19th Century French painter, Paul Cezanne, once wrote in a letter to a friend; ‘the landscape thinks itself in me… and I am its consciousness’. It is this relationship between the land and us, the intertwined and interdependent relationship between the observer and the observed, the inhabitant and the inhabited, that is the focus of this exhibition.
How does a ‘space’ become something we recognise as a ‘place’? Consider the notion that our perceptions of a place contribute to its meaning and identity. What is the impact of a place’s purpose on its meaning? How does the amount of care and attention a place is given affect it? Recognise what it is not, what has been forgotten, what it did not become. Consider opportunity.
Through his paintings, Hefele investigates the symbolic qualities that places within a community may hold for its residents and how these landscapes experience change. In The Landscape Thinks Itself In Us, Hefele asks us to reflect on how change within industries that have been central to Totnes, will affect the vision of the town in the future.
Through these paintings, Hefele holds up a mirror, not only to a vision of the landscapes that surround us, but also to our perceptions of the place in which we live, and how change within these places may trigger change within ourselves.
Through contemplation, perhaps our imaginations can be let loose to create new visions of the future for these places, and for ourselves.