Landscape and history

Prefacing the Introduction of Geoff Park’s masterpiece of ecology and history “Nga Uruora – Ecology and History in a New Zealand Landscape” is a quote from Frank Gohlke, American landscape photographer and writer [click here to view website]:

Landscapes are collections of stories, only fragments of which are visible at any one time. In linking the fragments, unearthing the connections between them, we create the landsape anew. A landscape whose story is known is harder to dismiss… At its best, telling the landscape’s story can still feel like a sacred task.

I suspect that, though perhaps not always consciously, this “sacred task” drives many of New Zealand’s writers, photographers, poets and artists to document the landscapes around us – particularly those which retain some vestige of the indigenous.

Photo: A dramatic land and skyscape in Northern Canterbury, taken from SH1, probably somewhere between Hauwai and Seddon [click here to view map]. Photo by Rainer Kant.

Further reading: Nga Uruora – Ecology and History in a New Zealand Landscape (1995), by Geoff Park. See Resources page for more details.

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