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Showing posts from November, 2019

Bourblaige and the Landscape of Outrage

Landscape is a notoriously slippery thing to capture. It seems simple enough and is usually framed with the romantic grammar of dramatic vistas, through photography, painting and film. The modern thrill is delivered by drone's-eye view as you whir smoothly through mist and cloud over a Highland loch or corrie, when you might feel the similar emotional rapture of Edwin Landseer, Horatio McCulloch or the early photographers such as Robert Moyes Adam and Frank S. Smythe. This visual drama of the Highlands as natural wilderness and freedom from human influence is a view which has been painstakingly constructed over centuries, but it means little if you were to ask what is valued, and the landscape seems more fragile if you do. Emigrants to Canada would clutch sods of turf to their chest, taking a little bit of home to lay on their new burial grounds. Clearance victims would carry a particular stone or wooden beam from their ruined homes, and an oral history of abuse and outrage. Land…