Karen Joyce

Landscape regularly has me enthralled. Whilst I love the untamed and moody glamour of, say, a wild, storm-raked mountain, it’s often the tamer, more domesticated scenery that draws me back.

A lot of it is about layers. When humans live somewhere, they adapt the world around them over and over until it becomes a palimpsest.  Documents rewritten time and again, sometimes leaving evident or hidden traces, sometimes not. Under this school sports field there sits a mosaic, the stone outline of a roman bathhouse.  Beneath that new development was once a tapestry of thin, battered concrete, swathes of coltsfoot, bee orchids.  Under a hilltop copse or a quiet, ploughed field, who knows?

The layers, whether destroyed, still existing or nothing more disturbing than a progression of generations, are a pairing of place and memory – human, or that of the land itself.  We borrow landscape feature to live in our own memories too – they might become uncoupled over time but they remain landmarks on personal maps; fragments of stories told or untold.

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