The Aesthetics of Agricultural Landscapes and the Relationship between Humans and Nature

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Abstract:

The continuum between nature and artefact is occupied by objects and environments that embody a relationship between natural processes and human activity. In this paper, I explore the relationship that emerges through human interaction with the land in the generation and aesthetic appreciation of industrial farming in contrast to more traditional agricultural practices. I consider the concept of a dialectical relationship and develop it in order to characterise the distinctive synthesising activity of humans and nature which underlies cultivated environments. I argue that a more harmonious relationship, and greater aesthetic value, may be located within traditional farming landscapes. This position is supported and illustrated through a discussion of two agricultural practices in the UK, hedge-laying and stonewalling.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13668790500518024

Affiliations: Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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