The discovery of the antipodean environment and its landscapes posed a challenge and set a limit to European notions of culture and nature which continue to influence Australian artists. This does not simply issue in works which depict landscape or employ it symbolically; in the works of major Australian landscape artists and writers it leads to transcendental reflections on human nature and history. A study of the impact of landscape on the artistic imagination might therefore offer the fullest explanatory account of the development of Australian art. Much has been written on this subject, especially in the wake of classic studies by Bernard Smith and Brian Elliott, and the field has expanded as we have come to a deeper understanding of the connection between Aboriginal culture and the environment. It is now so complex and extensive that it seems unlikely that a single comprehensive account of it could be written, except, perhaps, by a dedicated scholar at the culmination of lifetime's learning.
Please sign in to access this article and the rest of our archive.