With Timothy Wilcox, Author, Independent Curator and Art Historian
This online short course concentrates on landscapes where the environment becomes hostile, where human endeavours appear powerless against its sometimes destructive power.
FLOOD (12 November)
The biblical story of Noah suggests that floods have been part of human experience since the dawn of history. Today, they are no longer distant, once-in-a lifetime events, but regular, all-too-familiar disasters. Looking at pictures of past floods, both real and imagined, now inspires a new range of powerful emotions.
FIRE (19 November)
Confined to the home or the factory, fire is essential to survival. Uncontrolled in the world at large, it causes havoc and devastation. Pictures of volcanoes exert a lurid fascination, while volcanic dust can cause spectacular sunsets on the other side of the globe. Human vulnerability to the effects of disasters, whether distant or near at hand, puts the politics of Empire into a far less certain light.
FROST (26 November)
The glaciers of Switzerland helped open the eyes of Enlightenment explorers to the mysteries of the universe. The polar ice caps have long stood as symbols of the limits of human exploration and human endurance. In an era of climate change, do we regard past artists’ celebration of ice and snow as so many irretrievable records of a vanished world, or as a spur to current action?
This course has now taken place.