Roger HopgoodArtist, Lecturer / academic
My current work is an investigation of the relationship between photography and the picturesque where vantage point is explored as an integral element of the picturesque effect. In this respect, the English Country house is recognised as a defining space of social and physical elevation. Country houses of the late 18th and early 19th century were the crucible of the Picturesque movement where surrounding landscapes were 'naturalised' in order to evoke a more romantic, less industrialised, sense of the land. In the series And Then There Were None the country house is the site of a 'whodunit' drama where the clues seem to point to misdemeanour and denial. Subjecthood within the country house is shaped by a turbulence of myth and narrative and the trail of investigation in the house is contrasted with the external space, glimpsed through windows and referenced through decorative elements and invading light. Whilst the subject of ocular advantage in the house marks an entry into an abstract (paternal) symbolic order, the picturesque is understood as steadfast and maternal, with the potential to stabilise identity.