BlogNatural Aesthetics



Appreciating landscapes, vistas, views of the natural – or mostly natural- is relatively recent (mid-18th century). The new fashion was mainly instigated by the Rev William Gilpin and his notion of the Picturesque, ‘that particular kind of beauty, which is agreeable in a picture.’ Or in this case, in photographs – coming back from the Hunter Valley along the coast:

Kattang Nature Reserve
Kattang Nature Reserve

‘Farmers might own the land, but the observant walker in time owns the landscape.’ Thoreau

Scotts Head
Scotts Head

Landscapes conceal as well as reveal. From a distance, the disturbance to habitat and the economic realities of the locale is often unseen.

Nambucca Estuary
Nambucca Estuary

NSW LGAs with highest child poverty rates (2011-12)

Estimated child poverty rate by Local Government Area / NSW region:

Brewarrina – Orana 31.15%
Kyogle – Northern Rivers 28.20%
Tenterfield – New England/North West 27.94%
Walgett – Orana 27.93%
Gilgandra – Orana 27.80%
Gwydir – New England/North West 27.35%
Urana – Murray-Lower Darling 27.23%
Warrumbungle – Orana 26.90%

Nambucca – Mid North Coast 26.69% 

Children born into disadvantage are more likely to have health problems and develop behavioural issues; they are also likely to experience housing and food insecurity, lower levels of educational attainment and less supportive parental relationships. Research also shows that experiences during child development affect lifelong health and wellbeing.

‘If I have spent the day teaching King Lear or Bach, or in front of Goya, I come home and it may be that the cry in the street is muffled; that it reaches me less directly than if my feelings and responses had not been trained to a deeply passionate involvement with fictions – in the widest sense. If this is so, we must find a way of sharing aesthetic, philosophical experience which makes us more responsive to human pain, and not less.’   George Steiner


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