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Landscape Paintings and Emotion

             'Landscapes are linked to emotion'.
             Dorothea Mackellar, an Australian poet, once proclaimed her 'love [for] a sunburnt country', despite its 'droughts' and 'flooding rains', communicating an emotional connection between individuals and landscapes, which includes socio-cultural and natural elements. Sometimes our emotions can have an impact on how we construe a landscape. Moreover, a feeling of passion towards a place allows us to connect to a landscape, while some places cause us to experience conflicted emotions. .
             Our interpretation of a place may vary depending on our emotional state. Robert Drewe's 'a bitter-sweet journey for the boys of summers past' depicts two men and their contrasting experience on 'Rotnest Island' in their adult state. Both men possessing a nostalgic and 'sensuous' connection to the place they experienced 'blissful summers' as adolescents. Drewe, however, did not take notice of the 'tourists and boutiques' on the island, and rather experienced 'the same sensation' he did all those years ago, as Drewe puts it, 'theevocativepower of nostalgia'. Similarly, in Kristel Thornell's 'Night Street', Clarice's connection to 'blemished modern Melbourne' allows her to experience a skewed realm in which that which is considered 'unsightly', she 'lovedcomprehensively'. Some of her colleagues were even 'offended by change'; Clarice considered it wrong to see 'progress as the enemy of beauty'. Clearly, depending on our emotional conditioning, we may experience diverse interpretations of a place.
             A single landscape may also elicit conflicting emotions. Wendy Duncan, an Australian bushfire survivor, whose home was destroyed, recounted her experience in The Age's 'A place of enchantment and resilience changed forever'. She expresses that her 'life has changed forever' and that she is 'connected to the place and disconnected all at once and it hurts', communicating her mixed emotions associated with the place.

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