The Alchemical Landscape symposium

Ilkley Moor - photo by Karolina Urbaniak
Ilkley Moor – photo by Karolina Urbaniak

I’m excited to be taking part in this event in Cambridge on 23 March 2015:

In an age of vast ecological crisis and a widespread re-calibration of the arts and humanities towards questions of eco-criticism, an increasing number of writers, artists and film-makers are re-investing the landscape with esoteric and mythic imagery. From the revival of ‘Folk Horror’ to the cross-over between magical and artistic practice, this ‘enchanted’ representation of the rural works as both a link to the past and an articulation of pressing contemporary concerns. The Alchemical Landscape is a special one-day symposium at the University of Cambridge that seeks to explore the creative, aesthetic and political implications of this ‘geographic turn’.

Since the recent publication of North marks, in some very roundabout way, the culmination of research into cosmology which was catalysed by my intense relationship with the landscape and monuments of Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire, I thought it would be interesting to revisit this landscape. I’ll be discussing the interactions between my research and experiences at that time, and the slippery, mercurial promises of ‘gnostic scholarship’, which dissolve boundaries between intuitions and facts.

There’s a host of other fascinating talks on the intersections between fringe culture and rural mysteries: check out the website for details of the programme and tickets. Hope to see you there!

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