Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Project 42 : man made landscape

In the UK it is difficult to find any "Landscape" that has not at some time been under the influence of man. Well known landscape such as the English Lake District, often seen as picturesque and unspoilt is in fact quite the opposite. Much of the obvious marking on the land is by fences and walls that provide containment for farm animals and delineate the ownership of parcels of land by farmers and the scree on a fell side is from mining. The mobility of man across the landscape has evolved with progress in engineering. The soft rural intervention of man is often seen as an acceptable part of the countryside whereas large engineering features such as bridges and deep cuttings are the source of debate and protest from those in society that see change as detrimental.

The image above shows how man is dividing up the landscape for farming. In this case the areas divided by stone walls enabling the control of grazing and stock management. In addition the wild overgrown area in the top right is separate and not a farming area.

Man made features (such as the bridge above) are often a legacy of previous activity. In this instance the railway is now disused but the legacy is a footpath. The loss of paint on the steelwork and resulting rust has toned the structure to blend in with the forest.

The influence of man on natural features such as rivers is to capture their features and enhance them for his own use. Here the Civil Engineer has created a quay wall in an estuary port where left to its own devices the landscape would be marshland and impossible to navigate.

The influence of man is sometimes hidden. The photograph above taken with low evening light and picks out the shape of an enclosure ditch or dis used watercourse.

Within the intimate landscape of man there is shape and texture. Concrete here is patched after cracking and illustrates the fragility of the man made, however it is constructed and demonstrates the transient nature of man on the landscape.

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