Land, art

Authored by: Venda Louise Pollock

The Routledge Companion to Landscape Studies

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138720312
eBook ISBN: 9781315195063
Adobe ISBN:


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As part of its 2013 edition entitled North by Northwest, Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival premiered Canadian artist Kelly Richardson’s The Last Frontier in the town’s Bankhill Ice House. In the video installation, an eerily lit dome sat within a barren and mountainous futuristic landscape. The droning noise that rumbled through the darkened, cold, brick-built interior of the icehouse gave the dome a brooding presence that could have been malevolent or protective. Richardson’s dystopian vision, integral to which is an uncanny hyper-reality afforded through the use of advanced digital technology, is one manifestation of her preoccupation with landscape, and more particularly what she terms an ‘apocalyptic sublime’. Drawing on, and playing with, the rich relationship of landscape and the sublime (the theoretical touchstones of Immanuel Kant, Edmund Burke and Frederic Jameson, and art critic Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe’s idea of the ‘technological sublime’, all appear in discussions of her practice), 1 Richardson’s work pushes the boundaries of representation with the very form folding into its implied proposition – that landscape is threatened by pursuit of technological and other human advancement in the era of the Anthropocene.

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