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LP&E: Part 3, Page 4

Project 4 - Landscape as a Call to Action

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Project 3.1 Origins of the Picturesque - Exc 3.1 - Project 3.2 The Tourist Perspective - Exc 3.2 - Project 3.3 Marks of Conflict and ‘Late Photography’ - Project 3.4 Landscape as a Call to Action - Exc 3.3 - Project 3.5 Post/Industrial Landscapes - Exc 3.4 - Project 3.6 Photography, Memory and Place - Exc 3.5 - Exc 3.6 - Conclusion - Upsum - Eval

Almond - An-My Lê - Attie - Broomberg & Chanarin - Burtynsky - Conroy - Davies - Delahaye - Doherty - Burtynsky - Epstein - Halso - Kennard - Lixenberg - Misrach - Morris - Pickering - Reas - Ristelhueber - Russel - Shambroom - Shanahan - Sulter - Svenson - Watkins - name -

deconstructivism - late photography - picturesque - postcards -

Bate - Campany - Gilpin - Meades -

Preamble - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Asg.1 - Asg.2 - Asg.3 - Asg.4 - Asg.5 - Asg.6 - I&P - C&N - EyV -

[ spellchecked 8Mar ]

Paul Reas
b: 1955 Bradford
Site - Wikipedia
Darren Almond
b: 1971 Appley Bridge, Lancashire
whitecube - Wikipedia

[9Feb21, p.115] John Constable is castigated as a purveyor of picturesque porn, and subjected to ridicule, particularly Hay Wain reworked by Kennard. Others cited as taking a swipe at Constable include "Paul Reas in Flogging a Dead Horse (1993) and in Darren Almond’s Night for Day (2001)" (p.115) depicting loss of industry and revisiting the sites of paintings respectively (see Dimbleby's A Picture of Britain (2005) is on the course reading list and that notes (p.159) that Constable's depiction of the picturesque was more admired on the Continent than in the UK and he sold few landscapes here in his lifetime (Carey, 2022).

Constable Kennard Reas Almond
Box A
1. John Constable, Hay Wain, 1821
2. Peter Kennard, The Hay Wain with Cruise Missiles, 1980
3. Paul Reas, from Flogging a Dead Horse, 1993
4. Darren Almond, Full moon @Torre Egger, 2013
© the artists, their agents or their estates
img: 1. Wikipedia; 2. LPE p.116; 3. Paul Reas; 4. Guardian

This is a good time to come to the defence of Constable, an easy target for glib criticism. There is a show of his late work about to close at the Royal Academy and a new biography has just been published.

In the online publicity, the RA states, "These 12 [late] years are characterised by expressive brushwork … [which] … had an important impact on the next generation of painters, heralding the beginning of important movements in the late 19th century." (RA, 2021)

In a review of James Hamilton's biography (2022), Laura Freeman (2022)

Have we got Constable wrong? The Constable of James Hamilton’s illuminating biography is a radical, an artist possessed of an “experimental burn” to paint the skies and seasons in new lights. In the 20th century, Hamilton argues, Constable was a victim of “miscasting”, his pictures dismissed as “quaintly old-fashioned”. The impressionists had stolen his thunder. Critics forgot that when it came to broken colour, modern subjects and the “lurid tones of industrialisation” Constable had got there before Monet, Manet, Pissarro and all that Paris crowd. Constable was the overlooked revolutionary. Freeman, 2022

The paintings in the RA show bear this out. While there are examples of the relatively conventional Constable, of far more interest are the radical late pieces such as Stonehenge and Rainstorm...

Constable ConstableConstable Constable
Box B
John Constable
1. Cloud Study, 11 September 1821
2. Hadleigh Castle, 1829
3. Rainstorm over the Sea, c. 1824-8
4. Stonehenge, 1835
© the artists, their agents or their estates
img. 1-4. RA.

STOP PRESS 6th July 2022

Just Stop Oil protesters glue themselves to Constable’s Hay Wain at National Gallery

Protesters also covered the painting with a ‘dystopian’ version of the scene

The Times reported yesterday that Hay Wain's iconic status had again been reinforced when anti-internal-combustion EcoProtesters stuck themselves to the frame and posted up a variant,

The artwork, completed in 1821, shows an idyllic vision of the millpond at Flatford on the River Stour in Suffolk. According to the group, the new print “depicts a nightmare scene that demonstrates how oil will destroy our countryside”.
“The river has gone ... replaced by a road,” a spokesman said. “Planes fill the sky, pollution belches from cities on the horizon, trees are scorched by wildfires, an old car is dumped in front of the mill and the famous hay wain cart carries an old washing machine.”
Just Stop Oil are calling on the government to end new oil and gas facilities and for art institutions to join their group in civil resistance. Peter Chappell, The Times, 5 July 2022
Hay Wain protest Hay Wain protest
Box B1
1-2. Just Stop Oil want art institutions to support their campaign calling for the government to end new oil and gas projects
© the artists, their agents or their estates

Just Stop Oil

Chappell, P. (2022) Just Stop Oil protesters glue themselves to Constable’s Hay Wain at National Gallery [online]. Available from [Accessed 6 July 2022].

Mitch Epstein
b: 1952 Holyoke, MA
Site - Wikipedia
Edward Burtynsky
b: 1955 Ontario
Site - Wikipedia
Dana Lixenberg
b: 1964 Amsterdam
Grimm - Wikipedia
Ilkka Halso
b: 1965 Finland
Site - MoMA

[p.117] Back to Kennard's Hay Wain..., this has proved very popular over the years, used by CND and the Greenham Common protesters. The cmat. quotes Liz Wells (2011, p.21)

. .. as political rhetoric, the composite effectively draws attention to the dangers of annihilation through suggesting what might happen if a nuclear war was played out on British land. Photomontage may not be subtle but it is effective as a tactic when the aim is to make a point quickly and directly. We grasp immediately that Britain is under threat. Liz Wells, 2011, p.21

then goes on to note that nowadays the immediate threat is environmental rather than military and cites Epstein, Burtynsky and Halso as practitioners in this area.

Epstein's American Power (2009) was a five-year project inspired by an initial study of an Ohio town that had been bought up by American Electric Power. Epstein states,

I was not the same after this trip. The cost of growth, with its implicit energy demands, had become terrifyingly vivid. I had seen first-hand the grave results of fossil fuel production on human life and our ecosystem.
To further examine the role of energy in the United States, I embarked on a five-year-long, twenty-five-state project called American Power. I photographed a consumerist society inured to the consequences of unbridled consumption. Epstein, n.d.

Similarly, Edward Burtynsky investigated Oil (2009) which looked at "just how tightly connected all of our global activity was to petrol and its raw material – oil … [and considered] … images of extraction and refinement; t he consumption of oil and motor culture; and abandoned ‘oilfields run dry’ and motor vehicles of all descriptions resigned to huge scrap heaps" (LPE, p.117). Burtynsky also photographed decommissioned military aircraft and the Chittagong the ship breakers in Bangladesh (figs C4 and C5).

In The Last Days of Shishmaref (2008), Dana Lixenberg illustrates an Alaskan community threatened by climate change (figs.C6-7).

Finally in this section, Ilkka Halso constructs fictional scenes to emphasise mankind's threat to nature, notably Museum of Nature and Naturale, depicting preservation warehouses built to maintain biodiversity.

Epstein Epstein Burtynsky Burtynsky Burtynsky Lixenberg Lixenberg Halso
Box C
1. Mitch Epstein, Amos Coal Power Plant, Raymond, West Virginia, 2004, from American Power, 2009
2. Mitch Epstein, BP Carson Refinery, California, 2007, from American Power, 2009
3-5. Edward Burtynsky, from Oil, 2009
6-7. Dana Lixenberg, from The Last Days of Shishmaref, 2008
8. Ilkka Halso, Kitka River 2004, from Museum of Nature , 2003–08
© the artists, their agents or their estates
img. 1-2 lensculture; 3. LPE p.118; 4-5. Pier24; 6-7.; 8. LPE p.119.

Exercise 3.4 - A Persuasive Image

This is shown on a separate page.


[15Feb] Depictions of the sublime and the picturesque are again deplored. The use of landscape photography in illustrating socio-ecological ills is explored.

LP&E 3.4


References for Part 3 are shown on the first page.

Page created 09-Feb-2021 | Page updated 13-Sep-2022