Our place : in-between the primordial and the latter?
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by Ashley HolmesAshley Holmes
In his study of Central Queensland’s ‘Horror Stretch’ Ross Gibson elucidates the truism that a landscape is established somewhere in-between the physical geography and its cultural overlays. This paper analyses my own approach to places as a post-colonial migrant and artist. As a transient, I often get to know a place on what I perceive to be its own terms. Even as I observe vegetable, animal and human elements, the form of the geology is perceived as features, relative scales, spaces and, distances. The remnant surface litter is conveyed as patterns and textures. During these moments a fundamental sense of place is established. This may be vague or fleeting. It may be protean. If the impression is significant it may lead to a desire to linger, to return and so, an ongoing relationship with a place may ensue. Subsequently arises a desire to seek out cultural knowledge. Then genius loci becomes compound. It is difficult to deny or mitigate Gibson’s tragic interpretation of the human contribution to landscape. There is certainly tragic irony in that, at this point in Earth's geological time, it may be easier to imagine a possible future Earth without life than to apprehend the primordial state.