Image, instinct and imagination

Exhibition by Jay Appleton and photographer Simon Warner

In 2015, LRG part-funded an exhibition entitled ‘Image, Instinct and Imagination: Landscape as Sign Language,’ created by the late LRG co-founder Professor Jay Appleton and photographer Simon Warner. It explored Appleton’s theory of landscape appreciation.

BBC journalist and presenter Ali Vowles opened the exhibition. Listen to the short piece below about the exhibition broadcast by BBC Radio Bristol on 27 June.

Held from 24 June – 25 July 2015 at The Gallery, Bath Central Library.

Geographer Jay Appleton (1919-2015) and photographer Simon Warner join forces to present a photographic guide to Prospect-Refuge Theory, the system of environmental aesthetics developed by Jay Appleton in his book The Experience of Landscape. Professor Appleton proposes that aesthetic taste in landscape and landscape art derives from primitive, hunter-gatherer instincts for vantage and viewpoints (Prospect) and shelter or concealment (Refuge). Humans, as well as other animals, select environments that contain a favourable balance of these two elements. With the advance of civilization our survival instincts have evolved into feelings of pleasure at landscapes (or pictures of them) that would make good habitats if we had to depend on them.

The exhibition answers the question Professor Appleton poses at the start of his book: ‘What do we like about landscape and why do we like it?’ in a series of photographs exploring his key categories of Prospect, Refuge and Hazard, accompanied by a narrative commentary and detailed captions.

Extracts about the exhibition from photographer Simon Warner’s website; click here to read more.


Towards Holme Fen, Cambridgeshire © Simon Warner, 2015

BBC radio interview: exhibition opening

Reporter and presenter Ali Vowles on BBC Radio Bristol 27 June 2015, talking to Jay Appleton's sons Mark and Richard, photographer Simon Warner, and Paul Tabbush of LRG.



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