exploratory project (week 2): research and collecting

week 2, research and collecting:

reading: spent the week sourcing texts and books related to gender and landscape; ‘gendered landscape’. titles include Feminist Geographies by a women and geography study group, Gillian Rose’s Feminism and Geography and Gender, Identity and Place by Linda Mcdowell. hopefully they will arrive next week. in the meantime i got hold of  Rebecca Solnit’s As Eve Said to the Serpent: Landscape, Gender and Art. i have read other Solnit texts relating to walking and landscape in Wanderlust and A Field Guide to Getting Lost and am looking forward to reading what she has to say about landscape, gender and art. (see bibliography updates, once books arrive).

poetry: throwing the research a little wider, i came across some papers discussing gender, place/landscape and identity in irish poetry. one such paper discusses how the irish poet Eavan Boland challenges female iconography and the traditional, idealised image of woman in her collection In Her Own Words (1980).  In her poem Anorexic, Boland looks at how national, idealised female identity has removed her real flesh, ‘her curves, and paps and wiles’, leaving her a joyless body of bones ‘starved and curveless’.

Caged so
I will grow
angular and holy

i have also sourced In Her Own Words poems, to arrive in the next two weeks. looking forward to using words and language as a trigger for exploring landscape and gender. (for the moment – Anorexic is available at: https://readalittlepoetry.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/anorexic-by-eavan-boland/).

idealised and romantic, body and landscape: while i was listening to the news, i heard the weather forecast. it seems sub-zero temperatures and icy winds are due next week. sounding somewhat bleak, it made me think of the whole mismatch between an idealised landscape and an idealised body and the reality of the landscape and the body enduring the weather conditions in the landscape. i think i’ll make a recording of the weather as it seems to say something about the reality of the landscape and the body. it might be some way of beginning my exploration of a gendered landscape; idealised/romanticised against real/actual…

listening / collecting: made a recording of today’s weather forecast (one of my challenges was to explore new processes, including sound). there seems a curious mix of factual information, measurements and sensual language; spreading, visibility, swells, intense anticyclones, frontal troughs, forces, fronts, rising slowly etc. (http://www.rte.ie/radio/).

listening / walking: again on the radio i heard a piece about walking routes in ireland, some of which follow old pilgrimage routes… might this link to a gendered landscape? spiritual paths vs physical journeys and the reality of the body, landscape, weather etc? it also seemed to link with the lines i quoted from Boland’s Anorexic – “caged so i will grow angular and holy”. (link to pilgrim paths: http://www.pilgrimpath.ie/).

next step (for week 3): get out in the landscape to research, discover, collect, react, move etc. continue research of gendered landscape texts, poetry and possibly song (re sound). take a closer look into pilgrim paths. listen and collect more recordings of weather.




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