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Warrick Wynne's List: Suburban Margins

  • Feb 24, 09

    Consumer hunger for residential land and infrastructure is slowly destroying many historical sites located near the steadily expanding fringes of suburbia. Weather also takes its toll on beautiful rural buildings that have been abandoned by their owners.

    • aughty.org aims to provide a focus for information and discussion  about the Slieve Aughty uplands in Counties Clare and Galway in the  west of Ireland. The site was launched on Earth Day, April 22 2006 at  a gathering in Crusheen called Aughty People and Earth Day, hosted by  Heritage Inchicronan. People from around the region and further afield  explored ways in which the heritage of the Aughties could be recorded,  protected and enhanced by considering the region as a whole. On April  21 2007, the Aughty  Gathering was hosted by Kilchreest-Castledaly Heritage Group. Sl├│gadh Eachtai was held on April 19 2008 in Woodford,  on April 20 2009 in Tuamgraney, on April 17 2010 in Gort and on May 7 2011 at Logh Graney: at each of these events, the interest  in this approach to the region's heritage was reaffirmed by large and  enthusiastic attendances. We hope to stimulate more debate and  research, connect groups and individuals and generally raise awareness  about this unique place
    • The best of these landscapes are vivid historical documents -- mosaics in which all our activities are embedded. They assuage our nostalgia for the past, remind us collectively of where we have been, and help to create a sense of place. 

       Today there is a growing awareness among Minnesotans that this rural agricultural heritage is worthy of acknowledgment and protection. Yet its landscape is fast disappearing as non-farm land uses, and changes in agricultural technologies and practices, create a new visual record on the landscape.

    • This report provides an introduction to historic landscapes, specifically agricultural historic landscapes in Minnesota
    • Dramatic changes have taken place over the last century. At one time more than 90% of the nation farmed, which dwindled to only 2% of the total population according to a 1994 New York Times report.[iv]

        

      Craig Blietz sensitizes us to this grim statistic in his selection of farms on the periphery of a burgeoning tourist community, where the original function of the farm has been displaced by a new economy. The buildings are well cared for, however, many no longer serve the purpose they held as functioning farms, but are now leased for a new purpose. In some cases, the barns have become mere storage facilities for expanding business ventures in town.

        

      There is a paradox established in the hauntingly beautiful landscapes, depicting painstakingly rendered, strong vibrant structures, that mask an emptiness and abandonment created by the prosperity of a transitioning lifestyle in Door County, Wisconsin, a community burdened by its own natural attractiveness.

    • It raises questions about continuity, and future visions, but also presents affirmations of a tradition that is continued because of a love of the land and the values instilled through hard work leading to the satisfaction gained through the efforts of one's own hand. These affirmations are paralleled in the daily work of each of the artists who also weather the elements, respond to the outdoors and link their creative efforts to a reliance on nature.
    • In Spring 2000, we began to place coins of our own design at various sites we traverse as we lead our lives. In doing so, we are attempting to recognize and mark places that we believe deserve our attention and thought.

        

      Some sites have been chosen because they are rich with memory. Some mark the location of major or minor (but significant) historical or cultural events. Other sites are contested places - places where people have fought for ownership or control of land, resources, or communities. And we have chosen some places simply because we think they might reveal something about the evolving relationship between human beings and the world they inhabit or once inhabited.

    • Spans of green fields, rolling ranchlands, hillsides  covered in vineyards and rows of fruit trees proclaim the rich agricultural heritage  of our countryside. Unfortunately, this rural landscape is in danger of being  paved over all over the country, especially here in the Bay Area. When farmland  is replaced with single-use, low-density sprawling suburbs, habitat and open space  are also lost forever.
    • The word Landscape most readily suggests one  of three things: a particular location, a view of  that location, or the representation in words or  pictorial images of such a view. For those of us who  work primarily with English sixteenth- and  seventeenth-century literary texts, the term is most  likely to evoke either country house poems (Jonson's  "To Penshurst," Marvell's "Upon  Appleton House") or, if we are inclined to  interdisciplinarity, landscape or prospect paintings.  What is seldom, if ever, explored is the relationship  between, on the one hand, texts that we might lump  together under the rubric of the landscape arts,  and, on the other, the category of landscape.  In fact, most critics understand the category as  inseparable from the arts themselves.
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