Sean O’Reilly


​​​Re-visioning Landscape as a Critical Cultural Practice 

Supervisors: Prof Clive CazeauxDr Jon Clarkson 
Research group: Centre for Fine Art Research

The history of landscape production and representation is intimately bound up with a tradition that saw nature depicted as that ‘other’ to culture and led to its objectification both within science and its representation as landscape.

As a distancing device landscape separated the subject from the processes that generate landscape whilst veiling its political and instrumental functions as it served to impose order onto nature and conceal social inequities or ecological imbalance.

Re-evaluations of landscape, however, are currently emerging in human geography, ecology, cultural studies and biological science; and all engage to some extent with invisibility and refigure the temporal processes that generate the material landscape and its relationship to the human subject.

This study looks at the changing ways artists are redefining landscape from the position of ‘insider’, as active participant in the environment and from viewpoints and positions that engage in new inter-disciplinary inquiries, strategies and forms of visualisation and representation.

It evaluates the key concepts of ‘site’, ‘place’, ‘ecology’ and ‘representation’ that are influential in redefining once again landscape as an object of serious critical engagement and explores and suggests the role artists might have in defining its political, ecological and symbolic construction.​