John Timberlake : Landscape and the Science Fiction Imaginary 2018

I found reading this book extremely useful in terms of developing my own practice. Some key points that stood out were:

  • “In the invention of stories, cinematic plot lines and protagonists, landscape is typically the passive setting rather than a protagonist in its own right”. pg15

This is something that I am exploring in my own practice. A landscape can remain very much passive but present at all times. It is constantly changing due to how humans, animals, weather ect. are interacting with it. left vague so anything could happen in the landscape- its just a back drop, many things could take place there.

  • “the two things for which science fiction is best known are these: the creation of new environments and the evocation of a sense of wonder”. pg15

Leaving the paintings ambiguous makes it more interesting I think. The art can then be influenced by the the viewers imagination.

  • “A Landscape of the Idea and the Idea of a Landscape”pg25

This quote particularly stood out- it’s left vague but makes you think about what the ‘idea’ is, and how the landscape seems to fit into the background of this, but also what is a ‘landscape’? What do we typically associate with this term?

  • “It is the seeing of discrepancies of scale in landscapes that are either miniaturised or outsized that introduces overtones of the uncanny or estrangement: the everyday rendered extraordinary and fantastical”. pg25

This is something I want to explore in my paintings. Using what is real and recognisable but making it not quite right by changing size, colour, and gravity.

  • “In swifts description of Lilliput, where Gulliver finds himself a giant, the actual landscape is hardly described at all, as if its details are too small to be noticed”.




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