There is a connection between local lore and the landscapes from which they emerge. Landscapes themselves, in such tales, become a part of the story. More than merely setting, they describe the meeting place of culture and nature and provide insight into the ways in which people of a place perceive and give values to their surroundings. This project begins to explore the place where landscapes and culture begin to shape one another.
In the Norwegian language the term for landscape (landskap) has multiple derivations. These multiple meanings encompass a description for landscapes that include geographic placement, socio-political themes, as well as the human experience of scenery, implying its temporal aspects (weather, season, fantasy). Landscape reflects the prevailing cultural, social and economic forces of place, expressing the character of a people who have developed along with the environmental realities of their surroundings.
The park takes inspiration from a Norwegian fairytale that is a regionally adapted version of the tale of Cupid and Psyche, originally written in latin in the second century AD. The story’s universal themes, including overcoming the obstacles of love, have lent to it being retold in numerous forms ever since. Here its importance in being used as creative influence for the park is two fold. East of the Sun, West of the Moon, the Norwegian adapted version of this story, contains regional elements that describe aspects of the Norwegian landscape and culture and their cross-influence. Additionally, use of the story helps maintain a conscious relationship with the past in regard to how the story itself reached Norwegian shores; a point in history when Norwegians and Romans, despite their geographic separation, shared a connection.
To portray this story I chose to illustrate certain scenes within the fable to unfold as rooms or moments in the park.
The story tells of how the young girl travels the countryside searching for her love. The park is meant to be similarly explored; there is no defined route or path, it is simply meant to be wandered. The setting will change from meadow to forest to field throughout the park, implying a much larger landscape. To represent the girls journey annuals will be planted throughout the park, they will have no exact location but shift from year to year, symbolizing her being carried by the wind.