When we look at the landscape, what do we see? Do we experience the view over a valley or dappled sunlight on a path in the same way as those who were there before us? How does our own vision of the landscape reflect – and be affected by – art and literature? Authors Will Ashon and Dr Susan Owens explore, in conversation with artist Sarah Sparkes, what we see in the British landscape and how place and history shape us.
Susan Owens, author of Spirit of Place: Artists, Writers and the British Landscape, describes how the British landscape has been framed, reimagined, and reshaped by each generation. Each account or work of art, whether illuminated in a manuscript, jotted down in a journal or constructed from sticks and stones, holds up a mirror to its maker and their world.
In litter-strewn Epping Forest, might Will Ashon find that magical moment of transcendence? He will certainly discover filthy graffiti and frightening dogs, as well as world-renowned artists and fading celebrities, robbers, lovers, ghosts and poets. But will he find himself? Will is the author of Strange Labyrinth: Outlaws, Poets, Mystics, Murderers and a Coward in London’s Great Forest.