Imaginative Landscape

5 May 2017

The influence of landscape, whether conscious of unconscious, is reflected in individuals and whole communities. People tend to feel happy and secure in some places, whereas other places may provoke fear and sadness. For instance, the emotions and relationships of people who are born into war or poverty will develop in a very different way to those who never experience trauma or dislocation. Many people feel strong sense of belonging to a landscape, others may feel alienated or solated by the place in which they live.

Immigrants, exiles and refugees may have a very different relationship to a landscape from those born and raised there. People who are forced to leave one landscape and then accept another may take a long time to feel comfortable in their new home. They may find an unknown landscape alienating, dangerous and foreboding. Our environment can be a great comfort and bring many pleasures in life; in contrast it can also be very threatening bring up pessimistic emotions.

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Across the world, writers and film makers use landscape as a etaphor for human experiences and as a background to mundane and dramatic events. Landscape may be seen in literal or metaphoric terms. Physical locale influences the way people live their lives and express their emotion, and becomes intertwined with their imaginative landscape. In Australia, landscape often represents both hardship and good times in person’s lives, as well as providing metaphors for their personal characteristics.

For example, rural people are depicted as “solid as Ayers Rock” during difficult times. By contrast, coast dwellers are often represented as carefree people who are ‘riding the wave’ of prosperity and relaxed living. The environment that the rural residents have to endure can be very tough. The harsh terrain and the extreme climate changes during summer require physically demanding work in order for the inhabitants to survive there. This is not a landscape that encourages softness of feeling or intimacy. The people are hardened by difficult times.

In Juxtaposition city dwellers have much less physically demanding ccupations and the environment of the coastal regions is far less hostile. Thus the people that live there have a relaxing approach to life. People’s lives are often shaped or determined by the landscape in which they live. One’s experience of unfamiliar or hostile landscape and situations impact upon one’s personality and values. Some adapt and some resist, but all are affected. There are people out there that change their landscape in hope of finding a better one that promises a good future, these people are immigrants, refugees and exiles.

However they find that it is not easy to leave your home and family. People can remain so tied emotionally to the feelings associated with home, that no other landscape cans ever be as meaningful for them. The reason people abandon their homeland is because they are drawn to the world outside their small communities, often by desire for a richer intellectual life as a lawyer, doctor or teacher in a modern city like Australia. They are torn between love for their families and the fear that they will be bound to

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