Landscape perceptions and experiences

The aims of this blog is
1) to gather material which helps us to view 'Landscape' from many different perspectives (Science, Phenomenology, Aesthetics, Ethics etc)
2) and secondly to record 'Landscape experiences' from our workshops (Reports) and my own experiences (Diary).
For our workshops see our website

Sunday, September 26, 2010

1- day workshops 2010

Excursion 27th of March 2010

We went with a small group to the village of Aiguillanes, just south of the Plantaurel, a very long ridge (80 km?) which is a significant boundary as you have to go through it to reach the 'high mountain' culture.  From the vilage we walked towards the ridge and followed the GR7 eastwards (badly signposted), which runs half way between the ridge with the scrub land and the pastures.
We looked at the village and shared with each other what we saw and soon we realized that we all saw different elements, but together we could form a more coherent picture.
Further on we stopped for coffee and introduced a description of how plants grow (metamorphoses) and then each observed and drew a plant (dandelions and buttercups). We were surprised how many new things we discovered.
Then we continued on the path and we had to walk through dry prickly scrub land, after all it was the southern slop of a mountain ridge!
Then we stopped for lunch and took the opportunity to draw the landscape, but as it was so vast we had to limit ourselves to a certain section. Of course there were as always people who took another section! Anyway after a fairly long session we shared our experiences (and they were many) and what most impressed us, was how the colours change when the clouds move in front of the sun.

Then we walked down into the valley and were very relieved that we could walk through open fields on via a small road  back through valley towards where we have left our cars.
We are looking forwards to the next session.


Excursion 25th of April 2010

This time we went to Puivert, towards the southern side of the valley, before it goes over onto the high mountains. So we walked at the bottom of a northern slope and partly followed the Cathar route from out of the Plateau de Sault direction Puivert.

Puivert Castle

This time we set out to look at the structure of fields, streams, roads and trees and bushes and in how far men had structured these and so we didn't look too much how things looked in relation to colours, bright and dark surfaces like last time, but more at structures and forms in the landscape.
Then we shared these observations and experiences before lunch and after lunch we draw/paint a scenery also with the aim to accentuate structures, forms and roads in the landscape.
Soon we noticed many interesting features, so that in our conversation after the drawing session, we even used the word 'our tree', which was a fairly large tree, full in blossom in the middle of a green field and the cows had shaped the tree at the bottom.

View to the area where we were walking and drawing
What most impressed us was the many coloured trees at the bottom of the mountain, with its many shapes of grey, white and some fresh green in between. Definitely early spring. But this was not our task, but still it was a strong impression we all shared.
Two of us drew or painted the view to the west and one of us towards Puivert castle.
After lunch we thought to walk back and planned to focus now on the branches of trees, which were now in various stages of budding. But walking along a small hamlet we went in the village and met an old  farmer, who very friendly showed us his 6 cows and we helped him to bring them out into the field and later his few sheep and he showed us his garden. He had lived there all his life. After lunch I had also drawn the village and was now pleased to experience what actually lives and happens in this village.
The village with farmer

Excursion 26th of September 2010

This time we went to Plateau du Sault and as it was rather cold and raining, we drew the landscape from out of the minibus and then each wrote notes about the 4 dimensions of 'Legible Landscape' (vertical, horizontal, seasonal and historical dimensions of landscape) and afterwards we shared our experiences. Then we went for a walk and looked in more detail at the many different aspect and we were surprised how many flowers were still around.
Plateau du Sault near Rodome
Then after lunch, during which we watched the snow on the Madres, an enormous large mountain (around 2600m?)  we went into Rodome and after walking around,  we all drew different aspects of the village. Amanda from the top

Aunat; Amenda's perspective


and Andie from the bottom. Again it was altogether a rich experience, because by sharing experiences and observations, we opened our eyes to aspects which we normally would perhaps have overlooked.

Aunat; Our perspective

Amanda was so absorbed in her painting and observing, that she totally forgot the time.
Never mind.