This book explores the nature of Britain-based artists’ engagement with the transformations of their environment since the early days of the Industrial Revolution.
At a time of pressing ecological concerns, the international group of contributors provide a series of case studies that reconsider the nature–culture divide and aim at identifying the contours of a national narrative that stretches from enclosed lands to rising seas. By adopting a longer historical view, this book hopes to enrich current debates concerning art’s engagement with recording and questioning the impact of human activity on the environment.
The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, contemporary art, environmental humanities, and British studies.
PART 1 From the Claude Glass to Drones: Framing Environmental Encounters
1 Vehicles of Truth: Portable Studios and Nineteenth-Century British Landscape Painting, 1856–1885
Amy C. Wallace
2 Painting Fog: James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s Blurred Visions of the London Atmosphere
3 Aerial Ontologies
4 An Interview with Tim Martin
Charlotte Gould and Sophie Mesplède
PART 2 Areas of Outstanding Industrial Beauty? A Layered History of Reappropriation and Profitability
5 "It’s Grim Up North": Depicting Mutations and Shifting Perceptions of Industrial Landscapes in the North of England
6 "Our Oil": Our Waves? Environment, Energy Transition, and Art in Twenty-First-Century Scotland
7 Managing Arcadia: From the King’s Cross Estate to the Bretton Estate
8 An Interview with Adrian George
Charlotte Gould And Sophie Mesplède
PART 3 Decentering Human Vision: Art in a Shared Environment
9 Pursuing Natural Beauty: The Artist as a Hunter in Eighteenth-Century British Art
10 "A New and Unforeseen Creation": Turner, English Landscape, and the Anthropo(s)cene
11 The Human Landscape: John Ruskin, Drawing, and Colour
12 A Matter of Time: Transformative Sculptures by Marc Quinn, Zuzanna Janin, Anya Gallaccio, and Andy Goldsworthy
13 Brexit, Gender, and Northern Ireland’s Supernatural Landscape: Ursula Burke’s "A False Dawn" and Candida Powell-Williams’ "Command Lines"
"By offering ways to rethink past, present, and future British environments and visual responses to ecological change British Art and the Environment marks an important contribution to the field of ecocritical art history and the environmental humanities more broadly. It encourages new and promising perspectives on visual responses to our global landscape, of relevance to art historians whose interests extend across geographical boundaries and temporal frameworks."
"British Art and the Environment is undoubtedly essential reading for anyone interested in expanding their understanding of environmental approaches in art history; it will also prove a highly useful source for individuals interested in exploring how ecological and aesthetic theories could be understood as inseparably intertwined."
--Aspectus: A Journal of Visual Culture