In the edgelands – landfill landscape sketch in oil pastels

Landfill landscape in oil pastels

This is a view to our local landfill. It is placed on the backside of a beautiful ridge that was covered with forest. On the top the trees die due to the methane gas which blocks the openings on the backside of the leaves from closing. As a result the trees evaporate too much and they wither over the years.

I have started to read “Edgelands – journeys into England’s true wilderness”(link to amazon). Two poets write about performed and neglected landscapes we find more and more. I find it problematic to praise or celebrate disfigured and neglected places. The book is full of ornamental,nostalgic texts in the picturesque tradition. This “lyric” (in fact prose) sounds like a new touristic and travel sales lingo. Also the WWII ruins on the continent were praised as must see highlights. Locals have not discovered this sort of landscape celebration yet, still the old stereotypes of idyllic rural looks are poured over the real landscape. All that what does not fit is blocked out and neglected: we are all witness of a dying landscape.

Recently the fast expanding corn plantations for energy (another great new money source for mid size towns apart from speeding tickets) came on the radar of newspaper readers and promptly the officials denied the rising monoculture look. Hobby farmers gather to protest against tax on their old-time tractors and make it to the news. Their argument: we preserve the landscape without making profit. Unfortunately that is simply not the case. Landscape is nothing but a commodity to be exploited, used and consumed.

“Edgelands” is the landscape consumption gourmet guide, the ideology that helps to keep the idea of landscape alive when there is no landscape left, but the utterly boring,random patchwork of exploitation and neglect.

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