‘New Perspectives on Landscape’ I

This post is part one overviewing the work of five contemporary NZ landscape painters, who provided works for ‘New Perspectives on Landscape’ which has been touring the South Island, culminating in a final show at eastern southland gallery earlier this month:

Fiona Van Oyen
Hannah Joynt
Sue Pearce
Miranda Joseph
Robyn Bardas

Fiona van Oyen The_Anthropomorphic_Garden_rs.jpg
The_Anthropomorphic_Garden – Fiona Van Oyen (photo with permission – N Cowburn)

Each artist challenges the overwhelming (and unquestioned) use of perspective in art; look at almost any painting of a scene, advertising copy or image of a place and perspective will be the dominant structure defining the image

as if the viewer is always

………………..detached\distinct from what they see (uninvolved \ univited!)

as if there is only

………………..one point from which to view a scene

this also makes me wonder if

………………..only certain classes\races\genders) are allowed to understand this scene

Fiona Voy Oyen’s direct experience of the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake describing standing on the swaying earth, holding onto a pedestrian crossing post while watching the nearby Avon River rise, envisioning her own impending death. All this flooded her perception, leaving her with the impression of all her surroundings turned to white – much like a negative film. Van Oyen has continued to explore this in her print-making producing layered linocut prints of extraordinary detail and complexity.

Van Oyen’s works are immersive; as with all these painters, the viewer becomes involved  in the scene. This approach also represents an attack on perspective’s handmaiden – environment. Both ‘perspective’ and ‘environment’ place what is seen, what is experienced, well outside of our self – people (and legislation) speak of the ‘environment’ as some thing separate from us – yet we

…..breath it
……….drink it
……………eat from it
………………..return to it

5 thoughts on “‘New Perspectives on Landscape’ I

Add yours

  1. Although not the artistic sort, I do tend to notice the differences in advertisement that is designed to appeal to specific ethnicities. My colleague pointed it out years ago in Los Angeles. It had been something that I had so easily ignored in urban areas here. The publicly visible advertisements in his hometown of Beverly Hills (in Los Angeles County), which was predominantly Caucasian and Jewish back then, appealed to the local populace, but also seemed to too often depict those of African descent as something exotic and bizarre. Women often had shaved heads and grotesquely masculine musculature. Grace Jones was still popular back then. However, in Leimert Park, where the populace back then was predominantly of African descent, billboards and publicly visible advertisement, which was much more abundant, depicted those of African descent as normal family type people, with distinct fathers, mothers and children. Yet, there were still big many billboards depicting ‘normal’ African American men drinking booze.

  2. This is fantastic, such boldness and that white line layer like veins that could not take it anymore and popped off the page from the shock, I really enjoy the mixture of detail and haze, strength and fear. And then sometimes the white lines feel like a cage you are trapped in, making you feel so much smaller than your surroundings. Thanks for sharing Nigel. Greetings from a very early summer sensation in Paris at a time when it should be snowing. I got a sun tan yesterday! In February! What are we doing to the climate?

    1. Earlier Nigel replied but omitted to hit “Reply” before commenting. I fixed it but the comment then had my gravator icon so I had to fix again, hence the flurry of duplicated “replies” you’d have received, apologies!

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