ken marsden  photography
the boundary

SU 161 125

The New Forest National Park Boundary: Redefining the Photographic Representation and Aesthetic Appreciation of Landscape

Whilst much has been written about “tensions” [Wylie, 2007, Gohlke, 2009] and “separations” [Williams, 1973] that exist within the landscape from a cultural geography perspective, my work explores the “division” created by the contradictory nature and positioning of the New Forest National Park (NFNP) boundary in the “geography of nowhere”, [Lippard, 1997].

My research has identified several specific locations on the NFNP boundary, where the “division” between the scenic and non-scenic landscape is rather obfuscated and unnecessary.

These locations haven’t been selected because of some particular affection or emotional attachment I may have towards them. They are selected purely on the grounds of helping to address the research question and form a significant part of my methodology i.e. part scientific enquiry and part subjective expression. It is inevitable that, after regularly revisiting the identified locations over a period of time, one builds a deep understanding and intense curiosity about the subject.

The resultant photographs represent the landscape in a quiet, unassuming yet conflictual state, and contribute towards a defamiliarisation of nature. Consequently, they not only, provoke a direct confrontation with, but also create a sense of dislocation and/or disorientation for the spectator. The ordinary becomes the extraordinary and encourages, if not demands, the spectator to “see the world in some fresh perspective.” [Gohlke F, 2009, p.78]

Further, they attempt to exemplify what Allen Carlson describes as “ the aesthetics of everyday life” i.e. where “ordinary scenery, commonplace sights and the day-to-day activities and experiences are proper objects of aesthetic appreciation”. [Carlson A, 2009, p.20-21]

Carlson A, Nature and Landscape: An Introduction to Environmental Aesthetics, 2009
Gohlke F, Thoughts on Landscape: Collected Writings and Interviews, 2009
Lippard L, The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentred Society, 1997
Williams R, The Country and the City, 1973
Wylie J, Landscape, 2007

Ken Marsden
September 2011

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