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Norman Shaw, artist, drawing, highland landscape, drawing, torridon, ossian, sonorous, deleuze, rhizomes, graham harman, weird realism, speculative realism, paul klee
Sonorous Map: Torridon

Ink on paper, 2002

20 x 30cm

Published in 'Linear Sorcery' by Norman Shaw, in 'Fieldnotes and Sketchbooks - Challenging the Boundaries between Descriptions and Processes of Describing' edited by Wendy Gunn (Peter Lang, 2009)

Sonorous, non-heirarchical and splayed-out landscapes from the north west Highlands of Scotland - in this instance, Torridon.

Developed from drawings made during camping trips to these areas.

Inspired by physicist David Bohm's concept of wholeness and the idea of reality as an unbroken totality; the philosophical writings of Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari (rhizomatic landscape, 'forces, densities, intensities'); and Graham Harman's 'weird realism' ('the strange contours of objects'), where objects do not make themselves directly present to us, but rather appear as amassings of numerous palpaple surfaces.

Other influences are the 'carpet pages' of Celtic illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels, Oriental Taoist landscape painting, and some of Paul Klee's drawings in this particular case.

However, the initial impetus for these sonorous drawings came from readings of the Poems of Ossian, as 'translated' by James Macpherson (1776). I imagine that the songs of the ancient blind Gaelic bard Ossian continue to reverberate throughout these landscapes, recreating the contorted, fluid, twisted contours of the land as mythopoeic waveforms. See my PhD thesis Highland Landscape Aesthetics - Ossianic Sonority and the Sonics of the Unpresentable (University of Dundee, 2003).

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