Rethinking Landscape

The Rural

  • Rebecca Chesney, Death by Denim, 2015. Courtesy of the artist_web

    Rebecca Chesney, Death by Denim, 2015. Courtesy of the artist

Past Event


This event was on Thu 15 Mar 2018, 7pm

This event forms part of our series dedicated to The Rural exploring how artists engage with the contemporary rural sphere.

How do contemporary artists challenge representations of the rural through landscape?

In this event featuring artist Rebecca Chesney and art historian Rosemary Shirley, we ask how artists think about landscape beyond an idea of the sublime, to encompass everyday lived experience in remote places.

How can we relate to landscapes, familiar and unfamiliar? It is often the particular, sometimes spectacular conditions of remote places that shape their culture and define a sense of place. At the same time, remote or ‘wild’ landscapes can be considered a privilege for those with the time and means to visit them, raising the question ‘who is the landscape for?’

This event unpacks our assumptions about landscape and culture to offer new perspectives.

About Rebecca Chesney

Rebecca Chesney is a visual artist whose work is concerned with the relationship between humans and nature and how we perceive, romanticise and translate the landscape. Her projects take the form of installations, interventions, drawings, maps and walks. She has been commissioned by Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Compton Verney, Grizedale Arts, the Bronte Parsonage Museum, Peak and the Brecon Beacons National Park and invited to attend residencies at Montalvo in California USA, CONA in Mumbai India and the Nirox Foundation in South Africa.  www.rebeccachesney.com

About Rosemary Shirley

Dr Rosemary Shirley is a Senior Lecturer in Art Theory and Practice at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research centres on everyday life and visual culture, with a particular emphasis on contemporary rural contexts. She is interested in how the English landscape might be explored through notions of national identity and discourses of modernity. This has led her to write about topics as diverse as litter, motorways, folk customs and scrapbooks. She is also interested in how contemporary artists engage with landscape as a place that is lived in rather than simply looked at or visited. She recently co-curated the exhibition Creating the Countryside: Thomas Gainsborough to Today at Compton Verney, co-edited the book Creating the Countryside: The Rural Idyll Past and Present (Paul Holberton 2017) and is the author of Rural Modernity, Everyday Life and Visual Culture (Routledge 2015).

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