John Goto 1985
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Commissioned by the Conselleria De Cultura, Valencia 1985
As a foreigner working in the Albufera I was aware that my attitude to landscape was influenced by the culture and history of English landscape and that this background inevitably coloured my observations of the Albufera. But I also felt that I could not be reduced to silence by questions of cultural difference and chose instead to acknowledge these differences in the work.
If one took a scientific perspective on the politics, economy and ecology of the region, it appeared a chaotic tangle of conflicting and seemingly exclusive interests. Although sensing these problems, strictly scientific analysis is not my discipline. What role then could art play in a debate on the region's future? I felt that it might bring elements of imaginative and moral culture to bear on the situation. My aim was to observe and transform.
The region is one of mixed systems. Through a combination of painting and photography and the employment of many of the materials found in the Albufera - glass, paper, chemicals, burnt wood, earth pigments and oil - I developed my own parallel mixed system. With only a few days on location I used a notational method of recording, and later in the studio attempted an imaginative transformation of this material through drawing, collage and painting.