The landscape module has come a long way, starting off looking into a few painters, recognising styles of painting some abstract, expressionist and some realism. Seeing how they used light to convey depth and richness, danger and security, good and evil and so on but also making powerful statements about reality at that given time. Many are assigned to political language such as Paul Nash's Constable and Gainsborough's landscapes. I started to explore British photographers who have been representing the landscape, starting with Mark Power, a bit of Parr, Simon Roberts, Fay Godwin, Ansel Adams and Frank Gohkle. I came Across the New topographics work through reading their works but also through seeing an unrelated image by chance by William Christenberry of a red shed within the American landscape, I saw this repetition of structure being photographed by various photographers, then I looked into the Bechers who a were part of the topographics exhibition also. But I saw a new way of seeing to be honest and it was through these works of the ten photographers who were part of this exhibition, a representation of the urban environment: the abstraction of the landscape of buildings and industrial corps's left on the land into a world of sculpture, form and essentially ideas which originate from the mind. This representation for me transcends the political, environmental, idealistic, definital process of naming and designating and allows the beauty of nature, whether its through repetition of pattern (Bechers) or simply the intent of the photographers through their definitions (photographs) and way of seeing, it's a beautiful way of seeing the world. This really took me and allowed me to understand and become influenced by this "Movement". A very artistic approach to creating a representation of the landscape, especially the presentation, beautiful black and white darkroom prints nicely frames etc. But the only thing wrong with these images is that there are no people in frame, this is a sense of failure, a misunderstanding maybe, because well people are in a sym-biotic relationship with nature, we are as much a part of it all as the buildings, the land and the sky. Well my Dissertation gets at this clearly. The Human-Altered Landscape took my interest as a good bit of research by exploring landscape photography and art in the mid 70s and through this exhibition. Simon Roberts's work, Mark Power and Lewis Baltz are also who persuaded my interest to landscape, exploring the social and industrial landscape we find ourselves in today. Many places reveal ancient ruins and historic locations and formations (Fay Godwin's work shows this well through political campaign) but there are also places that show remains of previous topographics and have been on the landscape since the late 19th centry, waiting to be re-landscaped. The Bechers explore the post industrial era in America which has been put in to many books, they depict sequences of building and water towers etc which is very clever way to document in terms of archive but also brings in a sense of comparison of building and structure. Simon Roberts links into this as he is focused on a similar picture, but the new topographics doesn't depict people present within the landscape, where more contemporary Roberts does. He sees the world as a kind of theatrical play.
Looking at paintings I feel help a lot with catalysing thought and imagination if its a good painting. And I find it very interesting how closely related painting and photography is in art. And really where the art lies in photography, the print, making a photograph with your hands and chemicals, (recreating reality chemically) I didn't manage to print my negatives on 16x20 inch paper which is what I would have loved to do and explore further. My FMP is going to explore platinum palladium and various papers so that will be another dream ;).