Big Horizons

I’m in Frankonia, (Bavaria, Germany), for a few days, but unfortunately with no access to a scanner or any way of uploading any artwork so, today its only words.

The landscape here is linear, structured and ordered, made up of clean lines, horizontal and vertical. The sky seems always at a distance and the light though not today, is even and bright. By contrast the landscape I grew up in, in North Yorkshire is rugged and uneven. It is busy with dry stone walls and hedges, small river valleys, sunk beneath high moorland. The colours seem altogether more rich and varied. It is a windy spontaneous landscape, where the sky and everything under it appear to be in continuous flux. It is often heavy with dark clouds under which the light gets trapped, saturating everything. The contrast to Bavaria couldn’t be more different and when I first began visiting here years ago I found it un-stimulatimg and sterile by comparison.  It isn´t the same but it does have its own ordered, linear beauty.

(Actually it was the photographer Thomas Struth in his book Dandelion Rooms that helped me appreciate it more. The landscape photos taken in that book are actually taken around the area of Winterthur, where we live. But the topography and landscape in both areas are very similar).

Its not a patchwork of history like England’s landscapes, but a green and gold landscape where fields and woods are neatly divided. The ploughed furrows are perfectly straight and you find few abandoned farmhouses or dilapidated orchards to disturb the uniformity.  I joke that even the trees here stand to attention. It also got me thinking how landscape so much reflects the history and character of its people. But it could be just as well, that we are formed by our natural environment? By the consistency of the weather and open or obstructed horizons?

About Mark Hodgson

Designer and creative professional based in Jutland, Denmark

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