Simon Schama, the very erudite British historian, is responsible for one of my favourite quotes,
"...landscape is the work of the mind. Its scenery is built up as much from strata of memory as from layers of rock".
For me, this also applies to the built environment us city dwellers live in. The way we build and shape our cities is entirely influenced by our culture and beliefs. I would even go so far as to argue that the dominant ideologies of the day design a city’s buildings as much as the architect who actually draws the plans. This isn’t a new theory with many photographers, such as David Goldblatt from South Africa and Paul Seawright from Northern Ireland, exploring different aspects of this process. Read More
It has been written that landscape is a connector of the soul with being and throughout history; features of the landscape not only have been an inspiration for worship but also integral as spaces for worship. The Egyptians worshipped a personification of the Nile River and used the river as the vehicle for an annual religious festival, while the Celts in ancient Ireland believed that the mountain Croagh Patrick was the dwelling place of deity Crom Dubh and this mountain was the focus of an annual harvest festival.
The integration of natural landmarks did not end with ancient times and nowadays Irish Catholics have claimed Croagh Patrick, stating that St Patrick fasted at its summit for 40 days before banishing all the snakes from Ireland. Today it is the site of the most important Catholic pilgrimage in Ireland with almost one million visitors climbing it a year. Read More