Peter Lanyon: A Life Geographic
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This research is a biography. It follows the creative and working life of Peter Lanyon, an artist born in 1918 in St Ives, as he painted landscapes of his home county, Cornwall, and his travels abroad. Here I open up a dialogue between the biographical and geographical, exploring a path between past and present, using material objects alongside memories and narratives affected by those objects. I explore material, embodied and sensuous relationships between landscape, history and biography and look towards how land, sea and air are animated and animating, forging other forms of geographical knowledge. Lanyon’s work is conceived as ‘creative practice as research’. I work through the connective spaces between land, air and sea as Lanyon describes them in terms of his own movements, as politically expedient in thinking through spaces and times, bodies and places in terms of feminist ideas of sexual difference and elemental philosophies. As such I contribute to the debate on emotional and affectual geographies and explore the relationships between life and earth in a historically and temporally specific way. What is practiced, where it is practiced, can not be separated from how it is shaped, communicated and received. Breaking down notions of solid and fluid, mind and body, implicated in hierarchies of knowledge and practice, masculine and feminine is the over arching theme arising from Lanyon’s work as it is practiced and, taking impetus from Lanyon, within this project too.
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