Friday 31 July 2015

Wattle I Do Today?

' if angels had flown right down out of the softest gold regions of heaven...' - D.H. Lawrence, Kangaroo

Out walking with my dog in the reserve this afternoon I was thinking about the Australian landscape and its relationship to artistic endeavours like painting and writing.

During the latter part of the eighteenth century and the early nineteenth century there was an expectation that the picturesque painter (and the picturesque itself) would faithfully render a location.

Picturesque paintings assumed a similar importance to current day holiday snapshots because they sought to capture a moment for later reminiscence, or to display an image of the landscape to those who had stayed at home.

This was because contemplation of landscape in the eighteenth century was not a passive exercise, but rather one which required reconstructing the landscape in the imagination.

In the twenty-first century, writing remains an active enterprise. As a writer, my imagination will transform the hills and valleys, the granite outcrops, the magpies celebrating the first hint of spring, into a story or two.

Sitting down to explore the landscape of my writing journey this afternoon, I recall that everywhere I looked the wattle was in bloom.

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