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Constructing landscapes: Art in Neolithic and modern southern Brittany

Turner, Sarah Elizabeth; (2005) Constructing landscapes: Art in Neolithic and modern southern Brittany. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to study the concept 'Neolithic art' in one area of southern Brittany, between the Etel and Auray rivers, with some attention to the best known sites in the Gulf of Morbihan. The thesis is divided into three main sections each of which 'translates' 'Neolithic art' from a particular perspective, or, in terms of the title of the thesis 'constructs landscapes' through 'art'. The thesis is therefore a study of 'art' and how it is part of, and is understood in, the surrounding world. Each section of the thesis is considered as a 'frame', which discusses 'Neolithic art' from a different perspective. Each frame develops one idea of a landscape, which is explored through, and which creates 'art'. The first 'frame' is considered in Chapter 2 of the thesis, and is an enquiry into how the genre 'Neolithic art' was created and developed in Brittany as an archaeological study. The second 'frame', Chapters 3 to 5, is a subjective account of how 'Neolithic art' might have been constructed or used in the Neolithic period itself. The third frame, considered in Chapter 6, is an examination of how tourists might understand and create 'Neolithic art' in Brittany. As each frame is developed it is shown that one must go beyond the motifs to understand the concept 'art'. It is through 'art' features such as the colour, texture and shape of monuments, in essence the monuments themselves, and through different sensory experiences of the monuments and the surrounding world, which are beyond the carved motifs, that we see, within the context of the thesis, how complex and wide reaching the sense of 'art' really is and how it must be considered as part of our experience of the environment in which we live. Together the three frames offer three different but inter-dependent experiences of Neolithic 'art' in the landscape, and result in the creation of three recognisably different constructions of 'art' in the lived-through-world. Taken together, the three frames show how 'art' can be constructed, but also how it constructs meaning, in the lived-through-world - constructing landscapes through 'art' - in different, contrasting and changing ways. By considering the same objects within different frames of experience the intention is to show, from the micro-scale (motif) to the macro-sale (monuments and landscape), how 'Neolithic art' can be created, how it can mean, and how it is constantly changing, multivalent and broad reaching.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Constructing landscapes: Art in Neolithic and modern southern Brittany
Identifier: PQ ETD:602806
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1446864
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