Embodying Landscape: Spatial Narratives of Becoming-Artist on the Islands of the Salish Sea




Jackson, Jolene

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Recent literature in cultural geography has turned its attention to the enactment of landscape through performance. Drawing upon the insights of new cultural geography and non-representational theory, this thesis examines the performative enactments of “place” through the production of landscape representations on the Islands of the Salish Sea. In particular, I adopt a narrative approach to consider how the embodied and discursive performances of becoming-artist and the enactment of landscape are co-constituted. Through a comparative case study of four Islands in the Salish Sea – San Juan, Lopez, Salt Spring, and Pender Islands – the current study provides an embodied account of the practices of landscape representation based upon fieldwork, participant observation, and 13 semi-structured interviews with landscape artists on the Islands. This is followed by a thematic analysis of recurring imagery in landscape paintings with a focus on representations of the rural scene, property relations, nationalism, and “unpeopled” landscapes. I conclude that landscape representations are both discursive and experiential in their performative enactments of place.



non-representational theory, new cultural geography, Salish Sea, landscape, representation, performativity, narrative