The theatre/stage is an exciting metaphor to think about the sea because these words have connotations of being enacted by humans.
We humans necessarily make pictures in our minds of our places and our world. But we can only do this by selection, putting some things into the picture and leaving the rest out. And so we live in two landscapes, one superimposed upon the other.Essay Two Minds by Wendell Berry
First there is the cultural landscape made up of our own local knowledges of where we are, of landmarks and memories, of patterns of use and travel, of remindings and meanings. The cultural landscape, among other things, is a pattern of exchanges of work, goods, and comforts among neighbours. It is the country we have in mind.
And then there is the actual landscape, which we can never fully know, which is always going to be to some degree a mystery, from time to time surprising us. These two landscapes are necessarily and irremediably different from each other. But there is danger in their difference; they can become too different. If the cultural landscape becomes too different from the actual landscape, then we will make practical errors that will be destructive of the actual landscape or of ourselves or of both.
Berry acknowledges that land is not one and the same with ‘landscape’. Landscape then, is separate from land, and perhaps in my painting I want to acknowledge this seperate-ness. In the paintings I have been working on in the last couple of days I show the edges of the landscapes, meaning I include in the painting these dark, unknown spaces that are literally beyond the edge of the seascape. Is this area the gap between the land and landscape? A kind of liminal space that separates the two? A phenomenological gap? In these edges-of-dioramas paintings I am showing a landscapes construction. I am revealing the edges to these constructed views.
Land doesn’t have an edge, but a landscape does.