Imaginative Landscape

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The influence of landscape, whether conscious of unconscious, is reflected in individuals and whole communities. People tend to feel happy and secure in some places, whereas other places may provoke fear and sadness. For instance, the emotions and relationships of people who are born into war or poverty will develop in a very different way to those who never experience trauma or dislocation. Many people feel strong sense of belonging to a landscape, others may feel alienated or isolated by the place in which they live. Immigrants, exiles and refugees may have a very different relationship to a landscape from those born and raised there. People who are forced to leave one landscape and then accept another may take a long time to feel comfortable in their new home. They may find an unknown landscape alienating, dangerous and foreboding. Our environment can be a great comfort and bring many pleasures in life; in contrast it can also be very threatening bring up pessimistic emotions. Across the world, writers and film makers use landscape as a metaphor for human experiences and as a background to mundane and dramatic events. Landscape may be seen in literal or metaphoric terms. Physical locale influences the way people live their lives and express their emotion, and becomes intertwined with their imaginative landscape. In Australia, landscape often represents both hardship and good times in person’s lives, as well as providing metaphors for their personal characteristics. For example, rural people are depicted as “solid as Ayers Rock” during difficult times. By contrast, coast dwellers are often represented as carefree people who are ‘riding the wave’ of prosperity and relaxed living. The environment that the rural residents have to endure can be very tough. The harsh terrain and the extreme climate changes during summer require physically demanding work in order for the inhabitants to survive...
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