The Imaginative Landscape

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The Imaginative Landscape’ Derived from the Dutch word ‘landschap’, landscape can refer to, and mean many things. It can be described as the physical environment we see around us every day and everywhere we go. However it can also be the meaning we add to the physical aspect of it. The imaginative landscape can be defined as the world we carry in our thoughts, dreams, memories/experiences, attitude and imagination, that helps us to colour/ shape the world around us.

Therefore, the imaginative landscape can be something that is a part of our identity and history, something that can change the way we think and live our lives and can be something that causes people to think differently about certain places in the world. The landscape can carry meaning, for those who belong to it. For the indigenous people, the landscape is a part of them and a part of their identity and history. It is a holistic experience and the centre of their belief system. The indigenous people have many beliefs and stories regarding the landscape, for instance Uluru.

There are many stories and legends about how it was formed, but also how it is inhibited by the spirits of their ancestral creators. Therefore it is not just a place we add meaning to, it can be a place that is part of a person’s heritage and legacy. The landscape can significantly change our opinions and view on the world, but it can also change the way we live our lives. As Max Muller stated “While the river of life glides along smoothly, it remains the same river; only the landscape on either bank seems to change”. This follows the saying nothing is constant except change.

It implies that the landscape is constantly changing, and in order to survive we must adjust the way we live our lives to suit the type of landscape we live in. For example if a place is going through a drought, the people of that environment must adjust their lives to one where water is conserved and only consumed as little as possible. The landscape can be a region that has meaning and that can shape our view of the world. However everybody has a different meaning and view of the world and therefore the landscape can hold different meanings for different people.

For example, Australia may be a place some people love and can call home. A place where they have grown up and shared an immeasurable amount of memories and experiences with the people in their lives. However, to a person who has migrated here, it may be a place they dread and hate, as it is new and unknown. A place that reminds them that they are foreigners and that they left all their family and friends at home along with all their joyous memories. Therefore a landscape may contain memories for people that may either be positive or negative, in which can also change our opinions and the way we think.

Therefore, the imaginative landscape can be an unique and personal image every individual attains in their mind. It is very subjective as it is influenced by the values, culture, beliefs, religion, emotions, experiences and choices of that one individuals life. For example the same destination, can mean various things to different people based on the experiences and memories a person had their. Consequently, the imaginative landscape can be something that is a part of our identity and history, something that can change the way we think and live our lives and something that causes people to think differently about certain places in the world.

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