'...as 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
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.