Landscape Perception and Inhabiting Vision: Practising to see from the inside

From the recent archives, I thought it would be good to post my dissertation from Dartington. Download the pdf of Landscape Perception and Inhabiting Vision.

The Abstract:

In this dissertation I investigate vision and landscape through painting. I identify landscape as a diverse and lively critical field of study as I have come to understand it through my reading. I recognise that a problem occurs between my painting practice and my understanding of landscape as a lived practice. Vision has a deeply rooted epistemology of detached observation and an ecological practice requires engagement. To continue painting landscapes, I must find a way to inhabit vision.

I begin by comparing landscape as a way of seeing (Cosgrove 1998) with a phenomenologically placed account of dwelling-in-the world (Ingold 2000). I explore how vision in a landscape operates in both accounts. Of the two models, dwelling presents a more ecologically engaging account of living within the landscape, but it seems to advocate more immersive bodily experience (i.e. movement, touch, smell or hearing) and has no place for a detached vision. Must vision always be constituted by detached observation? I turn to Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology in order to come to an understanding of embodied vision. In doing so, my conceptualisation of practice and method has changed. I find a theoretical framework that will support future inquiries into living and painting as an inhabitant of my landscape.

Categorized as Journal

By Noel Hefele

Noel Hefele is an artist living in the Bronx