I want to figure out how 'landscape' might find a place in contemporary art practice. That's a bit overblown. More modestly, I'd like to see if what I've done so far (mostly depict places) could develop into something a bit more aware of contemporary work.
To help, I'm reading Malcolm Andrews' 'Landscape and Western Art'. He's not filling me with great confidence, declaring, as he does at the end of his very first chapter: 'As a phase in the cultural life of the West, landscape may already be over.'
Never mind. I'll press on...
Andrews' chapter 1 is 'Land into Landscape'. He's at pains to explain the basic insight that 'landscape' is a culturally-situated, created thing from the very start:
'A 'landscape'... is already 'artifice before it has become the subject of a work of art. Even when we simply look we are already shaping and interpreting...'
'...land rather than landscape is the raw material... The process might... be formulated as twofold: land into landscape; landscape into art.'
'...landscape (is) an idea and... an experience in which we are creatively involved... (It) tells us, or asks us to think about, where we belong.'
'...as a perceived revision of the natural world (it) is reconstructed to correspond to human needs...'
How do these insights square with my several years of naively recording the stretch of countryside on the edge of the town where I live?