Finding W.C. Piguenit’s Lake St Clair plays with the themes of memory and perception, landscape and poetry. Paul Carter’s idea that no matter how many times you follow the route taken by the explorer, you can never take it for the first time – the route has already been laid out for you, your way of seeing the landscape has already been shaped.

Piguenit travelled to Lake St Clair several times in the 1870s and 1880s and “found” a Romantic landscape, which he used to make many Romantic paintings. He found what he was looking for – landscapes that were for him the living embodiment of scenes described in the poetry of Percey Byshe Shelley and William Wordsworth – the type of scenery that his generation admired and were inspired by.

When I travelled in Piguenit’s footsteps to write my PhD thesis I felt that I had arrived too late – missed the party so to speak. I could not re-create the feelings that I imagined the place inspired in him. My perceptions of place have been shaped by the noise of the culture of the 20th Century, including the strong sense that people were dispossessed of this land in order for Piguenit’s generation to experience the place as a new paradise.
This video is a “remix” of Piguenit’s paintings, my photographs, the poetry of Shelley, and Colonel W.V. Legge (one of Piguenit’s travelling companions), and text from my PhD thesis Finding and Making: Winnicottian Finding and Making: Winnicottian Imagination and the W.C. Piguenit's Creative Spaces.

With Thanks to:
Peter Rees – Technical Production
Richard Kerslake – reading from Percey B Shelley’s To Jane: The Recollection
Jack Cook – reading from Colonel W.V. Legge’s “The Highlands of Lake St Clair” (1887)

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