By Laurie Olin
"Twenty-eight years in the past I went to England for a three-month stopover at and leisure. What i discovered replaced my life."
So starts off this memoir via one in every of America's best-known panorama architects, Laurie Olin. Raised in a frontier city in Alaska, proficient in Seattle and long island, Olin came upon himself disenchanted together with his task as an city architect and approved a call for participation to England to take a respite from paintings. What he came upon, in abundance, was once the serendipity of a human surroundings equipped over the years to reply to the land's personal personality and to the folks who lived and labored there. For Olin, the English geographical region used to be a palimpsest of the main eloquent and relocating type, but whose manifestation was once of standard structures intended to protect their population and extra their work.
With evocative language and beautiful line drawings, the writer takes us again to his creation to the scenes of English state cities, their old universities, meandering waterways, and dramatic cloudscapes racing in from the Atlantic. He limns the geologic histories chanced on in the rock, the near-forgotten histories of place-names, and the new histories of teach traces and automobile routes. evaluating the expansion of creating within the English nation-state, Olin attracts a few sobering conclusions approximately our sleek way of life and its expanding separation from the landscape.
As a lot a plea for saving the trendy American panorama because it is a passionate exploration of what makes the English panorama so normally English, Across the Open Field is "an affectionate ramble via genuine locations of lasting worth."
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Additional info for Across the open field : essays drawn from English landscapes
Thus began a series of trips to Oxford and London to purchase books, maps, and guides. The more I read, the more I needed to see. The answer to one question raised others. The more I saw, the more I needed to read. Although the literature and history of architecture are extensive, that of the history of the landscape seemed at first to be quite small. Later I realized that the history of everything else was really the history of the landscape. Everything related. The literature that told the story of the landscape was unending.
Art is not cyclical. It is not really additive like science. It is barely evolutionary, yet each generation has the enormous advantage of the example- both inspirational and intimidating - of the accumulated works and achievements of the past in craft, technique, and content. It was an exhilarating and scary moment, for I realized how alone in their work all true artists really are. It had little or nothing to do with their personal or professional cir20 AS THE TWIG IS BENT cumstances, whether they were happy or sad, rich or poor, old or young, male or female, married or not, successful or not, starting out in the world or well established.
It was Mr. Veal, the Buckland game warden, and his double-barreled shotgun out after rooks. ON BUCKLAND AND DRAWING Fecund nature and fractals: clouds, trees, wheat, and hares in the late afternoon, Buckland House. Only in the last few years have we begun to have a mathematics capable of describing the most common forms and processes that have surrounded us forever. Nature, still believed by many to be chaotic and disorderly, may indeed be rambunctious, but disorderly it is not. 10. To my amazement, nearly everyone in the Buckland village totally ignored the many large rabbits that come out onto all of the lawns and meadows in the late afternoon.
Across the open field : essays drawn from English landscapes by Laurie Olin