Creative Landscapes ?

Feather BeachWhat is the relationship between landscapes and creativity? Do some landscapes afford more creative potential? Do some landscape characters (e.g. upland, coastal, woodland) inspire and provoke greater creative responses?  Do some landscapes have more components (material, emotional, spiritual, historical, ecological etc) and complexity which can be drawn upon?  Is it the person, the intention, the practice brought to the landscape which catalyses creativity?  Is it a complex relationship, a conversation, between a person and a landscape which co-produces?  Does landscape based creativity capture a fleeting memory of the past, or a glimpse of possible futures?  Is experiencing, dwelling within a landscape, always a creative process: an entanglement, a negotiation, an innate ability to express ourselves in a myriad of different ways?

What landscapes inspire a creative response in you?

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8 thoughts on “Creative Landscapes ?

  1. To answer your final question – for me, it’s mostly familiar landscapes. I wouldn’t like to select a taxonomic type, but it is the repeated viewing and working through of those familiar spaces that stirs me most. Having said that, I love exploring big hills, forest, villages, cities…

    • Thanks linesoflandscape for your thoughts. Yes I think familiarity can be very important, a depth and quality of experience of a particular landscapes, range of places at different times of year, with changing lights and moods, can be inspiring. G

  2. Interesting questions and thoughts! 🙂 I need to feel some kind of inner connection to the landscape. Familiarity sometimes helps and sometimes it is a drawback because I stop seeing it with fresh eyes. On the other hand taking time to appreciate what is unique to the particular space usually always ends up giving me the connection and inspiration I need. So for me it is more about the intention, the experience of it, the conversations I have with it… I think the consciousness with which we dwell in a particular landscape determines how and if it is a creative process…

    • Hi Imke, thanks for your comments. Yes the relationship between creativity and landscape, the familiar and the immersed, can be contrasted with the surprises and juxtapositions a new landscape can evoke. I think your point about consciousness suggests that creativity relates to intentional acts of mediation, production, reverie etc: perhaps landscape as a creative life is one mode of being. But I wonder if there are also times when landscapes, perhaps with experiences of new landscapes, can cause creative responses to erupt in a less connected manner, a raw (perhaps more elemental !) form of inspiration?

  3. Ever since collecting pebbles on a beach as a child and making sandcastles and sand dinosaurs, I have found that a walk on the beach promotes a spontaneous desire to create – latterly it is mandalas: http://www.stonechatchat.wordpress.com. Sarah my co-blogger is a sculptor working closely with the landscape and materials of Portland, Dorset.
    I once mowed a 7 circuit spiral in meadow grass, and walked it every day for over 2 years. Seeing how the different grasses grew and changed in the different lights and seasons, what animals were present, the colours, the textures – it was a profound experience, promoting creative thought and what felt like a strong spiritual connection. You won’t be surprised to know I love Andy Goldsworthy’s work!

    • Hi Sandra. Thanks for your comments about creativity. The landscape of Portland is quite remarkable, a visit their many years ago led me to stumble across Portland Sculpture Quarry (on a very atmospheric day when it was immersed in thick fog) and inspired me to try my hand at stone sculpture. I like the sound of your two year creative process, time is important to build that connection with landscapes.

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