Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Dreams, Psychology and Landscapes

Hi Tom, You asked about artists or photographers who have combined landscape and psychology, or dreams and psychology... This is a little more tricky than with the portraits below, but there are a few. You say you have looked at Jerry Uelsmann - he's certainly a good starting point. For those who don't know his work, here's an example:
Jerry Uelsmann
To a certain extent, Uelsmann draws on the work of Rene Magritte, who played around with truth/reality and illusion under the influence of Surrealism. Some work better than others.

De Chirico, who I mentioned in the last post, used landscape to great effect to create a mood of brooding loneliness, at the end of the day in late summer. The shadows also suggest mysteries known but not seen, such as you sense in dreams.


 Dali created similar moods. There are the obvious paintings such as The Persistance of Memory or The Metamorphosis of Narcissus, and others such as his interpretation of Millais' The Gleaners with the two figures towering over small humans on a beach. Dali's landscapes often feel sad, harking back to his childhood at Cadaques.

Andrew Wyeth: Christina's World
Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World is often used with articles on teenage female angst, because it has that feeling of being lost, as you might feel in a dream. Munch's Summer Night's Dream shows a teenage girl at the point of stepping into adulthood. Giving herself as she leans forward, and yet holding back in the way she holds her arms. It shows the fear of innocent girls in the late nineteenth century, as they faced the challenge of sexual encounters. There are some disconcerting paintings from late nineteenth century Scandinavian painters who show the psychological disturbance caused through the long summer nights. We like to think of an extended day as being desirable, but when it's too long, people become unhinged.

Munch: Summer Night's Dream

Finally, you might look at artists that use the landscape to create projected psychological installations, such as Tony Oursler, and his Influence Machine. I have mentioned him in other posts, as he's a bit of a favourite of mine! He's useful too, as I know you have to explore the moving image on photography courses now, and he has some interesting ideas.
Tony Oursler: The Influence Machine

Tony Oursler: The Station

For textual research, you could look at this Masters thesis, 'Towards a Psychology of Landscape Aesthetics' on http://philosopha.net/?page_id=121 It's very academic, but you could pull out a few ideas on landscape and psychology, particularly towards the end of the dissertation, that might prompt further ideas for your work or research. Make sure you reference everything though.


No comments:

Post a Comment