A response to an invitation.
SImon, this all sounds a bit too bucolic to me.
I need urban grime; good honest quotidian sprawl, spent industrial tracts, neglected, downtrodden suburbs. Not idyllic natural backdrops, that was all over when the last of the Hudson School dried their brushes and (eventually) Ansel Adams et al took up the role of supplying the bourgeois demand to hang pictures on walls that reflect some distant lost sense of utopia that we are ourselves guilty of destroying in our ever panicky need to live near it, if not in it.
So by churning out endless examples of an idealised mythical landscape that were both irrelevant and marginalised even before Adams decided to drag a heavy wooden tripod up a mountain, he really did (albeit unwittingly) compound the fact that the ‘pastoral’, as an art form is utterly trivial, in as much as it is totally lacking in any relevance to society today. Art is a mirror in which we see reflected our current state, this is the role of the artist, to bring a value judgement, and sense of conscience to our existence. It serves little purpose if it merely reports some idealised past that we absolutely can no longer return to.