The landscapes of colin taylor

6 min läsning

It is over three years since Colin Taylor wrote his article on Landscape for the first Tubes special on Landscape painting. We asked him to re-visit the subject and see what the months in-between have had on his thinking. Although the main tenet remains the same, he has updated and re-written several passages and reached a different conclusion.

photograph: Colin Taylor in his studio.

Landscapes of economy, scale & pleasure - part 3 of TUBES special

Just above Keswick in England’s Lake District you’ll find Latrigg Fell. On its southern flank there is a bench, just an ordinary wooden park bench. It’s a relatively easy walk to get to and because of its proximity to the town and good pathways, it’s a popular excursion that starts in the town itself. Alternatively, do a google search on ‘Latrigg bench’ there are plenty of images of the bench itself, and the landscape looking south across Keswick to Derwent Water.

“ the view is full into the rocky jaws of Borrowdale, through which the Derwent is seen pouring his crystal stream. Castle Crag, stands first of all above the forest of embattled rocks, who’s forked heads reared to the sky shine like spears of burnished steel. Langdale Pike advancing to the clouds overlooks them all.”

Thomas West, (1778) A Guide to the Lakes of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire’

I’ve been fascinated by ‘landscape’ for a long time. Why it looks the way it does? How it’s evolved, managed, used and sometimes abused and… as it relates to my own work, is it possible to transfer personal experience to a single visual image?

The word ‘Landscape’ first appeared in written English in the sixteenth century of Dutch/German origin. Its suffix, ‘scape’ is derived from the German verb, ‘schaffen’, meaning ‘to shape’ and infers that decision or selection has taken place over its use or appearance. The man-made bench on Latrigg is where it is for a reason and it rewards the walker with a perfectly formed, pre-framed experience of a Lakeland panorama.

Whilst most often and traditionally associated with the natural environment, the ‘landscape’ is equally applicable to an urban, built or interior or increasingly, even a virtual one. But, for the purposes of this written observation, lets stick with the idea of landscape painting as we can all readily accept it, a view of somewhere or of something orientated to convey scale and distance and contained within a picture plane.

painting by Colin Taylor: Derwent Water from Latrigg

For a long time, it seemed enough for me to say that my creative practice was not an optical experience but an emotional one

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