of the Australian landscape. This work considers a number of contemporary theoretical positions and a number of relevant social and political questions; it also acknowledges that within such spheres of reflection, the issue of being sustainable in relation to our interactions and perceptions of this natural world looms as perhaps one of the most pressing of our time. While it will be acknowledged that the depiction of landscape enjoys a long-standing tradition within the Australian cultural mind, the suggestion will be made that certain aspects of these visualisations can be seen to be ‘reflective’ of a visual, cultural and physical degradation, and indeed even an apprehension of the physical ‘space’ that is represented as landscape. The investigation considers and reflects upon what can be observed as contentious and ambivalent attitudes expressed towards landscape perceived through works of art. Strategies for adopting a perceptual visual ethic grounded within the concepts and principles of sustainability will be presented for consideration. By applying such modes of interpretation to perceptions of land and landscape depiction, new appreciations for the cultural ‘space’ that is landscape will be developed. Such understandings will consider and reflect upon the temporal nature of our natural world. The thesis is this: that to be able to think and act in a sustainable fashion in relation to our environment, our perceptions and interpretations of visualisations of landscape must include a recognition that the land is a ‘temporal’ space, in which past and possible futures are immanent in the present. / PhD (Visual Arts)

Identiferoai:union.ndltd.org:ADTP/266084
Date January 2008
CreatorsDonald, Colin
PublisherUniversity of Ballarat
Source SetsAustraliasian Digital Theses Program
Detected LanguageEnglish
RightsCopyright Colin Donald

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