Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Representing islandness : myth, memory, and modernisation in Prince Edward Island McCabe, Shauna 2001

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_2001-611418.pdf [ 29.02MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0099667.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0099667-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0099667-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0099667-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0099667-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0099667-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0099667-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0099667-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0099667.ris

Full Text

REPRESENTING ISLANDNESS: MYTH, MEMORY, AND MODERNISATION IN PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND by S H A U N A J O A N N E M C C A B E B . A . , M c G i l l University, 1989 M . A . , Simon Fraser University, 1993 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E OF D O C T O R OF P H I L O S O P H Y in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S (Department of Geography) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Apr i l 2001 © Shauna Joanne McCabe 2001 In p resen t ing this thesis in partial fu l f i lment of the r e q u i r e m e n t s for an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e at the Univers i ty of Brit ish C o l u m b i a , I agree that t h e Library shal l m a k e it f reely available fo r re fe rence and study. I further agree that p e r m i s s i o n fo r ex tens ive c o p y i n g of this thes is fo r scholar ly p u r p o s e s may b e g ranted by the h e a d o f m y d e p a r t m e n t o r by his o r her representat ives . It is u n d e r s t o o d that c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f this thesis for f inancial ga in shall no t b e a l l o w e d w i t h o u t m y w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . D e p a r t m e n t T h e Un ivers i ty of Brit ish C o l u m b i a V a n c o u v e r , C a n a d a D E - 6 (2/88) 11 Abstract This research addresses the role of local artistic practices in the symbolic interpretation and contestation of modernisation, in the expression of what Pred and Watts (1992) have called a "multiplicity of modernities". In particular, the research examines the localised experience o f place identity among creative artists in the landscape of Prince Edward Island. The research integrates and extends recent work exploring the place-making qualities of cultural expression and their attendant "imagined geographies," and their mediation of political-economic and cultural flows which have national and global dimensions. Prince Edward Island presents a powerful metaphor for the inextricability of the local and the global in the complex recent reconfiguration of tradition and culture. In Prince Edward Island, thoroughly represented as "home place" within cultural practice as well as the international tourism industry, the presence and activity of cultural producers themselves is inescapably part of a wider trend centred upon the aestheticisation and commodification of the landscape. Expressions of local identity have found increasing manifestation in tourism, as in the wider contemporary landscape of the Maritime region, where a prevalent trend has been towards deindustrialisation and rural gentrification as places shift from being centres of production to sites for tourist consumption. Exploring the interface of art and geography, this discussion focuses on three cases of artistic practice in Prince Edward Island that indicate that in the construction of a romantic ideal of "home place" and homeland, the cultural practices of artists may offer contested and critical constructions of identity, culture and memory. A s such they evoke alternative trajectories of modernisation. Confronting a transforming landscape, artistic works represent local identity and memory. The cases show that although these practices may operate within cultures of consumption, the cultural practice of artists and the geographies they sustain may be sites where a fundamental symbolic struggle is waged over identity and memory, over the meaning and representation of place and of "home" in a world of consumption. i i i Table of Contents Abstract i i Table of Contents i i i List of Figures v Inscription v i i Preface v i i i Maps 1 Introduction: Modernity and its cultural geographies 3 Querying "Islandness" 3 Redeeming representation 17 Description of chapters 32 I The Art of Place: Making cultural spaces in art 36 Making space cultural 36 Cultural practice and geography: a review of approaches 41 The settlement of identity; the politics of memory 57 II The Place of Art: Cultural practice and landscapes of consumption 66 'To think like a poet': the artist, aesthetic gaze and the re-enchantment of space 66 Rural restructuring: artists and the aestheticisation of the countryside 76 Tourism and cultural meaning 82 III Imaginary Homecomings: Art, popular culture, tourism and Maritime identity 90 Culture's transformations 90 Imaginary homecomings 106 From romance to tourism 113 IV The Architecture of Islandness: Mediating tradition and modernity, home and away 127 The architecture of Islandness 127 The play of modernity: the social production of space on Prince Edward Island 134 Establishing Prince Edward Island as "home": Lucy Maud Montgomery 141 V Narrative Landscapes: Images of myth and memory 153 The folk culture-popular culture continuum: the art of Alfred Morrison 153 Landscapes of memory 163 Landscapes of modernity 179 iv V I Romantic Notions? Cultural practice as intervention 191 A tangible resistance 191 The cultural labour force and cultural meaning 198 Romance and development 208 VII Making Visible Veneers: The recursive art of Jin-me Yoon 222 Travelling and territories 222 Subverting the gaze: visual narratives and the deconstruction of "homeland" 238 Re-storying place: modernity's geographies and cultural politics 253 VIII. "How Utterly Original": Cultural practice, tourist landscapes and cultural politics, some concluding thoughts 259 Notes 271 Bibliography 274 Appendix The Alfred Morrison collection of artworks 302 V List of Figures Fig. 1.0 Historical society announcement xv Fig 1.1 Map of Maritime Region 1 Fig. 1.2 Map of Prince Edward Island 2 Fig. 1.3 Tracy Michailidis as "Anne of Green Gables," postcard 9 Fig. 1.4 "A memory around every corner," postcard, Tourism PEI 2000. 13 Fig. 1.5 "An island seclusion of peace," postcard, Tourism PEI 2000. 14 Fig. 3.1 Promotional brochure for "Le Pays de la Sagouine," Bouctouche, New Brunswick 117 Fig. 3.2 Visitors pose with the character of "La Sagouine" 118 Fig. 3.3 Promotion of the Rankin Family in Mabou, Cape Breton 121 Fig. 5.1 Alfred Morrison, Pleasant Grove Tunnel undated, oil on canvas panel, 35.5x54.7 cm. 164 Fig. 5.2 Alfred Morrison, Pleasant Grove Farm 1962, oil on canvas panel, 40.3x50.5 cm. 169 Fig. 5.3 Alfred Morrison, Morrison's at Darnley undated, oil on canvas panel, 35.5 x 45.7 cm. 172 Fig. 5.4 Alfred Morrison, Tracadie Harbour 1930 undated oil on canvas panel 35.5x45.7 cm. 175 Fig. 5.5 Alfred Morrison, A Hard Challenge 1969, undated, oil on canvas panel, 35.5x 45.8 cm. 180 Fig. 5.6 Alfred Morrison, Cars Scared Horses 1913, 1982, oil on hardboard, 35.6x50.8 cm 185 Fig. 5.7 Alfred Morrison, The Fare-well Whistle, 1989, oil on canvas panel, 30.5x40.6 cm. 186 Fig. 5.8 Alfred Morrison, Modern P.E.I., 1986, oil on canvas panel, 35.5x45.7 cm 187 Fig 6.1 Peter Manchester, Ferry to PEI (Summer '95) 1996, watercolour on paper. 40x60 cm. 193 Fig. 6.2 Nigel Roe, A New Prince Edward Island Landscape 1997, watercolour on paper 35x70 cm. 194 Fig. 6.3 "Out for a Sunday drive," Island postcard designed by John Burden 215 Fig. 6.4 "Our Island home," political cartoon by John Burden, 1979 216 Fig. 7.1 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 4/9-front) 231 Fig. 7.2 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 4/9-back) 232 Fig. 7.3 Photographer Veronika Tanton, Jin-me Yoon and John Joe Sark, July 1998. 242 Fig. 7.4 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 1/9 - front) 245 Fig. 7.5 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 1/9 - back) 245 Fig. 7.6 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 3/9 - front) 246 Fig. 7.7 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 3/9 - back) 246 Fig. 7.8 Jin-me Yoon Touring Home From Away (light box 4/9 - front) 247 Fig. 7.9 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 4/9 - back) 247 Fig. 7.10 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 7/9 - front) 248 Fig. 7.11 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 7/9 - back) 248 Fig. 7.12 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 8/9 - front) 249 Fig. 7.13 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 8/9 -back) 249 Fig. 7.14 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 9/9 - front) 250 vi Fig. 7.15 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 9/9 - front) 250 Fig. 7.16 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 6/9 - front) 256 Fig. 7.17 Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away (light box 6/9 - back) 256 Fig. 8.1 "The Atlantic Provinces," postcard 263 She wondered i f there was such a thing as collective memory, something more than the sum of individual memories. If so, was it merely coterminous, yet in some way richer, or did it last longer? She wondered i f those too young to have original knowledge could be given memory, could have it grafted on. —Julian Barnes, Evermore V l l l Preface I was still trying to capture "what was happening out there,"... I wasn't thinking about the social representation I was creating as constitutive of the world in which I would have to live. ~ J . K . Gibson-Graham 1996, ix For the past seven years, the Confederation Centre Art Gallery & Museum in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island has hosted an annual show called the "Great Garden of the Gul f ' ju r i ed exhibition. It is a rare exhibition in the gallery's programming in that it is the only exhibition that involves an open call for submissions of art from which a selection is made. It is also an unusual exhibition for the gallery which has a national and international mandate, in that the source of the art must be "Prince Edward Island artists," who range from lifetime, long-time, and more recent residents. In January 2001, Andrew Hunter, an artist, curator, and writer from Dundas, Ontario, was invited to jury the exhibition. Hunter made no attempt to mask his storytelling approach to curatorial practice, or the fictionalising and subjectivity of the Island story he was constructing. In the exhibition brochure, he writes: ...at heart, curators are really just tourists. I mean, curating a show is like a little journey, and a pretty private journey too. Y o u decide to take a trip and then you plot your travels... Hopefully, there are some surprises but, ultimately, you wi l l lay your own narrative over the things you've seen and gathered together.... (Hunter 2001) ix A s an artist and curator, he does not have a singular, defining strategy for creating exhibitions. In this case, rather like a academic researcher, he located a starting point and asked a question: What got me started here, was a pair of paintings by Teri Morris, "Afloat" and "Canadian Winter." I don't know anything about this artist except that they are from P.E.I., but the paintings intrigued me and they seemed to be a good place to start - boats drifting on an open sea and a simple landscape floating (an island?) in a subtle expanse of colour. Looking at Morr is ' paintings, I thought, "I wonder i f this is P.E.I.?" (Hunter 2001) From this point of departure, he created two narrative threads. "Moving in one direction, I followed the sea, in the other, the landscape," he explains, "However, I quickly wandered off these paths as the landscape images led me to birds and images of sadness and I drifted from the ocean to people, flowers and domestic scenes. But there really isn't a solid narrative that I can convey to you which wi l l firmly link all the works in the exhibition" (Hunter 2001). The result is a representation of Prince Edward Island informed by significant curatorial experience, but subjective in both its representational content and the selection of this content. It is also a representation of Prince Edward Island, however, that is not without substance. Although the construction is mutable - on another day he might have made different selections, or organised them in another way -the exhibition is constitutive of landscape, conveying meaning and multiple imaginative geographies. Is the production of geographical accounts so different from the process described by Hunter? Regardless of the form of expression, it seems that our starting point and "where we put our eyes" - the questions we ask - are important. They shape the narrative produced, which w i l l in turn shape perception, beliefs, and ideologies. M y own work draws upon and seeks to contribute to a particular interdisciplinary space - a discourse that straddles two related but distinct areas of study: a discourse that integrates ideas about cultural practice - art, literature, and media, on the one hand, with theories of landscape, social space, and geography. In its attention to the integration of art, space and cultural politics, it enters what Rosalyn Deutsche (1998) has called "spatial-cultural" discourse. I have come to geography through a circuitous route through the study of literature and art practices, as well as cultural studies, a trajectory that has left me attuned to the malleability of perception and to the role of representation in the reproduction of meaning, as well as its potential to jar and intervene in signification. I moved into the field of geography in order to bring questions of space to bear upon my thinking about the dynamism of cultural forms and their representations. Our theoretical frameworks wi l l inevitably shape what we see and what is hidden from us, and when faced with a "dead end," I feel we simply have to ask another question. Placing space firmly at the core of the study of culture, my focus is a cultural politics that is also, inevitably, a politics of representation and of space. A t the level of its barest bones, this dissertation is about the performativity of representation, attuned to the idea that images and words do things, and are made to do things. I argue representation do things; they are an element in the construction of landscapes and identities, drawing upon an approach that challenges, as Gibson-Graham has put it, "notions of 'reality' as the authentic origins of its representations" (1996, 1). This work is also about power and about recognising in the interdependence of the symbolic and the material, the potential for real and potent contestation over that identity and place. Words and images, like every form of expression, are complex symbolic x i structures. They are ways of trying to understand, to express, to create meaning. Creative practice - the practice of arts producers or cultural producers - as an element of cultural and social practice more widely, takes its meaning and substance from the context from which it derives, but it also shapes understanding and perception. Cultural practice also has a role to play in constituting landscape and in the expression of wider historical change, offering a form of collective memory in its template of modernisation. Such representations are not reflective, but constitutive, of landscape, and hence enter intimately into its transformations. The views and understanding of the meaning of landscapes are a critical element of how people interact with them, and what they expect for them. This dissertation is also written with a consciousness of its own representation, of the narrative laid "over the things you've seen and gathered together." Geographical theory and practice have not escaped the wider "loss of innocence" experienced throughout the social sciences in the last several decades. Central to this has been the insight that writing is not pre-political, pure, or neutral - but an act of creation. This has amounted to a critique of "authorial authority" centred upon two points: a reflection upon the partiality of representation and descriptions of the world, and a self-reflexivity regarding the interrelationship of author and object of study. The effect has been to raise important moral and ethical questions about writing in a world of a diversity o f voices and social subjects. Several ideas of Russian literary theorist Mikha i l Bakhtin (1981) have gained currency in this context - such as "polyphony" and "heteroglossia" - as strategies for textual practices. Folch-Serra (1992), for instance, makes a case for the importance of his X l l ideas to postmodern geographies, based on his resistance to principles and universals and his focus on context and specificities of time and space. Outlining his basic concepts, she proposes points of contiguity with geography, even going so far as to claim that "Bakhtininan notions comes to the rescue of the ethnographic experience..." (1992, 261). Polyphony and heteroglossia as they are incorporated into texts are aimed at conveying cultural differentiation textually, without falling back on the production of oversimplified "others". However, as Duncan and Ley have maintained, such strategies as the introduction of multiple voices within the text do not necessarily decentre the authority of the author: "While important in their intent, such dialogical and polyphonic ethnographies have not removed the authority of the author, who has, after all , defined the project in the first place" (1993, 8). One of the difficulties of attempts to make texts more responsive to social context using the ideas of "polyphony" and "heteroglossia," is that these concepts for Bakhtin were not ideals to strive for, not things to construct, but inherent in a social world of social actors and social texts; an accounting of experience - not a prescription for practice (Bakhtin 1981). I am less inclined to follow models of "multivocality", and more interested in a hermeneutic approach that starts from the assumption of multiple voices and sites of politics, interwoven within threads both local and global. Geographies inevitably involve representation and thus entail a mediated dimension - that of the geographer's interpretive gaze and authorial inscription. "Landscape is not merely the world we see, it is a construction, a composition of that world," writes Denis Cosgrove, "landscape is a way of seeing the world" (1984, 13). X l l l In geography, the representation of space and landscape clearly implies rhetorical reconstruction, and writing itself, of course, transforms. Geographical constructions w i l l entail and evoke a particular treatment of the relationship of spatial and temporal co-ordinates; objectivity is impossible, for geography must be written. The result is a turn away from a paradigm centred around the question of veracity in constructing geographies towards issues of responsibility, political purpose, function and poetics. This discussion starts from an interest in how to write this world of multivocality in ways that reveal difference and complexity, while addressing the inevitable relations of power involved in the representation of others. Only in this way I believe can we reveal the genuine and irreducible complexity, contradiction, subtlety and ambiguity within human relations. Philosophies evolve, and in their development, there are lessons to be learned everywhere, both formal and informal. M y interest in the relationship of art and practices of place creation has developed over time and space; a sensitivity to the difference space and time makes has grown through living in various regions of Canada - Quebec, the Prairies, the west coast, the Atlantic provinces, nurturing a recognition how places exist in the imagination. This movement has made me keenly aware o f the way sense of location and identity is shaped—not directly mapped onto place, but complex jigsaw pieces, layered in a subtle and constant process of cultural accretion and erosion. The substance o f memory, imagination, identity, experience is thoroughly social and cultural. A n d how we know what we know—the scope of perception, memory and imagination— is in part shaped by cultural practices. xiv This discussion of these themes as they relate to Prince Edward Island draws upon research undertaken in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. I am grateful in particular to David Ley for his inspiration as well as his great patience and kindness, as well as to the insight offered by my committee members, Derek Gregory, Graeme Wynn, and Martin Laba. This research has been enhanced through knowledge and experience gleaned through periods of field research between 1993 and 1996 and subsequently two years residence on Prince Edward Island. I am completely indebted to the artists who have been so open to sharing their time and thoughts with me, for knowing the right questions to ask came only through much dialogue and observation. The financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for this research is gratefully acknowledged. Liv ing on Prince Edward Island for the last two years, creating a "home" as someone "from away," I have found myself positioned in a blurred intersection of roles: researcher, consultant, gallery curator, artist, poet, freelance writer; cultural producer and cultural critic. I have produced art and curated Island art, recorded the environment in creative forms and studied the relationship of others to it, written for tourism and critiqued it. In the sometimes confusing, sometimes uncomfortable, and always compelling insights that have come from this multiple positioning, I recognise an insight offered by Donna Haraway, whose studies of the cultural and social field also speak to intricate locations and perspectives: " M y modest witness cannot ever be simply oppositional. Rather, s/he is suspicious, implicated, knowing, ignorant, worried, and hopeful" (Haraway 1997, 3). X V flFRfSENTATION: by the*' torical and personalperspec- the bay through narration, "StattheprHistofkal Society, - tivesof the'Life'and Times o f storytelhngahd-pwtryrread-* will be held Feb 21, 7:30 p.m. Covohead Bav. tracing 200 ing. Audience participation is at Stanhope Place on the;his- • yews of the development o f ; invited. AH are welcome, ; Fig. 1.0 Historical society announcement - The Guardian Friday February 18, 2000, C5 In addition, this complex location has reinforced my awareness of the image of place as shaped and moulded. Identity of place, and our subjectivities in relation to place, are not essential, but conjunctural and always recreated. In this process, cultural practices of artists are not necessarily and certainly not invariably about nostalgia, but often show a sense of responsibility in their relationship to place and the past. The above historical society announcement is a reminder of the textual nature of history and place and of the potential of representation to harm or help, as history and cultural identity are shaped and given authenticity in the human creative practices that reflect back a sense of place and location. The stories and poems told that night are fragments, and together with numerous other fragments dispersed across the landscape - artistic practices like those in the "Garden of the G u l f juried exhibition, commemorative sites and historical markers, arts and craft festivals, plays, dances, and musical performances - all connect memory to place in differentiated ways. Simultaneously, to varying degrees these images are incorporated into very contemporary circuits of commodification and the visual environment through tourism. This dissertation is about what artistic practices, and the geographical imaginations they hold within them, can do; the significance of imagining place and the past in this way. 1 Fig. 1.1 Map of Maritime Region (McCann 1987) 2 North Cape f ; 1 Seacow Pond Skinners Pond M • Ascension •patmer Road North Waterford V * St louts (Mtminegasb • Aiberton » QmsdJlt? Croshaut /St Chartes • • Souris Dock Road • O H o l l o r a n Road • Mi l ! River Ea&t BloomfieW BborrrJ >dd Campbellton • • Corner Burton W"1' W«V* • Morel l Conway • 1 0 1 ' • O'Leary • • : : • " W e s t Devon Ebeoemrs Coleman Tyne V a l l e y * • Port Hill " ' " P 0 ™ 1 Enmorc . • Birch Hi Lennox Island WertPoInt E C M O N T BAY -1_ 10 mi. n » m l « , N E W L O N D O N * Cavondisn ( f B A Y . North Ro ioco "J|P«I>" Stanley Bridge , • Hope River re # • Birch HHI C l i f ton /New London • # s t A n n • »*».c«.MALp.Q0£ •M"«"te S r t h , t a t o :toria West • **** B A Y . : * Kensington # . Hunter River • Richmond St Deanors • t e l l e r * Rest Miscouche • Dixon Road • Glen Valley Abram-Vil lage • Morel. Rear • Mount Stewart »Farrnington •fortune • Annandale » St Georges/Narrows Creek i * Tracadie Pleasant Grove • Chartottetown B E O b Q U E B A Y Pootes Comer • O r w e B C o v e • iona DeGros ::, Marsh • Georgetown • Panmure Island Victoria • Borden-Carfeton • Murray > W o o d Islands Fig. 1.2 Map of Prince Edward Island 3 Introduction Modernity and its cultural geographies Querying "Islandness" "No place is a place until things that have happened to it are remembered in history, ballads, legends, or monuments...," Wallace Stegner has written, "No place is a place until it has had a poet" (1992, 205). The idea that there is an "art" to place—that place is not set out formally as an internally homogeneous bounded area, but constructed and invented with sources both poetic and political, local and global—has corollaries in recent theoretical currents in cultural geography. Since proposals such as those of Edward Said, whose concept of an "imaginative geography" is explicitly concerned with the historical entanglements of place, power and identity (1978), and Benedict Anderson's conception of nations as imagined communities (1983), geographical research has explored varied discursive practices and forms of cultural expression and their attendant "imagined geographies." Place acquires its shape and layers in discourse and imagination, its identity drawn in myth and histories, its memory made durable in words and images. What Stegner puts so eloquently is the impossibility of place except as a site of interaction, the irreducibility of mental geographies in ascribing memory and meaning. What place and landscape do, and are made to do, relies to a great extent upon the narratives that are told and enabled through them. In this discussion, I try to draw out an understanding of the location and role of such mythologised elements. Drawing upon the contemporary theorisations of culture within cultural geography that acknowledge that "a realization of the constant imbrication 4 of, among others, cultural, economic and political processes is necessary for any interpretation of landscape," (Duncan and Ley 1993) this discussion argues that such social relations do not simply represent a residual sense of place, missed by the colonising flows of capitalism and modernity (see also Crang 1998, Mitchell 2000, 1996ab, 1995; Jackson 1996; McRobbie 1991, Cosgrove 1996; Duncan and Duncan 1996, Gregory and Ley 1988; Duncan and Ley 1993; Anderson and Gale 1992; Keith and Pile 1993; Jackson and Penrose 1993). Local discourses and imaginative practices, though inevitably situated and context-dependent, are necessarily intertwined with global processes. Implicated in the making of place, locally-arising practices and their attendant "imagined geographies" mediate economic and cultural flows which have national and global dimensions. They are involved in the expression of a multiplicity of modernities, and in the symbolic interpretation and contestation of modernisation. Various theoretical approaches have examined the dynamic interaction between global forces and the local fabric of communities. Research on the growing connectedness between the "local" and the "global" has envisioned various forms of the assertion of the local, undermining sweeping arguments for "time-space compression" (Harvey 1989), and the tendency of "the space of flows to supercede the space of places" (Castells and Henderson 1987, 7). J .K . Gibson-Graham (1996) has offered an important critique, pointing out difficulties with such political economy-based representations of societies and economies in which economy, polity, culture, and subjectivity reinforce each other, in effect blinding us to alternative possibilities for politics. She suggests that Marxism has perpetuated a singular vision of space as a passive locus of social relations, extending Sharon Marcus' (1992) concept of "rape script" to such conceptualisations of 5 globalisation, as they entail "as a discourse, that is, as a language of domination, a tightly scripted narrative of differential power" (Gibson-Graham 1996, 120): There are many obvious points of connection between the language of rape and the language of capitalist globalization. Feminist theorists have drawn attention to the prevalence of shared key terms, for instance -"penetration," "invasion," "virgin" territory....But beyond the by now familiar gender coding of the metaphors of economic development, there are interesting resonances in the ways a scripted narrative of power operates in both the discursive and social fields of gendered and economic violence... In the globalization script, especially as it has been strengthened and consolidated since 1989, only capitalism has the ability to spread and invade. Capitalism is represented as inherently spatial and as naturally stronger than the forms of noncapitalist economy (traditional economies, "Third Wor ld" economies, socialist economies, communal experiments) because of its presumed capacity to universalize the market for capitalist commodities. (Gibson-Graham 1996, 124-125) A s Gibson-Graham recognises, this script limits the possibilities for the perception and assertion of alternative politics outside and beyond the political economy-based world view; "to accept this script as a reality is to severely circumscribe the sorts of defensive and offensive actions that might be taken to realize economic development goals" (1996, 126). B y querying globalisation and viewing the capitalist economy as fragmented, a diversity of politics and social spaces are opened up. Gibson-Graham's discussion draws attention to how not only globalisation is constructed, but to potential pitfalls of how resistances are perceived and conceived. "Localisation" and, by extension, the "local," "place," and "community" have often been seen as important loci o f opposition, as sites of an oppositional geopolitics of resistance (Oakes 1999; see also, for example, Cooke 1991, Cox and Mair 1991, Jackson 1991). This conception, however, itself may not be much of an alternative, Gibson-Graham argues, suggesting that attempts to displace monolithic images of the social field to make 6 visible heterogeneities, cultural and social difference, resistances, and dynamic subjectivities may still subsume them to capitalism. A dualism is constructed, in which "localization, it seems, is not so much "other" to globalization as contained within it, brought into being by it, indeed part of globalization i t s e l f (Gibson-Graham 1996, 145). She identifies this tendency in the work of, among others, Pred and Watts, who suggest that "globality and locality are inextricably linked, but through complex mediations and reconfigurations of 'traditional' society; the nonlocal processes driving capital mobility are always experienced, constituted, and mediated locally" (Pred and Watts 1992, 6). To some extent she herself succumbs to a degree of homogenising, overlooking the subtlety and range in the theoretical alternatives she critiques, like that of Pred and Watts who have also attempted to challenge the conception of capitalism's monolithic status. That said, she draws attention, significantly, to how relationships are described in a fractured social field, how heterogeneity and difference might be characterised, and what presumptions are made in those characterisations. If our understanding of capitalism and globalisation becomes less totalising, a space is opened for sources and expressions of imaginings of change from outside the tension set up between binary terms. Her point is well taken, and quite relevant to the discussion that follows in which I examine the dynamics of contemporary expressions of place and identity practices emerging from a complex, fractured and mediated landscape, as they relate to artistic production in Prince Edward Island, on the Canada's Atlantic coast. Like Gibson-Graham, I propose the need to look for differences, and to pay attention to contingent and contested dimensions of culture and identity. I agree with Gupta and Ferguson that with the acknowledgement that people and cultures are not automatically and naturally 7 anchored in space, we "need to pay particular attention to the way spaces and places are made, imagined, contested, and enforced" (1992, 18). Although local identity has always been a dynamic, contentious construction, on a deterritorialised ground it is even more clear that difference is not naturally existing and distinct; tradition and culture are reworked and reinterpreted across networks of political economy. In such a context, terms like "sense of place" and "place identity" become suspect and demand careful, qualified use, as they convey an apparent homogeneity and uniform, static quality. A hybrid understanding of spatial and cultural differentiation grounds this discussion, for "the identity of a place emerges by the intersection of its involvement in a system of hierarchically organized spaces with its cultural construction as a community or locality" (Gupta and Ferguson 1992, 8). Said describes the field of play much more chaotically and expansively: "al l cultures are involved in one another; none is single and pure, all are hybrid, heterogeneous, extraordinarily differentiated, and unmonolithic" (1993, xxix) . The result is the reconceptualisation of places with an eye to the potentials and possibilities opened up when we deny the univocality of a market/commodity/global capitalist totality. The choice of Prince Edward Island as a site of research was no accident. In a hybrid social and cultural field, Prince Edward Island offers a powerful metaphor for the construction of place and memory, presenting an important opportunity to explore the complex contemporary reconfiguration of tradition and culture and the narratives triggered by and told through landscape. Despite (or perhaps, in spite of) its physical autonomy, Prince Edward Island has been constructed as a space of difference. M y decision to examine arts practices as they relate to this, was not random either. There are precedents for examining cultural expression and its connection to the landscape in the 8 Maritimes and more widely, but there has been a tendency to describe an all-too-perfect homogenous construction, eliding the questions surrounding the sense-making roles of cultural producers in relation to spatial imaginaries. Significantly, arts practices and cultural expression lie at the intersection of how the Island has been marked out and constituted in both the production of cultural space and the production of tourism space. Inseparable from this landscape are the cultural practices that have struggled to express and describe it, shaping it textually. In the hermeneutic approach adopted in this discussion, my focus is the politicisation of discourse and landscape. M y methodology involved qualitative research with cultural producers, including those involved in artistic practice - artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers, craftspersons, performers, as well as cultural mediators -individuals employed in the dissemination of culture and in cultural and arts organisations. M y discussion is directed at expanding an understanding the practices of these cultural producers and the complexity with which they engage issues of modernisation and regional identity. In querying Islandness, I hope to show that the space of the Island is as much a cultural space as a physical entity. I hope to show also the differentiation of culturally and politically significant interpretations of the landscape that have been offered by expressive practice, as sources of public memory and contributors to the construction, interpretation, and questioning of such notions as rurality, insularity, tradition, and "Islandness." 9 Fig. 1.3 Tracy Michailidis as "Anne of Green Gables," postcard. The reverse text reads "Anne Shirley enjoys the view of Prince Edward Island fields on the way to school." I w i l l argue, as well , that questions about the production of Prince Edward Island in expressive practices cannot be separated from questions that get at the very presence of artists in this rural location and the values and regional imaginaries they possess and reproduce. Although thoroughly represented in terms of tradition and of premodern "home place," in Prince Edward Island the activity of cultural producers is intricately entwined within the wider, thoroughly postmodern trend centred upon the aestheticisation and commodification of the landscape (Fig. 1.3). Cultural practice is involved not only in shaping the landscape conceptually and materially, but expressions of local identity have also found increasing manifestation in circuits of tourism production. So too in the wider contemporary landscape of the Maritime region a prevalent trend has been towards deindustrialisation and rural gentrification, with places shifting from being centres of production to sites for tourist consumption. Representations of the Island "way of life" 10 recur in cultural practice as well as promotional imagery, reinforcing Prince Edward Island as "homeland" within the international tourism industry. The permeability of experience and representation, insider and outsider, and "back stage" and "front stage," challenges conventional notions of the relationship between traditional culture and popular culture, as well as authenticity versus artificiality of expression. It could be said that Prince Edward Island has never had a comfortable relationship with modernisation. In fact, in representation, the Island seems to exist in a state of suspension. Apparently isolated from globalising pressures, the persistence of tradition, rural values, and insularity are key to "Islandness," and the perceived integrity of the landscape. Quite separate from this image, the Island's agrarian landscape has its own history, however - one that has been addressed by Andrew H i l l Clark in his classical text Three Centuries and the Island: A Historical Geography of Settlement and Agriculture in Prince Edward Island (1959). Influenced by the cultural-historical geography o f Carl Sauer and the Berkeley School of cultural geography, as well as by Harold Innis' theorisations of geography, history, and economy, Clark offered an account of the early history of Prince Edward Island and the development of various sectors, particularly agriculture. Clark focused on geographical change, with a methodological eye to "the changing patterns of phenomena and relationships in and through the area." Interpreting spatial patterns of settlement and land use over three hundred years in Prince Edward Island, assessing patterns of similarity and difference among areas, he developed what is a comparison of settlement and agricultural practices of Prince Edward Island's four major ethnic groups - Acadian, British, Irish and Scottish. Clark's importance in the socialised knowledge of Prince Edward Island lies in his account of its changing geography, 11 including the population shifts experienced in the form of migrations and outmigrations, the impact of settlement upon the look and organisation of the landscape, and the waxing and waning economies of timber, fish, agriculture, and shipbuilding. The narrative he presented reflects a traditional cultural-historical geographical approach, and shows the obvious influence of Carl Sauer in its attention to human intervention in transforming the natural environment and the cultural landscapes that result. Sauer's Morphology of Landscape lays out the underlying premise of his cultural geography, tangible in Clark's treatment: "The cultural landscape is fashioned from a natural landscape by a culture group. Culture is the agent, the natural area the medium, the cultural landscape the result" (Sauer 1925, 343) A similar cultural imprint is apparent in Clark 's work. The human record upon the landscape is presented as innocent and geography as a blank slate subject to transparent cycles of human activity. Clark "read" the landscape before him through a distinct lens in which patterns of agricultural land use "were much more closely associated with those reflecting the character of settlement than of natural endowment" (1959, 207). Implicit in his approach was an assumption that different cultures were expected to have differing relationships to the landscape, which would be evident to the researcher: Bearers of different cultures, they were expected (and shown) to act rather differently in their appropriation of this territory to their needs. For all the relative homogeneity of its natural environment, the Island past and present offered several examples of "uneconomic geographies" attributable to "cultural drives or prejudices".... revealed by his sequential series of maps, Clark hoped that geographers would learn that the contemporary scene often reflects what has gone before; in it he implied, historians might discover a "broad new vista of interpretation." (Wynn 1990, 10) 12 In its comparison of localized patterns and assessment of areal differentiation, Clark's work scarcely addressed the dynamism of culture, economy and society, and could not account for questions of power as they are played out through landscape. His cultures are remarkably static, with pre-given values and practices. A s Wynn rightly observes, Clark's "work paid far more attention to patterns on maps than to people in places, and it revealed the facts of change far more fully then it accounted for the processes that lay behind them" (1990, 10). Clark's approach is incapable of grasping a dynamic relationship between culture and space, and of perceiving landscape as a site of meanings and values. In contrast to Clark's approach to Prince Edward Island, my point of departure is a critical engagement with the construction of the landscape to show that geography and landscape are centrally implicated in the constitution of difference. The "facts of change" in the development of the Island landscape cannot account for the tenuousness of our contemporary links to the past, or for the construction of meaning of place and memory within a hybrid and heterogeneous social field. Nor can such an account grasp how the existence and persistence of the pastoral, idyllic, rural Island image that has dominated contemporary public discourse and promotional imagery shapes the landscape and enters intimately into its transformations. 13 Fig. 1.4 "A memory around every corner," postcard, Tourism PEI 2000. The portrayal of Prince Edward Island in terms of traditional, rural, family values where it appears "rurality becomes the necessary antecedent and social opposite of what is to come" (Samson 1994, 25) begins early. Along with Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables (1908), for example, in literature, Andrew Macphail 's The Master's Wife (1939), offers a truly nostalgic rendering of mid-19 t h century Prince Edward Island society from the vantage of early twentieth century industrialising Montreal. This is a semi-autobiographical rendering of Macphail 's childhood in Orwell and of bucolic Island living. Ironically, even within the novel itself, however, Macphail recognises the paradox that image entailed, in that he and his brothers "worked thinking only o f escape" (1939, 53). Such images have remained a strong and persistent influence. In promotional tourism packages accompanying the Prince Edward Island 2000 Visitors Guide, for example, two postcards were included (Fig. 1.4, 1.5). Photographed by John Sylvester, the first depicts a farm scene surrounded by ploughed fields, to support the text: " A n island seclusion of peace." The other records a highway with a small community with 1 4 traditional buildings and a lighthouse in the distance, full o f promise, for there is "a memory around every corner." Fig. 1.5 " A n island seclusion of peace," postcard, Tourism PEI 2000. The space of the Island has been made meaningful in such terms and imagery, quite visible in the tourist landscape and its variations on the theme of a place anchored in the past and promising simplicity. 1 There has been a continual shifting and refinement in search of the phrases and attractions that would draw tourists (see MacEachern 1991). The result today is tourism promotion based upon a range of elements that mobilise "tradition", including folk practices such as traditional music, quilting, crafts, and pottery; events in the form of ceilidhs, kitchen parties, strawberry socials, lobster suppers, and " O l d Home" Week; elements of the cultural landscape that evoke the Island's past such as pioneer cemeteries, white churches, fishing boats, and lighthouses; the invention of fictional landscapes, like Green Gables and Avonlea Village; and finally roadside 15 attractions that draw upon fairy tale whimsy and imagination, like Woodleigh Replicas and Gardens, and Rainbow Valley Family Fun Park. In analysing several instances of cultural practice, my question has been how can we understand the complexity of the inscription of identity and memory in the landscape through cultural forms and their representations without reducing them to an argument of spectacularisation and commodification. This discussion w i l l look at the imaginative geographies of the Island and the ways in which they have circulated in material forms, the values and ideologies associated in their use, and the multiple circuits in which they operate. A s I w i l l show in my discussion of commentaries of cultural practice in Atlantic regional identity, the practices of artistic and cultural producers that are used in support of this constructed landscape are often equated to a "caretaking" function of the Island's and region's pastoral identity. These kinds of images put to service for the tourist gaze (Urry 1992) and within the "heritage industry" (Hewison 1987) have been the subject of much debate in discussions of postmodernism, geography, and culture. Within this, they have most often been associated with the primacy and salience of forms of leisure consumption and viewed in terms of spectacle, nostalgia, and the fabrication of difference for visual consumption. Such imagery has been dismissed as "bogus history" (Hewison 1987) and "decoration and display" (Wright 1985). Heritage is viewed as imagined and accepted unquestioningly, for as David Lowenthal writes, it "uses historical traces and tells historical tales. But these tales and traces are stitched into fables closed to critical scrutiny. Heritage is immune to criticism because it is not erudition but catechism—not checkable fact but credulous allegiance" (Lowenthal 1995, 1). 16 This imagery is seen as evidence of the "society of the spectacle" that Debord proposed in 1967, of Baudrillard's "simulacrum" (1983) and Eco's "hyperreality" (1986) a new societal context where consumption dominates production, and the "authentic" is extinguished under the supremacy of the commodified image. Debord's ideas of spectacle and its spatial forms have been engaged within geographical analyses of landscape, coming to expression as "hyperspace," "simulations," and in metaphoric terms such as the theme park (Zukin 1992) , television (Sorkin 1992), and Harvey's "voodoo cities" (1988), all o f them subject to Horkheimer and Adorno's "ideology of the pleasure industry, whose institutions [the consumer] cannot escape" (1972, 158). Spatial transformation and its cultural expression are seen quite pessimistically; for they involve the domination of private space and the market control of the social realm that "make gentrification and Disney Wor ld the essential postmodern mappings of culture and power" (Zukin 1992,223). It is this theoretical context that frames much commentary about the relationship of arts practices within commodified tourist and heritage landscapes. Supporting a drive to consume other places and other times, these practices are viewed as articulating an ideology of nostalgia, a reactionary postmodernism that expresses "simulated elsewheres" (Hopkins 1990) and a "dis-ease" of the present (Goss 1993). They are seen to represent a reactionary antimodernism, lamenting the perceived loss of moral conviction, authenticity and community, accompanied by a profound disillusionment with the present and fear of the future. Within this perspective, an engagement with expressions of place-based identity and history are, as a result, inherently illusory, an obsession with the past that is a response to decline and cultural decay. Exploited is a collective nostalgia for real places and historic roots, fueling the tourist and consumer's search for a manufactured, illusory, 17 premodern authenticity.2 Coming to the fore in discussions of such "embedding of tradition" (MacCannell 1992) are issues of (mis)representation and power, for the use of cultural practice and the images of history and place they construct legitimate identities, local and national, and relations of power and privilege (Lumley 1988, Lowenthal, 1981, Samuel 1989, Hewison 1987, 1989, Home 1984, Wright 1985). While valuable in their attention to power, these arguments, however, are part of a wider theoretical alignment. They are striking in their cultural pessimism and postmodernism of "decline" based largely on a conception of culture as mass culture. Or, as Morris suggests, "there is amongst cultural critics a certain commodity boredom... M y response to this boredom is - that's tough for cultural critics. Alternative values and their constituencies may perhaps be obliterated in an apocalyptic event, but they are not about to disappear by the decree of some jaded culturati" (1993, 43). Perhaps the greatest mistake is to assume that within landscapes of consumption, consumption is all there is: "the topography of consumption is increasingly identified as (and thus expanded to stand in for) the map of the social" (Berland 1992, 42). Redeeming representation This discussion shares the position of revisions to the view of landscape as an uncompromising medium of social control. I would argue that overlooked in the prevailing theorisations based on the ideas of spectacle and "theme parks" is the fact that inevitably the spaces constructed are never entirely formal. There are always gaps, seams, and "holes in the wal l " (Oakes 1993) that the seamlessness of such a critique disallows. Contrary to the impenetrable spectacle with its assumed ideal passive, homogeneous spectator, other theoretical approaches have revealed individuals to be open to a wide 18 range of informal, unplanned, spontaneous practices and uses of space which reconstitute formal spaces as liminal, hybrid and dynamic. Overlooked is the infinite variation in the ways by which people use and make sense of their spaces (Carter, Donald, and Squires 1993, xii) . A s well , there is an assumption of uniformity of the commodified landscape, a landscape that is notably empty of voices and inhabitants. In this case, places and landscapes are isolated from their broader associations and uses and placed in a vacuum in order to see sameness. Acknowledging this blindspot, Meaghan Morris has argued for "a study that differentiates...." A s she notes in her study of the urban space of the shopping mall, "...[this] requires the predication of a more complex and localized affective relation to shopping spaces (and to the links between those spaces and other sites of domestic and familial labour" than does the scenario of the "cruising grammarian reading similarity from place to place....This does not mean, however, that they succeed in 'managing' either the total spectacle..(which includes what people do with what they provide) or the responses it provokes (and may include)." (Morris 1993, 297, 298-9). Ley and Olds (1988), and M i l l s (1993) have also provided concrete studies that offer important geographical alternatives. Necessary is a reconsideration of cultural practice which "might generate outcomes which are concealed by the hermetic concept of the spectacle" (Ley and M i l l s 1993, 258). While the analogy of space as spectacle does provide important insight into the political economic contexts and broader processes in which cultural practices emerge, they are themselves constructions - "attempts to freeze and fix a spectacular reality" (Morris 1993, 301). Here is one body of critical research to which this discussion seeks to contribute, relating a politics of representation and the cultural practice of artists to what Entrikin has 19 called a sense of the "synthetic quality of place and region" (1991, 129). Challenging a simplistic, static conception of "sense of place," such an approach foregrounds the importance of the symbolic, imagined dimension of place as a significant constituent of human action, formed, reproduced and institutionalised in everyday practice through the shared experiences and memories of human subjects. "During its institutionalisation," writes Paasi, "a region achieves a specific identity, which cannot be reduced, as humanistic geographers tend to do, to the regional consciousness (regional identity) of the people living there": Instead, it is more useful to link it to the institutionalisation process, which includes the production and reproduction of regional consciousness in the inhabitants (and people outside the region) and material and symbolic features of the region as parts of the ongoing process of social reproduction. The formation of social identity and process of social reproduction are... "one and the same." (Paasi 1991,244) It is clear that a premodern state of pure, pristine identities has always been wishful thinking. The dynamism of the symbolic shape of place brings to the fore the importance, even centrality, of imagination in the boundedness and distinctiveness of place, history, and identity. Paasi continues: Symbolic orderings of space and time provide a framework for experience through which we learn who or what we are in society... The increasing number and use of territorial symbols is crucial for creating the symbolic significance of a region. One essential symbol is the name of the region, which connects its image with the regional consciousness. The production and reproduction of the symbolic significance of regions depends crucially on the communication-based involvement of individuals in various practices. Part of the symbolic shape, however, may manifest itself in static articulations of space - through physical signs usually expressing "arrested" historical practices. Thus the symbolic sphere carries with it a history and traditions and promotes the reproduction of social 20 consciousness. The formation of the symbolic shapes of a specific region also canonises an apparatus for distinguishing it from all others. (Paasi 1991,245) While Paasi emphasises the importance, even centrality of imagination, I want to build upon this discussion by considering the attention to power Edward Said contributes to an understanding of the reproduction of symbolic space in his important concept of "imaginative geographies." Developed in Orientalism (1978), the concept draws upon Bachelard's proposal for a poetics of space, whereby spaces come to have significance because of the experiences that come to seem appropriate because of their imaginative or figurative value. "So space," writes Said, "acquires emotional and even rational sense by a kind of poetic process, whereby the vacant or anonymous reaches of distance are converted into meaning for us here" (1978, 55). In contrast to older notions of perceptions, or mental images and maps, imaginative geographies as representations are not purely cognitive. Gregory notes that Said's emphasis on vision and visuality draws attention to the cultural construction of the gaze, placing representation within systems of power and knowledge (2000, 372). A s a result, representation is in no way neutral, and far from benign. Imaginative geographies are involved in the production of social and spatial relationships lending a certain "coherence" and fixity to social and cultural heterogeneity by creating a sense of unity based on difference and alterity from others as well as identification for the inevitably differentiated "us". The importance of the concept for this discussion lies in how it helps to undermine the distinction between "imagined" and "real," for imaginative geographies are "not without concreteness, substance, and, indeed, 'reality'. On the contrary: Said emphasized that imaginative geographies circulate in material forms" (Gregory 2000, 373). Signifying practices and cultural forms can be seen as performative, shaping ideas, 21 ideologies and beliefs, perception, which in turn shape experience. A s well , as opposed to simply symbolic meanings and images of place, imaginative geographies allow a consideration of power and issues of its imposition and inequity to be accommodated. Gregory has emphasized the need to go even further to recognize "the heterogeneity of these systems of power-knowledge: Orientalism did not speak in a single voice" (Gregory 1994, 170). Neither a single identity nor a single consciousness is the outcome; rather images and narratives co-exist and interact in a dynamic fashion, signifying a collection of hierarchically organised values, dispositions and differences. A s they relate to the landscape, the "telling" of place is never established once and for all then, for the mapping of meaning onto space is part of the broader and complex field of human experience. Said's approach reinforces a sense of the imbrication of social space, representation, and mental space that grounds this discussion. Several decades of critical theory, cultural theory, feminist theory, and aesthetic theory have argued for an understanding of representation that allows us to peel back any appearance of transparency to reveal its politics. A s a result we can now appreciate that representations need not signify an essential or deeper truth, nor be merely reflective or distortive, but act instead as highly concrete and creative interventions in identity and subjectivity. It is difficult, unfortunately, to dismantle oppositions without using them, but I want to clarify that I am trying to displace the binary terms of genuine-false, real-unreal, with the understanding that there is no "real" space that is totally distinct from the represented space. In this argument, I have been influenced by the conceptualisations offered in studies of aesthetic practice, particularly Rosalyn Deutsche's significant work on aesthetic 22 representation and social practice, which has proceeded from feminist critiques of representation and ideas about the politics of images derived from cultural theory to an engagement with spatial politics. Countering approaches that measure artistic images against an external reality, she argues "feminist theories treat visual images as themselves social relations - representations producing meaning and constructing identities for viewing subjects" (Deutsche 1998, xix) . Her understanding of art and cultural practice as spatial practice is informed by this non-mimetic sense of representation, as well as by Lefebvre's (1991) analysis of spatial contradictions, and ground her critique of totalising conceptions of the social field integrated by an economic foundation (Deutsche 1991). Politics and resistances are still possible, and aesthetic representation is a potential force. Resisting the subsumption of political resistances to political economy, her conceptualisation of representational practice allows her to see its potential for intervention and critique, applying it to a variety of examples of public art in the redevelopment in urban spaces. Aesthetic representation in these cases makes space as public space arises from practice. The work of Victor Burgin on aesthetic practices is also a useful precedent and illustrates the potential blindspots created by the interpretive lenses used in geographical research. He draws upon Lefebvre's (1991) account of the imbrication of physical and psychological, the interrelationship of spaces as they are perceived, conceived, and appropriated by the imagination. "The city in our actual experience is at the same time an actually existing physical environment, and a city in a novel, a film, a photograph, a city seen on television, a city in a comic strip, a city in a pie chart, and so on" (Burgin 1996, 28). Addressing the representations of urban space in the geographical discourse of Edward Soja, Burgin observes a "dead end" created by Soja's separation of the 23 representational and material. He suggests a more productive model for an understanding of space as a "hybrid space, at once material and psychical," in which all o f us "actually live and act" (Burgin 1996, 29). The performativity of representation implies that relations with material spaces are contingent, not mimetic. This is the necessary first step in assessing the role the "communication-based" activity of cultural producers has played in the practice of meaning-making. As one source of images, artists are at the heart of the expressive construction of narratives and "recognisable fictions" (in the sense offictio, or something made), which at once reconstruct "local culture" and localised identity, while negotiating political and economic forces at national and global scales. These are not unquestioning representations, for the construction of localised and self-conscious identities that result are related to various degrees and find themselves in various struggles within circuits of tourism production. Nor is there is a single, simple trajectory of modernisation. Cultural articulations develop as global processes intersect with "already existing - more or less deeply sedimented - everyday practices, power relations, and forms of consciousness" (Pred and Watts 1992, x i i i ) . Cultural practice offers one lens into how historical change has been perceived and engaged. A struggle over meaning is tangible in the range of perceived and experienced modernities - there is "an array of cultural, ideological, and reflective reactions to modernization within the realms of art, literature, science, and philosophy" (Pred and Watts 1992, xiv). There is no way to simplify the specificity of their content and context, nor the roles these constructions come to play. I would argue that Deutsche, in her attention to postmodern art strategies, overlooks the less overt resistances and possibilities offered by aesthetic representation. If all representation shapes perception and experience, radical 24 critique is simply one point on a continuum. M y interest is in the productivity of images. A t one level, representations are important as spatial narratives, offering grounding for subjectivity. The evocation of self that place-based expressions present blends the autobiographical with the "I" of a region, nation, or community, creating "not places but practices of collective identification" whose variable order largely defines the culture of any social formation" (Mulhern 1989, 86, cited in Eagleton 2000). Thrift has also noted the practice of identification that takes place through narrative: "Places form a reservoir of meanings which people can draw upon to tell stories about and thereby define themselves. Thus place and identity are inexorably linked" (1997, 160). The acknowledgement of these broader systems of meaning in which representations emerging from creative professions are integrated through circuits of promotion and tourism challenges propositions that the meaning of place can simply be created and imposed through marketing. Place identity is ultimately materially localised and lived through one's personal understanding and memory of the meaning of "home"—an understanding that is necessarily embedded in complex, wider sets of social relations, for "identity marks the conjuncture of our past with the social, cultural and economic relations we live within" (Rutherford 1990, 19). I have turned to an interpretive approach, focusing on the subjective interpretations of the meaning of spaces and places, the communicative function of landscape representation and the reproduction of social relations and negotiation that landscape represents. Models for the intersubjective meaning of landscape have been offered by, for example, Shields (1991) and Duncan and Ley (1993). In the hermeneutic circle, images of place are not static and neutral; they are produced actively and historically, and dynamically contested. Geographies, like culture itself, are emergent, contested and 25 temporal (Geertz 1983, Clifford and Marcus 1986). The relevance of these discussions here lies in the idea that the meaning of landscape does not reside in the landscape, but is given to it by those who represent and the media through which those representations are communicated, shared, and interpreted. In geography, this idea has come to expression in attempts to read landscape as "text," incorporating a semiotic approach to signification (Duncan and Duncan 1988, Duncan 1990), in an effort to understand the social negotiation that landscape represents as part of the dynamic process of culture: Landscapes anywhere can be viewed as texts which are constitutive of discursive fields, and thus can be interpreted socio-semiotically in terms of their narrative structure, their synechdoches, and recurrence. This applies as much to late twentieth-century America as it does to early nineteenth century Kandy... the thrust of the interpretive method w i l l be the same - to uncover the underlying multivocal codes which make landscapes cultural creations, to show the politics of design and interpretation, and to situate landscape at the heart of the study of social process. (1990, 184) Duncan's interpretive method concerning landscapes and their multivocality is based on the premise that all landscapes have multiple sources and are intertextual, with the implication they are all repositories of meaning that can be discerned. It is a discussion that is extended in Duncan's work with Barnes (1992). In reflecting upon the notion of text, they challenge a concept of mimesis in the landscape: "For, just as written texts are not simply mirrors of reality so cultural productions such as landscapes, are not 'about' something more real than themselves." (Barnes and Duncan 1992, 5). Taken to their extreme, meaning is open and unstable, privileging interpretation, and, they argue, can be separated from its author. Drawing upon Ricoeur's model of textual interpretation in social scientific discourse, they suggest: 26 Thus a landscape possesses a similar objective fixity to that of a written text. It also becomes detached from the intentions of its original authors, and in terms of social and psychological impact and material consequences the various readings of landscapes matter more than any authorial intentions. In addition, the landscape has an importance beyond the initial situation for which it was constructed, addressing a potentially wide range of readers. (Barnes and Duncan 1992, 6) In this hermeneutic approach to landscape as text, art as a system of communication is completely set loose from the individuals who create and use them. The interpretation of landscape is suggested as more significant than authorial intentions. Texts indeed do move - away from their authors, and into other contexts, and so the reading of landscape is open and ambiguous. But reading the landscape cannot be simply about interpretation. Wi th the original context erased, as is suggested by Barnes and Duncan, the site of authorship, in fact, shifts to the reader. A s Gregory has argued in his discussion of the text metaphor, revealing the complexity of landscape and its contingency becomes an act of reading, an act thoroughly about us: we can "make them mean" and they can be "made intelligible in ways that enlarge our own understandings in our own present" (1994, 150). The danger of removing contextual elements is to replicate the very spectacularisation of landscape that we are trying to avoid with our critical tools. The lapses that can result from such a methodology are evident in another approach to the representation of landscape. Mitchell 's The Lie of the Land addresses the connection between the material production of landscape and the production of landscape representations, between "work and the 'exercise of the imagination'" (1996a, 1). His objective is to link the politics of representation with issues of labour, revealing the role of labour in shaping the landscape, and restoring an ontology of labour to the centre of landscape geography and history. His interest lies in how landscape contributes to the 27 perpetuation of capitalism, as he writes, "The ongoing struggle on the part of capital to find a way for labor power to be properly reproduced and the ongoing struggle on the part of workers to resist their constant objectification and marginalization are what made and structured the land. That struggle gives lie to the land-in both senses of the term" (1996a, 11). Theorising the relationship of landscape representation to material form of landscape on the ground, however, he retreats to a polarised tension of representation and real. Mitchell critiques other theorists such as Daniels, Cosgrove, as well as Barnes and Duncan, for ignoring any prediscursive material world. "One cannot understand a landscape, Daniels and Cosgrove remind us, independent of how it has been represented," he writes, "Absolutely. But neither can one understand a landscape independent of its material form on the ground (and thus independent of how it was made)" (Mitchell 1996a, 8). While I appreciate Mitchell 's emphasis on relating landscape representation to its sources, he argues at root for a political economic approach that keeps in tension the false opposition of how landscapes materialize in discourse and a material reality. In the process, he treads close to separating the tasks of geographers and art historians. Although he claims their work is "alike precisely: Why does the landscape look like it does (because it has a clear function in its present form), and who made it look that way," to Mitchell , it is the responsibility of geographers to bring a more morphological approach to landscape imagery. A s a result of the separation Mitchell performs, representations are "misrepresentations" of a reality, a position frequently taken from within a political economic historiography which cannot comprehend their constant imbrication, and the politics of representation that result. This position produces a clear misreading of a 28 collection of photography, The Great Central Valley: California's Heartland, which incorporates the work of contemporary photographs, prose, as well as earlier photography such as that of the social documentary work of Dorothea Lange. Although he acknowledges the range of images and landscapes, in the end Mitchel l cannot differentiate among them - they are false and make him "uneasy," for " in the photographs it is all so beautiful... Workers fade in the rearview mirror of history, the easier to forget who made this landscape" (1996a, 201). It seems to me that geographers should be able to excavate the specificity of the meaning of representation and its history, and remain aware of the contingency of the circuits in which representation moves. In the case of Lange, for example, her work bears the realism associated with the documentary work produced under the Farm Security Administration. Rather than erasing the labour and experience of those represented, the records of Depression-era farm crises that record lived experiences and struggles of poverty still have an impact as a powerful symbol and tradition. Like Mitchell , I want to look as well at landscape as an "exercise of the imagination," but through the performativity of representation and its imaginative geographies in shaping experience and the lived relations of places. If cultural practice is seen in terms of intervention and performativity, attention turns to the meaning and function of representations, how representations are essential not just for depicting but also for structuring social relations in particular places. The intent of this discussion is to explore the imagined geographies involved in cultural practice, highlighting the complexity of constructions of subjectivity in relationship to place, and differing relationships to the production of Prince Edward Island as a complex space of representation. The role of cultural producers in constructing, maintaining and contesting the link between landscape and representation 29 w i l l be drawn out through attention to existing empirical examples and original cases dealing with the thought and practice of artists, in order to evolve a sense of relationship of cultural practice to regional and spatial imaginaries. Arts practices show, not hint, at a cultural politics of place in terms of contradiction and paradox. The cultural practice of artists is one site in which polyphony in the landscape is tangible, where the different meanings of landscape are played out. Drawing upon Bakhtin, who advocated a polyvalent approach exploring the interaction and connection of landscape sources -attending to their "l iminal spheres...on the borders...at their junctures and points of intersection" (1986, 103), Rodman has proposed a conception of place in terms of multivocality and multilocality, for "places are not inert containers. They are politicized, culturally relative, historically specific, local and multiple constructions" (1992, 641). Cultural expression is an important epistemological resource, shaping "what we know," a discourse and source of geographical knowledge and experience, the cultural practices of artists do not simply emerge from places, but also make places as symbolic constructs, deployed in the discursive construction of various imaginative geographies. Landscape elements "operate as common points of reference that are symbolically charged with the power of collective myth and involve history rewritten and futures anticipated" (Walker 1997, 163). Cultural practice is central in the construction of collective memory, grounding what writer Robert Kroetsch has called the "imagined real place" (1989, 8). Competing narratives are engaged in ascribing meaning and in the expression of localised identity - "invented," but with sources and effects very real, very concrete, and very complex. A s Bakhtin suggests, discursive productions necessarily emerge from and feed back into social, political, and economic contexts: 30 The work and the world represented in it enter the real world and enrich it, and the real world enters into the work and its world as part of the process of its creation, as well as part of its subsequent life, in a continual renewing of the work through creative perception of listeners and readers. O f course, this process of exchange is itself chronotopic: it occurs first and foremost in the historically developing social world, but without ever losing contact with changing historical space. (1981,254) The result is the expression of a range of different voices and perceptions of relationship to broader patterns and processes, whether support, humour, intervention, critique, and deconstruction, each historically and geographically situated, tangible in cultural practices are alternative visions of home and identities, a consciousness of competing responses to modernisation, for: to assert the local is in no sense to deny the global character of capitalism (both take place simultaneously, of course) or to obviate the need to theorize the abstract properties (for example, the crisis-proneness) of capitalism. Our (spatial) point is simply that how things develop depends in part on where they develop, on what has been historically sedimented there, on the social and spatial structures that are already in place there. A sensitivity to space, and to time, reveals that there are a multiplicity of capitalisms... (Pred and Watts 1992, 11) In this discussion, I w i l l draw out several instances of the cultural practice of artists who have engaged Prince Edward Island as localised "home place" and as an originary place, as expressions of this place construction. Their symbolic and mythologised elements are examined for their communication of meaning, articulating in various ways how the community has been presented - from within and out - as a place, in art and popular practice. In three original cases, representations w i l l be shown to engage the construction of Prince Edward Island as a cultural space and play a role in the durability of memory. Counter to the conclusions of many discussions of the commodification of culture and place, they are, however, not empty of critique or 31 consideration of historical transformation. These practices are part of the contestation of meaning of the Island. The questioning of a myth of progress is informed by a sense that something is being obscured and lost in portrayals and images of the province. For different artists these losses may comprise a historical memory of self-sufficiency and rural past, a history of political resistance and struggle for independence, as well as the perspectives of diverse social subjects. I want to point out that in my discussion of the interface of cultural practice, tourism and landscape, it is not my intent to claim that this is all there is to landscape, nor to weave a tight narrative, but instead to offer cases which in the end touch and relate to each other in different fashions, raising implications and issues in their differences and affinities. M y intent is to open up constructions of place, pointing to sources that highlight the instability of meaning. A sense of the intertextual articulation and dialogical character of landscape w i l l be argued, for "a place comes explicitly into being in the discourse of its inhabitants, and particularly in the rhetoric it promotes" (Berdoulay 1989, 135). 32 Description of chapters This discussion goes beyond conventional approaches to aesthetic representation, grounding them not in a formalistic approach, but within cultural and social analysis that pays attention to landscape transformation. Placing aesthetic representation within social analysis, my starting point is the understanding that such representation is active in the construction of meaning and in its communication, and also acknowledges the complexity of current contexts from which such practices emerge and the landscapes they create and necessarily operate within. A s a result, the cultural spaces they reflect are necessarily intertextual and dialogical - not uniform and homogeneous. The theoretical basis for the case studies is laid out in the first two chapters. "The Art of Place" begins the discussion by reviewing existing approaches to the relationship of art practices and geography. It examines theorisations of the cultural construction of space through literary geographical and art historical lenses, developing the framework through which artistic images and their role in identity, memory, and the imagined dimension of geographies w i l l be considered in the case studies that follow. Because cultural representation should not be looked at apart from its broader context and applications, the second chapter, "The Place of Ar t , " considers research related to artists and their potential role in reshaping geographies through the aestheticisation and commodification of the landscape. The impact of representations cannot be separated from the tourism landscape, one of the realms in which they circulate. Subsequently, tourism and cultural meaning is addressed, as this is a context and backdrop upon which contemporary representations of the Prince Edward Island landscape must be seen. 33 Chapter three addresses the precedents for research on aestheticisation and commodification of folk practice and art in tourism within the Maritime region in order to provide a broader canvas for the example of Prince Edward Island. Maritime regional identity has been consistently expressed and refracted through cultural practices, often mobilising folk and traditional associations of a collective past, and tourism has played a leading role in maintaining this identity. This chapter lays out the wider interface of art, popular culture, tourism, and regional identity, points which w i l l be returned to in more depth through the cases. Prince Edward Island is dealt with specifically in the fourth chapter, addressing the social production of the Island's meaning and various threads of its mediation of modernisation and tradition. In this light, I w i l l set out the paradigmatic example—the historical identification in tourism of the meaning and traditional identity of Prince Edward Island with the promotion of the romantic literary imagery of Lucy Maud Montgomery. A s a response to the historical transformation of the rural landscape, Montgomery's work speaks to the values o f the premodern, small-scale face-to-face community of the late 1800s and early 1900s, which is perceived to dominate the historical imagery of this space. This cultural practice has been central in the subsequent definition of the space of the Island as "home place." I would argue, however, that in the often mysteriously exclusive attention to the work of Lucy Maud Montgomery within the construction of the symbolic shape of Prince Edward Island, the dynamism, struggle, and complexity of Island cultural practice and place-making have been overlooked. The three cases which follow move beyond the hypostatisation of Anne of Green Gables to illustrate differing and richly textured 34 relationships to rural transformation and the changing Island landscape, falling loosely under what I would call its critical depiction, intervention, and reconstruction. Chapter five presents the work of artist Alfred Morrison, and the philosophy it entails in presenting another construction of the Island as "home place". Morrison, an artist associated with the "folk art" tradition, began his work in response to the restructuring of the Island economy and landscape over the twentieth century. In an examination of the artist's world view and aspirations as he expressed them, I w i l l argue that in his emphasis on tradition and "home place" is also a critique of rural transformation and a commentary on the changing post-war landscape through to the 1990s. Emphasising the traditional landscape and rural past of the Island, his work offers a cultural memory and highlights a critical element of art that is often assumed to be unquestioning, commercial, and romantic. Chapter six, the second case, w i l l examine the cultural work and practice that speaks to another expression of the dynamic between improvement and romance. I examine the work of contemporary artists that mobilises the established landscape of the Island and its accumulated associations and mythic elements in order to resist development of the Confederation Bridge. The intense debate over the construction of the bridge centred around differing views of the Island and intra-local tensions over its identity, revealing a history of political resistance and of struggle to define the relationship to the landscape. Going beyond romantic notions, these practices question the idea of historical progress, offering intervention in narratives of tradition and progress. Finally, the third case, presented in chapter seven, w i l l examine the work of Jin-me Yoon, a Vancouver-based artist o f Korean background whose work places representations of Islandness and of "home" within an international, postcolonial context. In a way, this 35 case brings the discussion full circle. In contrast to Montgomery's "equivalence" with the landscape, where it is clear that the Island is inextricable from its representation, Yoon intervenes in this landscape. In employing the tourism aesthetic itself she attempts to take apart this representation and make visible its veneers. In the range of interventions in rural transformation, Yoon critiques the commodification of the Prince Edward Island landscape to show what is at stake in tourism as a basis for regional development and the marketing of the Island as a universal "homeland" for a culturally-diverse, post-colonial global population. Her art deconstructs place images by undermining the tourism landscape, manipulating promotional imagery and the myths of Islandness to reveal their exclusions. In the space that appears between surface and reality, she reveals the potential remaking of memories, traditions and cultural identities for a diversity of social subjects. In the conclusion I return to questions raised earlier in the discussion of the interface of folk practice, popular culture, art and tourism. This discussion w i l l review how the empirical work engages the interpretations of both the cultural production of space and discussions of aestheticisation, gentrification, and commodification. M y aim in this research is to press forward the understanding of the interface of art, popular culture, commodification, and landscape, the work that place and landscape do and are made to do. 36 Chapter I The Art of Place: Making cultural spaces in art Making space cultural Landscapes, environments and places are not simply physical entities. Rather, they are human creations as well , mediated and constantly reconstituted as experience becomes enmeshed with representational and signifying practices that shape social identity and the meanings of everyday and social life (Lefebvre 1991). The importance of these imaginative geographies, fundamental to our understanding of space, has been subject to exploration at national and local scales. The effect of such an approach is to challenge a sense of the insularity and certainty of identities. It reflects a progressive sense of place, "where the crossing of boundaries leads to a complexity of vision" so that places are inconceivable as "internally homogeneous bounded areas, but are spaces of interaction in which local identities are constructed out of resources which may well not be local in their origin" (Valentine 1999, 56). The status of place and landscape have been thoroughly established as evolving entities - socially produced, inherently political, and ontologically messy (Gregory and Ley 1988, Duncan and Ley 1993, Anderson and Gale 1992, Keith and Pile 1993, Jackson and Penrose 1993). A s Agnew has maintained, "all people live in cultural worlds that are made and remade through their everyday activities... and cultural worlds are grounded 37 geographically in the experience of place. Culture, therefore, is inherently geographical, defined in places and through local identity" (1992, 69). While such a claim for groundedness in particular locales is difficult to sustain, perhaps impossible, in an integrated and hybrid "cyberworld", the link between culture and space is reinforced by Anderson and Gale: The cultural process by which people construct their understandings of the world is inherently a geographic concern. In the course of generating new meanings and decoding existing ones, people construct spaces, places, landscapes, regions and environments.... In constructing cultures, therefore, people construct geographies. (1992, 4) Once the idea of "place" is put into question, it inevitably has implications for how we see cultural practices and creative expression. This chapter reviews existing approaches to the relationship of art practices and geography, examining theorisations of the cultural construction of space through literary geographical and art historical lenses. Broaching what is gained and what is lost through such perspectives allows the development of a framework through which artistic images and representation can be seen in terms of their role in identity, memory, and the imagined dimension of geographies. A basic shift has taken place in the conception of culture itself - from stable, to fluid and constructed. Although the concept of culture has been variously defined, 3 there is general agreement that its basic elements —the grounded, material terrain of practices and representations, as well as the contradictory forms of "common sense" and systems of shared meanings which shape popular life (Hall 1995, 176)—are not fixed or static, but made and remade. Further, these acts and mental constructions are constitutive of imaginative geographies. Symbolic meanings may be imposed by people who live on the 38 land, or others—planners, politicians, intellectuals, artists, writers, poets, artists, and tourists, all participants in an ongoing dialogue from which particular landscapes arise and which they then necessarily reconstitute. The meaning imposed on a landscape by each group w i l l differ from each other, but it is through the always evolving interplay of personality, the symbolic or textual, and the "real" or material, that place and landscape take on "flesh and blood." A s David Ley has maintained, "...landscape style is intimately related to the historic swirl of culture, politics, economics and personality in a particular place at a particular time" (1987, 41). Identities of landscape are not fixed, but constructed from many layers of social relations and interpretations. The traditional conception of cultural expression shaping a unified meaning and identity of place is challenged; as well , there is an interweaving of local and global scales. Contestation over representation is, as a result, "as fiercely fought and as fundamental to the activities of place construction as bricks and mortar": "...the creation of symbolic places is not given in the stars but painstakingly nurtured and fought over, precisely because of the hold that place can have over the imagination" (Harvey 1993, 23). One source of images of Prince Edward Island are artists, producing representations of their experience of place, which are also central to the construction of memory and identity. Artists, o f course, present differing relationships to the meaning of landscape, but it w i l l be argued here they may share a "structure of feeling," values and perceptions based on an aesthetic and expressive sensibility. It has been proposed that displacement and erosion of communities as literal entities and of "home" as a durably fixed place has challenged how identity and borders are created and asserted. Conceptual processes of place creation - imaginative constructions of place, dwelling, and memory -39 have been ways of responding to changing global economic and political conditions. Iconography and narrative are adopted, developed, and mobilised for variety o f reasons at a range of scales. Mediating deterritorialism and regionalism, cultural practice may be part of a broader "struggle for place" (Ley 1989). A s Gupta and Ferguson have suggested: A t the same time, the industrial production of culture, entertainment and leisure that first achieved something approaching global distribution during the Fordist era led, paradoxically, to the invention of new forms of cultural difference and new forms of imagining community. (Gupta and Ferguson 1992, 9) In investigating these practices and their role in this imagining, I adopt a qualitative methodology that takes serious account of individual artist's intentions, experiences and actions, an approach that does not generalise but highlights that the public meanings of place and of history are continually worked out at the level of the (socialised) self. It is there that tensions between representation, memory and sense of identity are experienced and expressed. The imagining of place evolves in the interplay of forces both local and global, private and public in scale, as history interacts "with memory to produce our sense of personal, familial, group, institutional, national, and international identity" (Pajaczkowska and Young 1992, 199; cited in Walter 1995, 38). Looking beyond a focus on the structural components of representation that neglects the reasons the works were created, it is necessary to explore their social and cultural context and their effects. Far more appropriate is a semiotic-based approach that bears in mind the meaning of cultural practices and attends to the context of production and reception. A s Geertz writes: If we are to have a semiotics of art (or for that matter, of any sign system not axiomatically self-contained), we are going to have to engage in a kind of natural history of signs and symbols, an ethnography of the vehicles of 40 meaning. Such signs and symbols, such vehicles of meaning, play a role in the life of a society, or some part of a society, and it is that which in fact gives them their life.... This is not a plea for inductivism - we certainly have no need for a catalogue of instances - but for turning the analytic powers of semiotic theory.... away from an investigation of them in abstraction toward an investigation of them in their natural habitat - the common world in which men [sic] look, name, listen, and make. (Geertz 1983, 119-120) It is only when works are placed alongside context and intent, that insight is possible into the historical and ethnographic "s tuf f of culture. Cultural and arts practice and expression is situated as part of general history of communication about space. A l l ways of knowing the landscape—speaking, writing, painting, drawing—are systems of representation, attributing to that landscape symbolic meanings, and are associated with historical events, myths and legends, as well as contemporary events. Recent research on representation and imaginative geographies has stressed the physicality of representation (Duncan and Gregory 1999, 3), examining such specific forms of representation as travel writing, fiction, scientific writing, cartography, and art. They are examined for their implications for subjectivity, raising questions about the interrelationship of power and place. Representation is an important shaper of spatial understanding. A s Victor Burgin has maintained, "mental space and social realities are in reality inseparable.... this distinction between the social and the psychical...is itself an abstraction, a fantasy" (1996, 28, 36). The separation between representation and represented is, in effect, artificial. Sometimes, the map is the territory4 in the context where social constructions and representations do not signify an essential or fundamental truth, nor merely mimetic duplications, nor distortions of a deeper reality, but are powerful, highly concrete and creative interventions in the social field. Cultural practice 41 has been situated as an integral part of this evolving spatial imaginary and cultural space, moulding understanding and perception. Cultural practice and geography: a review of approaches Attention by geographers to the production of space through cultural practice is not new. There is an extensive tradition of scholarly interest in art as a site of cultural study, elucidating the identity and experience of place through cultural forms such as literature and visual art, supporting Duffy's suggestion that "the 'sense of place' accruing from the ways in which people experience representations of present and past landscapes is a fundamental part of territorial identity and of geographical understanding" (1997, 64). Recent discussions have emphasised that representations and signifying practices are not reflections of an existing reality, but produce meaning and shape perception of place and landscape as they interact with social, economic and political institutions (Barnes and Duncan 1992, Duncan 1990, Duncan and Ley 1993, M c K a y 1994, Kel ly 1993). Narratives and images are implicated in the diverse meanings of landscape and must be conceived, as Cosgrove and Daniels have stated, "not as 'illustrations', images standing outside it, but as constituent images of its meaning or meanings" (1988, 1), and hence bound it to other social practices. Furthermore, as a source for such values and cultural meanings, representation has been established as an intrinsic part of the creation of "imagined communities" (Anderson 1983), of concrete struggles, and of acts of claiming space and making place (Keith and Pile 1993, Carter, Donald, and Squires 1993, Shields 1991, Jackson 1989, S. Smith 1993). Two areas of study have offered models for the consideration of aesthetic forms in geography and implications for understandings of identity and of how experience of the 42 world is compiled through symbol and image and their meanings. This interest has been pursued within the fields of "literary geography" and "iconography". Neither area of study can be generalised, however, having varied in focus and approach with changing theoretical trends, as well as with the particular orientation and intent of research. Geographers have long recognised the value of an engagement with literature in geography (Wright 1924, 1947; Bowler 1955). The early intent to bring literature within geographical inquiry was part of a challenge to conventional geographical sources and a desire to add to geography a dimension of the aesthetic, poetic and subjective. Indeed, the value of going "beyond science" was also recognised by cultural geographer Carl Sauer (1925), who maintained that "the best geography has never disregarded the esthetic qualities of landscape, to which we know no approach other that the subjective" (in Leighly 1963, 344). Literature was to fulfill the role of expressive resource: the geographical investigation of fiction would not replace but supplement traditional geographical research. Since then, the interest in literature as geographical resource has varied over time and theoretical frameworks. Engagements with the relationship of literature and geography range, for example, from such early works calling for attention to the experience of place and landscape in geography as Wright (1924) and Bowler (1955), to later humanistic assessments which tended to approach the 'sense of place' evoked through literary practice: Geographers have considered the 'documentary' value of literary sources, sought to restore geography within the 'humanities', examined landscape perception or evaluated the didactic possibilities of literature. Various currents of the discipline have turned to literature in order to explore its relevance to different points of view: regionalists in search of more vivid description of place; humanists seeking evocative transcriptions of spatial 43 experience; radicals concerned with social justice; others trying to establish parallels between the history of geographical and literary ideas; or more discursively-oriented researchers addressing the problems of representation. (Brosseau 1994, 333) Throughout, literature has been engaged fairly uncritically as an object which can be perused, subjected to "casual ransacking" (Gregory 1981, 2), in order to reveal "regions of the imagination" (Keith 1988), which were presumed to provide direct insight into place, or into the relationship between writers and their places. Literary realism has been the dominant interpretive framework. A s a result, literary impressions have been read in terms of a direct relationship of representation and reality. Geography's literature has been transparent: "Meaning flows through it like light through glass" (Brosseau 1995, 2). Literary geography has in large measure developed apart from developments in structuralism, post-structuralism, linguistics, and semiotics in Europe, particularly France, during the 1950s and 1960s which began to consider literature in a different light, with consideration of discourse, textuality or other semiotic systems. A s a result, "the actual 'rise' o f 'literary geography', as it is sometimes labelled, did not initially occur within the scope of research on discursive, semantic or symbolic structures - with the corollary rejection of the subject and/or history - but within a humanistic project designed to restore 'man', meaning and values in geography" (Brosseau 1994, 333). Reflecting an interest in the subjectively held emotions, meanings, values, and thoughts through which people interpret and act, and in the relationships between people and place, it was a critical reaction to the predominant quantitative geography and spatial science of the 1960s. This approach to cultural practice focused on human intentionality, on people in 44 the worlds they create as thinking, acting beings. Literature was one "window" into these created worlds. Literature, among other forms of cultural expression, was seen to offer a more acute sense of place and region than conventional geographical description (Pocock 1981, Salter and Lloyd 1977). According to Meinig (1983), literature can be used to provide "essential clues about human experience with environment"; literature becomes documentary resource as "writers not only describe the world, they help shape it. Their very portrayals establish powerful images that affect public attitudes about our landscapes and regions" (1983, 317). The written record is an inventory, described as "traces of human attitudes left in the form of diaries, letters, textbooks, scholarly articles, novels, poems and prayers" (Lowenthal and Bowden 1976, 6). Literature is seen as a supplement to conventional geographic study, "a supplemental and special source of landscape insight" (Salter and Lloyd 1977, 1). Literature was conceived as the transcription o f experience and of the artist's perception: The deepest engagement with imaginative literature, concerned most fully with both internal and external phenomena, comes from geographers exploring the nature and aspects of environmental experience as part of the human condition. The starting point is acknowledgement of the artist's perception, or, more simply, is perception. (Pocock 1981, 15) This realist reading entails a mimetic conception of representation, with little sense of the potential ambiguity of language or representation. Although there have been strong critiques of the static use of literature (Gregory 1981, Silk 1984, Jackson 1989), alternatives have not escaped the tendency to treat the text as a passive interpretation of geographical hypotheses. What is lacking in traditional approaches, I believe, is a 45 consideration of aesthetic theories - challenging art as imitation and as instrumental, and considering its potential to intervene, and subvert meanings. I have taken insights from alternative engagements between literature and geography which have made an effort to incorporate theoretical and aesthetic consideration of the literary text and the geographies generated by cultural practice, heeding Wynn's criticism that rarely do these treatments offer "much evidence of acute reflection on the ambiguity and openness of literary and artistic meaning, or of the fact that writing, painting, reading, and interpretation are profoundly historical and contextual acts" (1995, 15). Brosseau, for example, provides a concrete challenge to the "dead, inactive and transparent" model of literature in geography in "The City in Textual Form: Manhattan Transfer's N e w York" (1995). Here, he proposes a dialogical engagement with the literary text: rather than using the text to verify geographical hypotheses, the specificity of the identity of each participant - literature and geography - remains affirmed and distinct. The literary text he examines is a modernist text which does not lend itself to the interpretation of regional identities or perceptions that has predominated in "literary geography". B y focusing on language and structure within the novel, he highlights the discursive dimension of literature, allowing the text itself to gain a certain degree of "agency" and "subjectivity": If geographers undertake to entertain a relationship that is more dialogical with a literary text, they cannot overlook the specificity of its form (broadly defined) and of its singular use of language in order to be sensitive to the particular way it generates another type of geography, to the particular way it writes people and place, society and space. (1994, 347-348) The novel is not source for geography, but source of geography: "I would like to move away from the analysis of how a particular novel writes our geography (or "geographical 46 novel") towards a dialogue with its specific way of writing people and places in their various interactions that may constitute a fictional geography in its own right (or 'novel-geographer')" (1995, 6). It is through an interplay of geography " in the text" - its spatio-temporal coordinates, and the geography "of the text" - through an openness and ambiguity of representation, that a text's communication takes place: To promote a dialogical relationship - the meeting 'of different voices and the confrontation of different logics - is an attempt to be receptive to what is different in the way novels write and generate a particular geography. Texts are active entities: not only do they often force us to change our outlook, expectations, the way we question them, but they also resist us. (Brosseau 1995, 3) Revealed is the need to develop different strategies to interact with texts that manifest radically different forms. Brosseau echoes Brian Robinson's (1987) call for a geography that would not merely use cultural practices as a source. Robinson proposes that the realism and humanism that has dominated the relationship between literature and geography is thoroughly undercut by the literature of modernism more generally. These literatures are stubbornly "recalcitrant sources". On the one hand, the author is difficult to pin down geographically; as well , a self-conscious working of language is central to the text, versus innocent expression of place (Robinson 1987, 186). Relying on the experience of fragmentation and a pluralised reality, the literature of modernism and surrealism cannot be accommodated within existing interpretive schemes, and thus requires a revisioning of the engagement between literature and geography. Conventional approaches to literature and landscape have also been challenged by efforts to incorporate a sense of the broader social processes that entwine cultural production and literary expression. Literature gains a sense of agency here as well . For 47 literary landscapes are not simply perceptive and environmentally sensitive pictures of place in time; "ways of seeing" that allow creative insight into the geographical study of socio-cultural and environmental phenomena. They must be viewed in terms of their ideological content and social and political effects. The text is at once socially constructed and socially constitutive. This perspective grounds Shelagh Squire's discussions of literature, in this case the work of Beatrix Potter and Wi l l i am Wordsworth in the English Lake District and Lucy Maud Montgomery's Prince Edward Island fiction. In her approach, representations and their existence in a range of different contexts raise questions that lead beyond that what she describes as the traditional "humanistic" agenda: Although it is neither possible nor desirable to divorce the writer and the writer's experience from his or her literary work, as some structuralist critics have argued...it is necessary to move beyond a purely humanistic appraisal to set both writer and work within a wider contextual schema. (1992, 141) Squire argues for an approach that accounts for such broader social and contextual elements. The construction of literary landscapes through romantic ideology and its representation in imaginative geographies have significant material effects beyond "sense of place". These romantic reshapings of the social landscape are appropriated and transformed through tourism. In the case of Montgomery, "just as Montgomery found literary inspiration in the 'real' landscapes with which she was familiar, her imagined world has today been appropriated for other purposes, thereby shaping new cultural patterns" (1992, 137). Today, literary heritage is given tangible expression in tourist landscapes and plays a significant role in regional development: " A l l of the literary attractions are part of the evolving cultural landscape, however, and as tourism represents 48 a means through which to experience a particular interpretation of the past, it is also dynamic, shaping new patterns of cultural experience" (Squire 1992, 145). Out of such approaches I argue a reformed engagement between literature and landscape can be built. Literature is therefore not simply expressive of experience, or reflective of the artist's soul which can then be examined by the geographer. Writing in forms ranging from novels to popular fiction are sources of geography, involved in the production of landscapes and images of place that are active in a broader social sphere, and must therefore be situated within the social production of space. In this discussion I rely upon a theoretical framework that grasps the specificity of cultural practice and this active role of literary texts in the creation of cultural meaning over space and time. I take from these approaches a revised geographical engagement with literature itself. On the one hand, it must be open to the ambiguity and agency of representation, and to the different and varied forms written expression may take. On the other, it must be able to engage with the role of cultural and aesthetic practices in not only the invention and expression of a unity of place, social memory and cultural identity, but in the general expansion in the production and consumption of symbolic goods within contemporary Western societies. The production of landscape has been noted in art practices as well . Landscape has been a central conceptual category in cultural geography. Approaches to visual art reflecting a re-orientation of the idea of landscape have also looked at the production of landscape and place identity. The study of iconography or symbolic imagery in geography has interrogated the landscape myths and motifs tangible in visual and popular images and symbols. Since the 1980s, there has been a renewed interest in landscape with a focus on interpreting the sociocultural and political processes involved in its construction. Here 49 art historical insights have been applied in conjunction with semiotics, literary theory, new ethnography, feminism, postcolonialism, post-structuralism, and postmodernist approaches which variously and together have put issues of representation, meaning, and human signification firmly on the geographical agenda. Geography's engagement with art history has brought a focus on landscape refracted through aesthetics and representational practice. Its prominence, meaning and role, however, have not remained static, rather varying with time, theoretical framework, or conceptual "lens". A n d the emphasis on the iconography of landscape, on the symbolic dimensions of landscape has shaped readings of a range of cultural texts. The conception of the relationship of art history and landscape has had its own trajectory. W.J.T. Mitchell (1994), for instance, maintains that the study of landscape in art history has taken two major forms in this century, shifting from a normative analysis of art to the social critique of art: the first, associated with modernism, attempted to read the history of landscape primarily on the basis of a history of landscape painting, and to narrativize that history as a progressive movement toward the purification of the visual field. The second (associated with postmodernism) tended to decenter the role of painting and pure formal visuality in favor of a semiotic and hermeneutic approach that treated landscape as an allegory of psychological or ideological themes: I call the first approach "contemplative," because its aim is the evacuation of verbal, narrative, or historical elements and the presentation of an image designed for transcendental consciousness - whether a "transparent eyeball," an experience of "presence," or an "innocent eye." The second strategy is "interpretive" and is exemplified in attempts to decode landscape as a body of determinate signs. (Mitchell 1994, 1) 50 It is this latter treatment of landscape in art history that has found expression in recent cultural geography as part of the wider "interpretive turn," encouraging and reinforcing critical attention to imagery and the nature and status of representation. In the context of a broad "uncertainty about adequate means for describing social reality" (Marcus and Fischer 1986, 8), a revised understanding of representation has been proposed. Countering a mimetic conception, the assumption that reality and representation are given and discrete categories has been undermined, rejecting the definition of representation as "mere" appearances that are opposed to and devalued in relation to "reality" (Deutsche 1991, 21). This theoretical re-visioning is useful as it has provoked questions around the representation of landscape, foregrounding landscape as a value-laden cultural image which can be deconstructed and its layers of meaning examined. Focusing upon what a landscape as a cultural image "means" has enabled an examination of what it "does" and its performative capacity (Mitchell 1994); how it works as a sociocultural signifying practice, at once embedded in and constitutive or relations of power and knowledge. The emphasis on representation and interpretation is in no way exclusive to approaches which have drawn upon the history of art to re-examine landscape. Stephen Daniels and Denis Cosgrove maintain that while some geographers "do gesture towards landscape as a cultural symbol or image, notably likening landscape to a text and its interpretation to 'reading,'" an art historical approach is intended to "explicate more fully the status of landscape as image and symbol" (Daniels and Cosgrove 1988, 1). In the geographical focus on "pictorial way[s] of representing, structuring or symbolising surroundings" (Daniels and Cosgrove 1988, 1), two particular and related ideas have emerged - conceptualising landscape in terms of a "way of seeing" and of "iconography". 51 Cosgrove (1984) proposed landscape as a "way of seeing": "Landscape is not merely the world we see, it is a construction, a composition of that world. Landscape is a way of seeing the world" (1984, 13). Cosgrove is indebted in particular to art critic John Berger, from whom he takes inspiration and the phrase "ways of seeing". Berger (1972), drawing on the aesthetics of Walter Benjamin, had explored the social and economic dimensions of works of art, arguing that the ideology of representation in English nineteenth-century art served to naturalise, and hence to mystify basic property relations. Cosgrove similarly is interested in the social character of representation. Through the history of landscape painting, he examines the dialectical relationship of landscape and social formation. Seeking the material foundations for the idea of landscape, he argues that the meaning of represented landscapes is inextricable from the development of perspective in the fifteenth century which coincided with the need for the accurate measurement of land within a capitalist system. This way of seeing then is inevitably and deeply ideological, representing the way in which a particular class has represented itself and its property to others and cannot be separated from its historical context: ... it is significant that the landscape idea and the technique of linear perspective emerge in a particular historical period as conventions that reinforce ideas of individualism, subjective control of an objective environment and the separation of personal experience from the flux of collective historical experience. The reasons for the emergence of this view are to be found in the changing social organisation and the experience of early modern Europe... (Berger 1972, 27). A fundamental contribution of Cosgrove's approach is the placement of landscape within a range of ideological signifying systems; here it is not an object of empiricist investigation, but a social construct that shapes meanings and values. Cosgrove's 52 critique represents a sustained attempt to deconstruct the idea of landscape, challenging the "naturalness" and neutrality that had characterised earlier morphological and positivist approaches. These, to Cosgrove, are "unconvincing as an account of landscape to the extent that it ignores such symbolic dimensions - the symbolic and cultural meaning invested in these forms by those who have produced and sustained them, and that communicate to those who come in contact with them." (1984, 17-18) Also foregrounded in Cosgrove's approach is the importance of the visual, of an "optics" in the conception of landscape, for as he maintains, it implies a specific way of looking. Inherent in the construction of landscape, therefore, is a gaze that involves power relationships with important implications for subjectivity. Landscape is far from a duplication of the real - it involves what Jay (1990) refers to as a "scopic regime" characterised by "an allegedly disincarnated, absolute eye", and what Cosgrove refers to as a "visual ideology": It is composed, regulated and offered as a static image for individual appreciation, or better, appropriation. For in an important, i f not always literal, sense, the spectator owns the view because all o f its components are structured and directed towards his eyes only. The claim of realism is in fact ideological.... Subjectivity is rendered the property of the artist and the viewer - those who control the landscape - not those who belong to it.... Perspective locates the subject outside the landscape and stresses the unchanged objectivity of what is observed therein. (1984, 26-7) The implications of such a perspective and gaze has also been raised within feminist theories of representation. Here the theorization of the gaze has addressed analyses of the imagery of women, but has also been extended to a particular visual form - "that of the self-contained and unified artwork whose meaning emanates from a transcendent foundation" (Deutsche 1991, 28). Ideas of landscape and perspective are 53 linked to voyeuristic models of knowledge emphasising the objectivity of the specifically masculine spectator or theorist (Deutsche 1991, Gregory 1994). Questions of sexuality and gender, however, are not raised by Cosgrove or in much of this newer work on landscape, a significant omission noted by Massey (1994, 233) as well as Rose (1993, 87). The concept of "iconography" of landscape is also an important part of the dialogue of art history and geography (Cosgrove and Daniels 1988). The idea is derived from the work of Panofsky (1970) and involves the exploration of the status of landscape as image, representation, and symbol, necessitating "the theoretical and historical study of landscape imagery" (1988, 1). If landscape is a way of seeing the world, examining its iconography is intended to uncover the layers of meaning by setting it in its historical context and analysing the ideas implicated by its imagery. Images are considered not for their literal content, but as they function as metaphor and allegory, for their representational and symbolic force. For Cosgrove and Daniels, these representations are embedded within social power structures and the theorization of the relationship between culture and society draws on Berger as well as cultural critic Raymond Williams. Will iams, like Berger, also argued for the necessity of attending to the social implications of landscape imagery. Critiquing landscape in English literature, Williams argued that landscape meanings are highly political and contested: "a working country is hardly ever a landscape. The very idea of landscape implies separation and observation. It is possible and useful to trace the internal histories of landscape painting, and landscape writing, landscape gardening and landscape architecture, but in any final analysis we must relate these histories to the common history of a land and its society" (1973, 120). 54 The social thus lies at the heart of iconographic interpretation: the examination of visual images in order to disclose symbolic meanings "allows us to see human landscapes as both shaped by and themselves shaping broader social and cultural processes and thus having ideological significance" (Cosgrove 1984, 269). Landscape meanings are revealed as unstable, contested and highly political. The valuable insight here again is the deconstruction of the established notion of landscape, revealing it "not as a material consequence of interactions between a society and an environment, observable in the field by the more-or-less objective gaze of the geographer, but rather as a gaze which itself helps to make sense of a particular relationship between society and land" (Rose 1993, 87). While it enables much, the art historical lens also has its limitations. Rose suggests Cosgrove and Daniel's emphasis on the interdependency of landscape and capitalism renders peripheral other interpretations of landscape. She maintains, for example, that Cosgrove's interpretation of a particular art work, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews, as a form of visual ideology, a symptom of the capitalist property relations that legitimate and are sanctioned by the visual sweep of the landscape project, can also be read in other ways. Drawing upon feminist art historians, she suggests that "more is involved in looking at landscape than property relations," namely a gaze that constructs the landscape as feminine (1993, 93). Proposing the integration of a feminist approach to representation, Rose's point is that the prominent theorists in the critique of landscape have not demystified the optics in their own work, and that other forms of engagement with visual images are possible. Even as the interpreter of the "way of seeing" and of the iconography of landscape undermines dominant cultural representations, the interpreter remains in the dominant authoritative position of conveying to the reader the meaning of 55 the landscape. A s a result, it is the geographer-as-interpreter's reading of the contestation involved in the art historical image that is relayed through the geographer's writing. What is lost in this lens as it has been generally applied is a sense of the dialogical relationship between interpreter and image. Interpreting landscape through the lens of art history and literature has important implications for geographical research and this discussion. Foremost, they have influenced the re-orientation of the idea of landscape. The emphasis on the symbolic dimensions of landscape has involved readings of a range of cultural texts: "They may be represented in a variety of materials and on many surfaces - in paint on canvas, in writing on paper, in earth, stone, water and vegetation on the ground. A landscape park is more palpable but no more real, nor less imaginary, than a landscape painting or poem" (Cosgrove and Daniels 1988, 1). Landscape, therefore, is not simply deconstructed, but is seen as increasingly contingent and contextual in cultural geography. Gregory (1994) maintains that this renewed interest in landscape is one of the cardinal achievements of the new cultural geography - "one built around a recognition of its conceptuality.... the new cultural geography has shown...that the very idea of landscape is shot through with ambivalences, tensions, and grids of power that cannot be reduced to the marionette movements of the economy" (1994, 98-9). Furthermore, focusing on representational practice in geography involves an emphasis on aesthetics - the subjective and symbolic as well as material dimensions of culture, examining various forms of cultural expression and images, and their role in shaping geographies and geographical imaginations. It is necessary to note, however, that it is not simply attention to landscape conception, but the theoretical approach employed that shaped how the symbolic and aesthetic dimension of landscape is understood in 56 relation to the social. In the case of Cosgrove and Daniels, an interest in the symbolic has been an ongoing part of the tradition of English Marxist historiography which has influenced them, emphasising the role of symbolic imagery in the constitution of class relations and the exercise of power (Daniels 1993). The intent of the focus on landscape as "way of seeing" and "iconography" is a critique of unequal social relations, important as it begins to demystify the perspective and voyeurism inherent in the geographer's gaze at landscape. It is the argument concerning representation as both constitutive as well as an intervention that I w i l l take from these approaches. To say the impact of cultural expression lies in the subjective and imaginative is to miss the point; it is a means by which cultural ideas are produced and reproduced, creating geographies in a much more potent sense. Both approaches reinforce that landscape is not an inert or static thing "out there", but a representation which plays an active role in shaping meaning and understanding. Returning to Said's concept of "imaginative geographies," it is precisely through the circulation of cultural representations in concrete forms that invoke both power and ideology, like literary and artistic production, that imaginative geographies gain solidity and weight, shaping values, beliefs, and attitudes. If cultural practice is part of the ongoing reconstruction of the landscape, there is no authentic identity or history to be regained. Further, i f social constructions and representations are implicated in the organisation of social spaces, "fashioned, shaped and invested by social activities" (Lefebvre 1991, 73), then aesthetic practice can intervene in that space. We must be careful, however, to question how it is we see the aesthetic challenge taking place. I w i l l return to Deutsche, and her essay "Representing Berl in" in Evictions (1998), in which she 57 tackles this tension directly. In the case of social histories of art, often the work, rather than its effects has been prioritised. A s a result, there is often an assumption of critical positioning, as in the case with paintings of urban settings: "social art history has frequently been attracted to paintings of the city because it believes that this subject matter is intrinsically social iconography" (Deutsche 1998, 122). Separating the art from the city, cultural representation from the social field, artists' attitudes to a (false) external reality become the focus of attention, divorced from any consideration of representation that questions the discursive construction of urban settings and the effects of representation: To approach city paintings as products of preexisting individual imaginations, expressions grounded in preexisting experiences, or even as reflections of a preexisting social reality is to deny that the painted city is a representation - a site where images of the city are set up as a reality. Treating city paintings as vehicles that simply convey meaning, conventional approaches foreclose questions about the role that these images play in producing meaning - the meaning of the city as well as the experiences and identities of city dwellers. (1998, 140) The settlement of identity; the politics of memory Extending Deutsche's call for attention to the production of meaning, the point of the emphasis on representation is not to render the world immaterial. B y locating representations in a social world, what is to be taken from these theoretical ideas is that they envisage landscape images and ideas in terms of their politics and performativity in society. Landscape images are duplicitous, states Daniels, at once expressions of dominant values and media for their reproduction as "natural". B y grounding aesthetics in the social realm, this approach vastly broadens our conception of the political to 58 encompass forms of representation, discourse and cultural expression. Monuments (Johnson 1995), popular music (Lipsitz 1994), and ghost towns (DeLyser 1999), for example, are all signifying practices which are themselves productive and reproductive of "realities" - social meanings, relations, subjectivities, values, and identities. This is important to recognise, as the landscapes that typically get attention in both art historical and literary realms indicate another limitation of the field of commentary. Art history and literature are traditions associated with what has traditionally been seen as "high art," and though the conception of landscape has indeed become increasingly fluid, when combined with the broadly Marxist emphasis on the use made of aesthetic images by political and economic interests, the overwhelming majority of recent discussions focus on dominant representational practices. Cosgrove proposes culture as "symbolisation, grounded in the material world as symbolically appropriated and produced. In class societies, where surplus production is appropriated by the dominant group, symbolic production is likewise seized as hegemonic class culture to be imposed on all classes" (Cosgrove 1983, cited in Rose 1993, 90). Landscape becomes a part of this hegemonic culture; in Cosgrove's work, it is patrician, seen and understood from the social and visual perspective of the landowner. In discussions o f writing and geography, there has often been the restriction of attention to what has formally been called "literature," again with "high" cultural associations. The result is that this approach has the potential to render peripheral the geographies that may confront and challenge dominant landscapes - the cultural geographies associated with the dynamic negotiation with dominant cultural representations. A possible way to resolve this exclusion also provides a way to resolve the inevitable tensions between literary and iconographic approaches in their focus on text 59 versus image. Each mode of expression has a specific history, often at odds with each other. Jay (1989) and Bishop (1992), for example, have traced the history of resistance to visual culture generally, and examined the hegemony of word over image. Bringing them to a point of rapprochement means being attuned to differences in visual and written media, and by placing them within an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary social field necessitates seeing across contending literacies. Rather than arguing priorities, it becomes possible to examine the various ways linguistic, visual, written, musical, filmic, architectural, and other forms of signification combine, converge, intersect and resist each other. It is also necessary to examine the interaction of different cultural forms. "Too often," propose Duncan and Gregory, "journals, letters, and published writings are assigned to literary scholars and historians; sketches, water colours and paintings to art historians; and photographs and postcards to historians of photography. We suggest that the alternative strategy of attending to the physicality of representation imposes the obligation to read these different media together and, in so doing, to attend to their different valences and silences" (1999, 4). There is a shift instead in focus to points of convergence, as we turn from an epistemological to metaphorical or aesthetic relationship (Bishop 1992). Landscape is produced through diverse cultural forms, all ways of regarding things, forms of signification offering different ways of apprehending and comprehending spaces. A central relevance of imaginative cultural forms for geography has been located within the symbolic and metaphoric sphere of social relations and identification, within the reinforcement of perceived identity and the spatiality of social groups. "Imagined communities" (Anderson 1983) take on material form in part through processes of narration (Bhabha 1990, Barnes and Duncan 1992), representation (Short 1991, Cosgrove 60 and Daniels 1988, Daniels 1993, Anderson and Gale 1992), and through the invention of tradition (Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983, Lowenthal 1994). The cultural meanings arising from such practices become fused within the very fabric of place, as Senecal has noted: "Le territoire est une emulsion de l'identite collective: nation, region, quartier, pays se composent a meme les mythes, non seulement pour se nornmer, se reconnaitre, mais pour se concretiser" (1992, 40). A s a result, landscape and place are not simply "locations," but are social constructs, repositories of meanings, attitudes and values that are constantly being re-made and re-articulated through representational forms (Shields 1991, Duncan and Ley 1993, Anderson and Gale 1992, Cosgrove and Daniels 1988). Discursive expression is central in giving visible shape and form. Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities (1983) has offered one example exploring the relationship of cultural practice and nationhood. Proposing that such a sense of shared identity entail "imagined communities", he maintains this form of identification is constructed and made possible discursively. Nations are imagined "because the members of even the smallest nation w i l l never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion" (1983, 15). Nations are imagined "because, regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail in each, the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship" (1983, 16). Cultural practice has a central role to play in the articulation of collective experience, of belonging to a social group and identification with place. Samuel has argued similarly, "The idea of nationality...belongs to the realm of the imaginary rather than or as well as - the real; it depends on ideas of what we might be rather than what we are" (Samuel 1989, ix). 61 Providing an anchoring sense of the past, a collective sense of memory is a key part of this. Hobsbawm and Ranger have addressed the cultural and political uses of such images in the invention of a number of "traditions" which have served to inculcate certain values and norms. The result is that "the history which became part of the fund of knowledge or the ideology of nation, state or movement is not what has actually been preserved in popular memory, but what has been selected, written, pictured, popularized and institutionalized by those whose function it is to do so" (Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983, 13). Various examples have been drawn upon to relate the way landscape has been imagined and represented with notions of national and cultural tradition. Short, for example, explores how images of countryside, wilderness and city are used in the construction of national identity: "an analysis of landscape painting thus provides us with an entry point into how a society sees its relationship to that landscape" (1991, 197) In Fields of Vision, Daniels discusses "how landscapes, in various media, have articulated national identities in England and the United States from the later eighteenth century" (1993, 7): National identities are co-ordinated, often largely defined, by 'legends and landscapes', by stories of golden ages, enduring traditions, heroic [sic] deeds and dramatic destinies located in ancient or promised homelands with hallowed sites and scenery. The symbolic activation of time and space, often drawing on religious sentiment, gives shape to the 'imagined community of nation. Landscapes, whether focusing on single monuments or framing stretches of scenery, provide visible shape; they picture the nation. (Daniels 1993, 5) Imaginative processes of identification, however, are not limited to national scale. The creation of geographical community takes place at a range of scales. The ties between 62 an "imagined community" and space or territory are not natural or essential, but actively created. "Keeping in mind that notions of locality or community refer to both a demarcated space and to clusters of interaction," note Gupta and Ferguson, "we can see that the identity of a place emerges by the intersection of its specific involvement in a system of hierarchically organized spaces with its cultural construction as a community or locality" (1992, 8). Senecal has addressed this interaction of the cultural and the spatial as the "spatial imaginary": Les lieux, les trajets, les territoires se presentent ainsi impregnes de la conscience, de l'intentionnalite humaine, de l'identite. Parcourir l'espace, c'est devoir apprehender une realite subjective, composee des fragments de differentes epoques passees, assemblage de formes et d'habitus, formant l'enveloppe invisible des constructions structurelles et fonctionelles actuelles. C'est devoir aussi affronter les aspects sensibles qui, par dela les evidences, marquent les diversites spatiales, les variations incessantes de formes, les changements de comportements et de genres de vie, puisqu'ils en constituent la profondeur culturelle, empreinte de memoire et des traces de l'alterite. (1992, 28) Shields offers the idea of "spatialisation" — "the ongoing social construction of the spatial at the level of the social imaginary (collective mythologies, presuppositions) as well as interventions in the landscape (for example, the built environment)" (1991, 31). Social spaces emerge from and are made meaningful through the process of differentiation in relation to other interconnected, interacting spaces, acquiring connotations and symbolic meanings. This social construction of the spatial involves: the transformation of purely discursive (i.e. ideational, symbolic, and linguistic) notions of space and of "imaginary geographies" into empirically-specifiable everyday actions gestures of the living persons [sic], of the crowd practices and emotional community of affective groups, of institutional policies and political-economic arrangements, right up to the scale of the territorial nation-state...and beyond to form geo-political alliances, rivalries, and spheres of influence. This over-arching order of 63 space, is reproduced in concrete forms and re-affirms as well as reproduces "discourses of space" which constitute it. (Shields 1991, 7) Supporting both symbol and reality, landscape takes on meaning and assumes the weight of myth and density of "homeland" through the interaction of a range of cultural practice, such as narrative, visual accounts, song, poetry, drama, and folklore, offering a complex of "myths of ancestry, historical memories, borders of difference," and a "common name" ( A . D . Smith 1986, 15) that is central to the imagining of community. In part, their importance lies in creating a collective memory, as well as the questions and challenges they may pose. Memory cannot lie outside this cultural practice, just as cultural practice cannot lie outside memory. For whether personal or collective, memory serves as source of knowledge and basis for action, providing the conceptual categories that underlie experience, as well as the material for reflection and expression. In this way, memory, as Fentress and Wickham have stated, can be "regarded as an expression of collective experience: social memory identifies a group, giving it a sense of its past and defining its aspirations for the future" (1992, 25). Further, memory is not immutable, nor a static, preserved fragment of the past; it is in turn constructed, sustained, and moulded by experience and cultural practice: Memory has a texture which is both social and historic: it exists in the world rather than in people's heads, finding its basis in conversations, cultural forms, personal relations, the structure and appearance of places, and in relation to ideologies which work to establish a consensus view of both the past and the forms of personal experience which are significant and memorable. (Bommes and Wright 1982, 256) Johnson (1995) has suggested representations of the past and place, and historical narratives in forms such as art, architecture, museums, heritage tourism sites, and 64 monuments are sources of spatialisation. They are key sites around which local and national political and cultural positions are articulated, and as such, they are important sources of popular consciousness and political iconography. "Particularly since the 19th century," she notes, "public monuments have been the foci for collective participation in the politics and public life of towns, cities, and states" (1995, 51). The question is not authenticity, but the sources and effects of the creation of such imagery. " A n d what is the significance of imagining the past in these different ways? Cultural studies invariably ignore the process of memory and focus exclusively upon its content" (Bishop 1992, 15). A s Benedict Anderson has suggested, " A l l communities larger than the primordial villages of face-to-face contact (and perhaps even these) are imagined. Communities are to be distinguished, not by their falsity/genuineness, but by the style in which they are imagined" (1983, 15). Identity is reconstructed and recreated in and through cultural practices that are not part of a static inventory with fixed meanings, but elements of an ongoing dialogue responsive to the demands of both past and present. "We need the monument...to keep the sea from freezing." Andreas Huyssen has insisted, "In frozen memory, the past is nothing but the past" (1995, 260). To conclude, this chapter has surveyed a range of literature addressing the relationship of cultural practice and geography. I have argued there is basis for an approach that moves beyond a mimesis, looking instead at the role representation plays in the production of meaning, the meaning of space, as well as experiences and identities. In so doing, it is necessary to look at particular diverse points of cultural production, in order to sketch in relief the dynamic negotiation of the stories whose telling has a role to play in creating space, producing collective memory, or defining "home." In this way, our eyes 65 open to the process of struggle as narratives of place are constantly destabilised, rewritten, and reconstituted: ...we also have to think about the meaning of dwelling, and to acknowledge, not only the dangers of reactionary forms of dwelling (for example, some types of 'community' or nationalism), but the legitimacy and value of people's struggles to create their own places and memories....it is one [observation] that must be placed insistently alongside the rhetoric of movement that privileges detachment from place; we must do this in order to break down a new hierarchy of difference created through the seemingly fashionable mobility-dwelling duality. (Pratt 1992, 243) This dialectical relationship is central to a conception of contemporary cultural forms as productive of imagined geographies and as "arts of memory," 5 in which elements of identity related to tradition, place, and landscape coalesce. 66 Chapter II T h e Place of A r t : C u l t u r a l practice and landscapes of consumption 'To think like a poet': the artist, aesthetic gaze and the re-enchantment of space Anderson (1983) and others have shown how national, regional, and local identity emerges in the midst of imagination and globality. The relations of space and identity must, in other words, be understood in terms of the production of cultural difference within an increasingly interconnected global system of cultural, economic, and political relations (Gupta and Ferguson 1992). Today, aestheticisation of the landscape and identity through cultural practices often comes to expression within contemporary cultures of consumption. In all cases, these creative practices can be described as elements of a process of "place creation", part of individuals' efforts to mediate, as Oakes has suggested, "the deterministic features of tradition - what is 'given' - with the necessities and possibilities of contemporary structures of political economy" (1993, 48). In this mediation, cultural producers may offer self-conscious representations of space - images and narratives that are not transparent, but aimed at the aesthetic evocation of the historical transformation of the rural landscape, at once defined by present circumstances, bearing tradition and directed at the future. A t the same time, their practices are necessarily entwined in wider cultures of consumption, which today are often implicated in the re-definition and remaking of place and identity. Bearing expressive values, arts producers are potentially powerful communicators and shapers of taste. Often, the new meanings generated are involved in the wider commodification and 67 gentrification of spaces. This chapter w i l l set the ground for examining the positioning of arts producers in relation to the countryside generally, and to Prince Edward Island's rural landscape, contextualising their practices and the values communicated through them. Various recent accounts have posited the artist and a wider aesthetic culture as the knot from which a number of contemporary social, cultural, economic and political threads trail - threads which also have a tangible and substantial spatial dimension. The "counter-cultural" positioning of cultural producers has been suggested (Martin 1981, Campbell 1987, Ley 1996). What I take from these models is a rough template for seeing the relationships and roles of arts producers within what I have clearly already set out as a complex social field. While the binary opposition necessarily masks variation, it is useful perhaps to see it as defining points on what is necessarily a continuum, and as a way of examining the artist's presence in the landscape and its effects. Within the recent intensification of expressivist and consumerist cultures, artists, as cultural producers, have been seen as facilitators of the imaginative reshaping of the contemporary landscape. They are seen as powerful sources of "enchantment", of "cultural layering" (Simpson 1981) and of a "citation of difference" within space (Ley 1996). This generation of new meanings of space and place through aesthetic practice has been intrinsic to recent geographic restructuring at both global and local levels. A t a global scale, this has taken form as "shifting bohemias," as cities have waxed and then waned as world centres in the global cultural order over the last century, manifest vividly in a movement of hegemonic control of artistic production from Paris to N e w York (Guilbaut 1983). A t the level of the local, the production of symbolic meaning has been linked to changing urban and rural landscapes in rapidly restructuring postindustrial economies. Urban areas such as N e w York's Lower East Side, Toronto's 68 Queen Street, Vancouver's Yaletown and Gastown areas, or rural spaces, such as Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia; Rockport, Massachusetts; and Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, have served as sites where a consistent pattern is visible: an oppositional, or "retreat" or "frontier" feel of artist-inhabited or artist-represented enclaves has fed urban and rural gentrification and revitalisation, the festivalisation of space, heritage practices, and tourism (N. Smith 1986, Deutsche and Ryan 1984, Bowler and McBurney 1991, Zukin 1982, 1990, Simpson 1981, Ley and M i l l s 1993, Ley 1996, Bi rd 1993). A t a variety of scales, these processes convey a contemporary socio-cultural geography marked by a spatial process of tension between periods of movement and periods of stasis of social groups, centred upon the artistic-cultural figure, thus implicating the arts and culture as powerful geographic agents: - a trajectory frequently initiated by the social migration of transitory groups of squatters, students and artists seeking affordable, temporary accommodation. This process can be traced across the maps of the modern and postmodern metropolises as localities and communities are included or excluded from the centres of wealth, decision-making and power. (Bird 1993, 123) These accounts of changing contemporary geographies refracted through the artist and aesthetic counter-cultural practice depend at a more basic level on a particular envisioning of the thread binding the artist, space and place - the dynamic and dialectical relationship between aesthetic expression, the individual that is its source, and the social sphere; between expressive practice, cultural producer, and landscape. Broadly, the recent currency of accounts of the centrality of the figure of the artist in the social sphere and geographic restructuring is a commentary on a general process of social change involving the ascendancy of the cultural sphere and the intensification of the primacy of the aesthetic gaze. 69 The current appeal of the figure of the artist has been seen as part of a more general world-view, one directed at the re-enchantment of space and of the world. Here, an emphasis on "utility" is challenged by a foregrounding of depth of meaning, style, and pleasure. The resulting inclination towards mysticism and mythologisation has been addressed by Charles Taylor as the "expressive turn" (1989, 22), focusing less on the nature of the object and more on the quality of the experience evoked. In fact, "the very term 'aesthetic'," notes Taylor, "points us to a mode of experience" (1989, 273). V i a the artist comes an attendant emphasis on sensation, on feeling, and on the aesthetic image more widely. In this context, the banal reaches new heights: "The demiurgic ambition of the artist, capable of applying to any object the pure intention of an artistic effort which is an end in itself, calls for unlimited receptiveness on the part of the aesthete capable of applying the specifically aesthetic intention to any object, whether or not it has been produced with aesthetic intention" (Bourdieu 1984, 30). Writing in 1981, Bernice Martin has argued similarly for the centrality of expressive practice in contemporary culture, perceiving this current orientation as one moment in an ongoing tension between two general ideologies that have prevailed in Western cultures over the part two centuries. She suggested that counterpoised are the expressive or romantic dimension, which "represents a romantic theme treasuring the subjective, the interpersonal and the aesthetic" and the instrumental or rational dimension - that "associated with the world-view of modernism: functional, technological and sharing the purposive-rational values of bourgeois society" (Ley 1987, 41). Because she sees these as existing in tension, the centrality of the aesthetic today attests to a certain degree of success or victory in the form of an "expressive revolution," inextricable from wider socio-cultural trends. "I see the process of cultural change in the post-war decades," 70 writes Martin, "as a continued working out of the principles of Romanticism which had rooted themselves in North American and Western European culture at the outset of the modern age" (1981,1). While binary models like that of instrumental versus expressive and dominant versus counter-cultural, are simplistic and clearly based on a perception of dominant cultures from the subject position of a dominant historiography, I am going to use the terms for reasons of methodological efficacy as reference points along what is inevitably and clearly a heterogeneous and uneven social field. These commentators offer a model for viewing the artist and artistic as potentially at once the bearers, manifestations and social bases of change. A n d this role is situated as fundamentally one of opposition, derived from romanticism's critical roots, its opposition to the rational. Expressivism has implied a strong hostility to the developing commercial, industrial capitalist society; to the dead, spiritless, increasingly secularised world - the world of the "waste land." Martin locates the latest ascendancy of expressivism as being tied to the assertion of the "other" and to the critique of everyday life associated with the artistic counter-cultural revolution of the 1960s, emerging as a critical aesthetic and populist politics which re-made the cultural fabric. A s she writes, "The shift began as a sort of cultural revolution among a small minority of crusading radicals, and finished by altering some of deepest - and therefore most customary and commonplace - habits and assumptions" (1981, 1). From the counterculture, critique diffused to the cultural new class more generally, but the artistic subculture and the collection of counter-cultural forces surrounding it which occupied the foreground of that period were "a particularly colourful symptom, herald and agent of structural changes which were occurring in the fabric of advanced industrial societies" (1981, 6). 71 While the simplicity of Martin's binary cannot be accepted unproblematically, and the qualities necessarily coexist and overlap, it provides a heuristic for describing moments and a dimension of social relationships within a complex, fluid, social field. Col in Campbell has reinforced this link between marginal counter-culture expression and the expressivist orientation: "similar cultural revolutions had occurred before, and...the world-view espoused by the counter-culturalists could only be adequately described by the adjective 'romantic'," defined so not only for their world view of romantic idealism but also for the aestheticism of their cultural politics (Campbell 1987, 3). For Campbell, however, the re-enchantment of space associated with romantic values not only involves an ideology of transgression; rather, it is also tied intimately to the spirit of consumption. The aesthetic gaze - source of the generation of new meanings within the landscape -exists necessarily at a point of liminality between aesthetic critique and aesthetic pleasure. The existence of counter-cultural critique is, therefore, inherently dialectical: "all aesthetic subcultures hover in an uneasy field of tension between rebellion and affirmation, marginalization and co-optation" (Bowler and McBurney 1991, 55). Spaces associated with cultural transgression thus lend themselves to spaces of cultural consumption, mediated by the aesthetic production, the "artistic mode of production" (Zukin 1982). Cultural geographies of modernity have thus been seen as dynamic mappings of the movement of the frontiers between mainstream and marginal, centre and periphery, as consumerist cultures consistently displace expressivist social groups to further, as yet "unappropriated," spaces. This tension within the concept expressivist or aestheticist has been also noted by Mike Featherstone, for whom the aestheticisation of everyday life involves three trends. One takes form as transgressive aesthetic and spatial practices: 72 Firstly we can refer to those artistic subcultures which produced the Dada, historical avant-garde and Surrealist movements in World War I and the 1920s, which sought in their work, writings, and in some cases lives, to efface the boundary between art and everyday life. Postmodern art in the 1960s, with its reaction to what was regarded as the institutionalisation of modernism in the museum and the academy built on this strategy. (Featherstone 1991, 66) This is paralleled by the "transgression of transgression" on two fronts. First, the aestheticisation of everyday life refers to the project of turning life into a work of art which "should be related to the development of mass consumption in general and the pursuit of new tastes and sensations and the construction of distinctive lifestyles which has become central to consumer culture" (1991, 66-67). Second, aestheticisation refers to the rapid flow of signs and images which saturate the fabric of everyday life. What becomes clear through these accounts is a particular dimension of the politics of postmodern cultural geographies: the parallel emergence of an aesthetics of refusal and a rise of consumerist society, bridged by a romantic aestheticism, embodied in aesthetic counter-cultural form. The Romantic ethic is the nexus of counter-cultural practice and consumption due to the juxtaposition within Romanticism of a critical idealism and an ethic of self and of pleasure. The result is the difficult and dynamic co-existence of critical aesthetically- and artistically-inclined subcultures and the development of new forms of everyday life which have co-opted the critique and "turned up" the aesthetic, manifest spatially as the commodification of the landscape and "the gentrification of vast areas of the central city, historic preservation in control of larger and larger fragments of the city, the rise of entertainment zones, or the mallification of downtown shopping streets" (Boyer 1988, 93). The evacuation of critique in favour of the market has been noted in particular with respect to previously artistic and counter-cultural residential areas, as in such 73 settings as the Lower East Side and SoHo areas of N e w York. Here there has been a co-optation of the aura of avant-gardism, and the market colonisation of the previous locations of artist spaces and practices. Occurrences in the Lower East Side along these lines are perceived by Deutsche and Ryan as a "co-operation" of art scene and the process of gentrification, manifest in the almost complete commercialism of art: Throughout the '60s and '70s significant art, beginning with minimalism, was oriented toward an awareness of context. Among the radical results of this orientation were art practices that intervened directly in their institutional and social environments. While a number of artists continue contextualist practices that demonstrate an understanding of the material bases of cultural production, they are a minority in a period of reaction. The specific form this reaction takes in the art world is an unapologetic embrace of commercialism, opportunism, and a concomitant rejection of the radical art practices of the last twenty years. The art establishment has resurrected the doctrine that aestheticism and self-expression are the proper concerns of art and that they constitute realms of experience divorced from the social. (Deutsche and Ryan 1984, 105-106) Sharon Zukin has explored the spatial implications of this trend through the lens of the practice of "loft l iving" (1982) and the tension between place and market in SoHo. Here, the trajectory of urban renewal has involved the changing use of originally industrial warehouses through their occupancy by artists, and then the transformation of informal artists' live/work lofts to middle class residences. The attraction of the middle class to the spatial location associated with an informal social network of an artistic subculture is based on the area's aesthetic and counter-cultural identity that implies value in terms of cultural capital in a wider economy of urban spaces. Artists themselves are the sources of "magic-making," giving the area an image of style simply by their presence. Taken over by capital and the middle class, the "artistic mode of production" 74 becomes self-conscious: "revitalization really involves putting into place an accumulation and cultural strategy" (1982, 176): ...art in twentieth century America showed that it had a more directly 'capitalist' use. Particularly striking was art's utility to urban real estate development. In burgeoning centers of international trade and finance, such as N e w York on the East Coast and San Francisco in the West, developers found that art, when it was set within the proper physical and institutional framework - the museum or the cultural center - could become a vehicle for its own valorization. The growing value of art also enhanced the value of related factors: the urban forms that grew up around it, the activity of doing it, and most important, the status of consuming it. These processes of valorization commanded - or even demanded - a wider public for art and culture that had existed until this time. (Zukin 1982, 177) It was the counter-cultural historical identity of the setting that made it marketable. A s Zukin notes, "In terms of the cultural values that made loft l iving worthwhile, the real estate market in l iving lofts was set up to sell the social changes of the 1960s to middle class consumers in the seventies and eighties" (1982, 191-192). David Ley has also elaborated this tangled dance of "refusal with style" and "consumption with style" geographically, linking the beginnings of gentrification in the inner city to the critique of everyday life associated with the counter-cultural student movement and its enclaves of the 1960s (1994, 1996). Consumptive forces were facilitated on two fronts here: the revalorisation of the specific site of the inner city as a meaningful site of spontaneity and difference, and the aestheticism of the critique itself as a cultural politics. A s in SoHo, the appeal of the oppositional identity of the area and the emphasis on the avant-garde lifestyle exalting the figure of the artist facilitated the incursion of the un-critical, market-driven aestheticisation that has pervaded recent consumer culture and urban forms. 75 This tension between critique and consumption is not particularly contemporary; but is played out concretely at specific points and moments. The dual-edged nature of aestheticisation was, for instance, noted by Walter Benjamin earlier in the twentieth century when the poetisation of the banal associated with the dream worlds of mass consumption co-existed with such practices as Brecht's radical theatre, Surrealism and Dadaism (1986). Mike Featherstone locates the roots of this tension in the nineteenth century: The aestheticization of everyday life through the figural regimes of signification...central to postmodernism, then, may have its origins in the growth of consumer culture in the big cities of nineteenth century capitalist societies, which became the sites for the intoxicating dream-worlds, the constantly changing flow of commodities, images and bodies (the flaneur). In addition those big cities were the sites of the artistic and intellectual countercultures, the bohemias and artistic avant-gardes, members of whom became fascinated by and sought to capture in various media the range of new sensations, and who also acted as intermediaries in stimulating, formulating and disseminating these sensibilities to wider audiences and publics. (Featherstone 1991, 70) Over the past twenty years, artists and the cultural avant-garde have played a similar role in the creation, dissemination and transmission of sensibilities. They are the source and loci of the images and identities which have fueled the conversion of socially peripheral spaces such as declining rural spaces, derelict industrial sites, or areas populated by artists, squatters, the hippie counter-culture or marginalised ethnic groups, to tourist landscapes, upscale "yuppie" boutique strips, condominium neighbourhoods and residential waterfront redevelopments. Throughout, Zukin has argued, there is an inversion of "the narrative of the modern city into a fictive nexus, an image that a wide swathe of the population can buy, a dreamscape of visual consumption" (Zukin 1992, 221). 76 Rural restructuring: artists and the aestheticisation of the countryside Commodification of the landscape is inextricable from the process and character of modern urbanisation. In rural places, the gentrification model also works. Generally, however, the definition of the concept of "rural" has been elusive and often narrow, drawing upon popular conceptions of rural areas based on rusticity and idyllic, small-scale community living. A s a result, approaches to the rural have generally been overly simplistic, ignoring the interpenetration and connectedness of social spaces presented in the previous chapter. A s Robinson notes, in defining the rural, approaches have "tended to ignore common economic, social and political structures in both urban and rural areas" (1990, xxi) . Rural areas, though traditionally associated with specific characteristics, such as agriculture and rural economic activity, low population density and dispersed settlement patterns, peripherality, and remoteness (Cloke 1992), have transformed in organisation and function through a wider spatial process: "while the stage theory of gentrification is idealized and frequently incomplete, nonetheless it is a useful tool in treating gentrification as a dynamic diffusion process, where residential location is the innovation that is adopted in turn by a chain of quaternary workers who are aligned according to their ideological proximity to the priestly caste of the artist" (Ley 1996, 192). The migration of artists to rural areas can thus be seen as part of restructuring and commodification of the landscape, an element of a changing understanding and necessary redefinition of the rural associated with changes to local and global relations more widely: (i) increased mobility of people, goods and messages have eroded the autonomy of communities 77 (ii) delocalisation of economic activity makes it impossible to define homogeneous economic regions; (iii) new specialised uses of rural spaces (as tourist sites, parks, and development zones) have created new specialised networks of relationships in the areas concerned, many of which are no longer localized; (iv) people who 'inhabit' a given rural area include a diversity of temporary visitors as well as residents; and (v) rural spaces increasingly perform functions for non-rural users and in these cases can be characterized by the fact that they exist independently of the action of rural populations (Mormont 1987, 31, cited in Ha l l and Page 1999, 180) Rural areas have been reconceptualised as overlapping, dynamic social spaces. In this view, rural places, despite their image of remoteness, are not separate from wider cultures of consumption, rather, they are established as sites of and for consumption. This is reinforced by Cloke, who maintains the countryside and rural communities are a context to be bought and sold. Discussing culturally specific Western and particularly British manifestations of "countryside," he suggests rural lifestyle can be colonized; icons of rural culture are commodities which can be crafted, packaged and marketed, rural landscapes have new potential uses, "from 'pay-as-you-enter' national parks, to sites for the theme park explosion" and rural production spans "newly commodified food to the output of industrial plants whose potential or active pollutive externalities have driven them from more urban localities" (Cloke 1992, 55). Urry (1988, 1992) notes that changes in taste cultures and the rise of a cultural middle class have led to greater emphasis on consumption of rural landscapes, drawing other social groups with parallel values to the pursuit of pastoral idyll , an attraction to the cultural symbols related to the rural lifestyle, and an emphasis on outdoor environments. 78 Commodification has been offered as a model for viewing contemporary rural landscapes. Greg Halseth (1997) has examined changing profiles of rural places and their complexity. In understanding process of rural gentrification, he suggests "commodification" provides a conceptual framework: A s it is now understood and applied to the study of social and economic change in the countryside, commodification refers to the valuing of rural landscapes, places, and lifestyles. Visitors, or residents moving from urban places, in effect "purchase" the experience of being in the rural landscape. This purchase of an experience or of a lifestyle occurs just as a consumer purchases other goods, services, or activities. (1997, 247) In this consumption, image is the prime commodity. A s Ley notes in association with the new urbanism, "It is a commerce which is scarcely functional; it creates value through its symbolic associations. Indeed, its discourse falls through the net of Fordist mass consumption, for it is engaged in that most postmodern of activities, the production of meaning in positional goods whose possession makes a statement of status, offers a mark of distinction" (Ley 1996, 299). Important in the growing significance of the taste for and commodification of rural landscapes is the attraction of the counterculture and the figure of the artist. Arts producers play an important part in this commodification framework, at once part of changing social and political geographies of rural places, and changing economic relations within global restructuring. Consumption demands cultural practices and draws upon the symbolic shape of place. The presence and activity of artists today and in the past have attributed to the landscape meaning and cultural memory that is rich for maximisation by tourism and heritage practices, as well as gentrification. The result is a rural landscape of aestheticisation, through the attribution of value attractive to 79 consumption, often resulting in the co-existence of counter-cultural and tourist landscapes, as part of wider spatial trends. Research has shown that artists are a key part of ex-urban migration, often attracted to marginal, small-scale, affordable living situations in rural areas: Reinforcing, and in many ways closely linked with the philosophical musings on the virtues of the country over the city...has been a growing movement to seek escape in the countryside itself. From this has emerged the perception and use of the countryside as an amenity; an environment set aside for urban pleasure and relief....we can add the various manifestations of the back-to-the-land movement, from the Utopian agrarian communities of the nineteenth century to the rural communes and alternative-lifestyle seekers of today. (Bunce 1994, 77) Over the last century, as in the city, the critical sensibilities of artists, and their creative practices have subsequently resulted in the attraction of some rural areas for consumption. A s Bunce affirms in The Countryside Ideal, this pattern can be seen even in the later 1800s: A t the vanguard of exurban development were writers and artists seeking pastoral retreats within easy reach of their publishers and their urban patrons. These were followed by a growing class of the well-to-do: professionals, executives and entrepreneurs, as well as those seeking a peaceful place for retirement. (1994, 91) A century later, the "back to the land" movement also brought a new concentration of artists to rural settings. In the 1960s and 70s, "hippie communes" which first appeared in the late 1960s were symbols of the counterculture. Later, ideology entwined with the new environmental awareness and the search for an alternative and sustainable lifestyle encouraged movement into rural areas. Although Bunce restricts himself to British and American manifestations of the "countryside ideal", in Canada, the 80 same set of factors brought settlement to marginal areas of particularly Ontario, British Columbia, and the Maritime provinces with their supply of cheap land. Their ideals featured a commitment to alternative technology, including organic fanning, small-scale industry, crafts and renewable energy sources, communal and co-operative efforts. Farming was the chosen lifestyle: "Writers, artists, potters, weavers - the arts and craft culture in general - have long dominated the movement. The farm is thus a romantic locus for art and whatever income it can bring" (Bunce 1994, 110). The nostalgia for the rural has increasingly been transformed into commodity form, as both natural environments and productive spaces conform to the idealisation of countryside as a place of leisure, refuge, alternative living and authenticity: In a reinvocation of arts and crafts aesthetics, the search for rural authenticity in the replication of country vernacular extends from the perfect cottage restoration to interior design. ...it does reflect the values of that element of exurbanite society which has given self-conscious and tangible expression to the countryside ideal in its private landscapes. That this has spilled over into the public landscape is evident in the re-fashioning of exurban places around a culture of country-style consumerism. In rustic inns and country restaurants, antique shops and craft boutiques, village fairs and summer music festivals, the culture of exurbia has become a profoundly consumer experience. It is woven seamlessly into a preservationist ethic in which the creation of rural authenticity goes hand in hand with commercial opportunity. (Bunce 1994, 101) In the relationship of rural places to gentrification, there is much ambiguity. Reflecting the growing role of regions in a global economy, the development and commodification of place may be a response to challenges to rural existence, an effort to reconstitute and reconstruct the role of a region, culturally and economically, foregrounding the agrarian, rural dimension of place in order to bring outside capital into the region. Economic restructuring has been accompanied by a resurgence of local and regional economic 81 planning as a means to assert control over space and assure survival and a future role for each locality (Cox and Mai r 1988). The outcome is that " in some instances it has become the dominant cultural force, displacing traditional rural activities with a process of gentrification that has converted whole communities into amenity-based residential settlements. Yet it also offers the prospect for the revitalisation of rural communities through the integration into the economic and social fabric of exurban landscapes" (Bunce 1994, 110). Recent developments in social theory suggest that in the uses of rural places for tourism and wider gentrification, attention must be paid to the construction and negotiation of meaning (Cloke 1992, Mormont 1987, Bunce 1994, Jess and Massey 1995). Shields (1991) has provided a model for an examination of the importance of perceptions of peripheral settings, "places on the margin," investigating the establishment of meaning held by non-residents, the evolving geographic imaginations of difference and transgression through which locations become saleable commodities to non-residents. Shields suggests the positioning of the marginal as the site of such tension and transgression, relying upon the work of Bakhtin, embodied in his concept of the "carnivalesque." Locating the expression of carnival in particular forms and moments of community marked by transgression of conventional arrangements, his focus was the penetration of a carnival element and practice into everyday life as manifest in the medieval folk tradition. Carnival implied for Bakhtin a participatory space where official norms, orders and institutions were juxtaposed with a second, inverted world, parallel to that of official culture - a world associated with spaces of the margin (Bakhtin 1973). Today, however, these sites are experiencing the impact of wider global restructuring as frontier, fringe, "carnival" spaces associated with marginal social groups 82 are re-claimed by the mainstream because of the alternative, counter-cultural resonance of their identity and sense of place. Artistic representation as well as an artistic presence and their sensibilities shapes meaning and the redevelopment of particular imagined communities. In this vein, Norkuna (1993) has explored the role of John Steinbeck's writing in the construction and gentrification of the literary landscape of Monterey, California. MacCannell has examined the creation of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, as an image through the vehicle of the art of Andrew Wyeth. In this case, MacCannell asserts that Chadds Ford is a "represented subject in two-dimensional art, a human community condemned to struggle endlessly to be just like its image, pure surface" (1992, 287). B y extension, the status of place as an island adds another level of marginality, otherness, and carnivalesque associations. A central feature of its difference is its surrounding shoreline, a physical "limen" - the space of the collision of water and land -entailing an indeterminacy which has been paralleled by the ambiguity o f islands within cultural and political maps of meaning. Historically, islands have been spaces of mystery, escape, romance and desire, wavering between "regions of stigma" and "regions of status" (Ley 1983, 158), and able to hold an endless range of contradictory combinations of associations which gives them powerful poetic and aesthetic resonance. In this way, seen as sites of the carnivalesque, islands may become settings for "festival markets" where place is subjected to the aesthetic gaze in the form of consumption-oriented leisure. Tourism and cultural meaning In such cases, the "invented" landscapes embedded within spheres of commodification frequently give rise to the production of difference for consumption 83 associated with the symbolic terrain of tourism and heritage practices. Tourism, Squire has argued, depends ultimately upon the mobilisation of cultural meaning: Tourism is about meanings and values which are both taken for granted and socially constructed. Landscapes become tourist places through meanings ascribed to them by visitors and promotional agencies. A s a form of social activity, tourism is embedded in the material context within which it is created and interpreted. (1994, 5) Artistic and literary expression have often served as sources for these symbolic values, as have historical narratives of events, sites, or figures which lend themselves to commemoration in the form of public monuments or public rituals such as festivals or parades (see, for example, Squire 1988, 1992; MacCannell 1992; Johnson 1995, 1996; Marston 1989; Jackson 1992). Increasingly, it could be suggested that tourism, a rapidly expanding sector of contemporary economies, is a key influential force now shaping representations of identity, landscape, and place. Constructions of identity and the imaginative geographies they convey are the very stuff of tourism practices. Each tourism product is distinct and unique, but efforts to embed the association of an image, narrative, person, or event in cultural identity often form the basis for broader cultural tourism and heritage projects encouraging the "diffuse absorption of 'local colour,' the 'taking in' of a whole exotic scene with emphasis on material objects such as buildings, clothing, and the like..." (van den Berghe and Keyes 1984, 349). MacCannell observes that evoking a sense of authenticity is generally the aim of such endeavors, reinforced through an emphasis on tradition. "The progress of modernity...," he writes, "depends on its very sense of instability and inauthenticity. For moderns, reality and authenticity are thought to be elsewhere; in other historical periods and other cultures, in purer, simpler lifestyles" (1989, 3). 84 Through such representations, the symbolic terrain is at once expressed and reconfigured. In the case of fictive landscapes of tourism, such an understanding of the relationship of cultural practice and experience allows the perception of cultural expression as productive of spaces and geographies. Many of the tourist landscapes that evolve from literary and artistic topographies challenge the mimetic separation of representation and the "real" (see Squire 1988, 1992; MacCannell 1992). Ar t and literature offer a certain lens through which place is depicted as well as the opportunity to participate in the fictionalised experience. In turn, as the cultural practices are used as resources for tourism, the physical landscape often undergoes a transformation, gradually corresponding to its image in art. In its pursuit of the "authentic," tourism has become one of the primary forces now shaping representations of cultural landscape, identity and heritage. Tourist activity is growing at a rate of five to six percent each year (Johnson 1996, 551) - activity which depends on cultural practices and products. Creativity and tourism are thus inextricably linked. A s tourism and heritage research indicates, the process of the construction of such symbolic promotional imagery is complex (Goodall and Ashworth 1990, Ashworth and Tunbridge 1990), providing a vehicle for the representation of a range of myths and symbols drawing upon, and shaping, the identity of place and community. Tourism and heritage practices constitute one of the ways in which, following Cosgrove and Daniels, "every culture weaves its world out of image and symbol. For this reason, the iconographic method remains central to cultural enquiry" (1988, 8). The iconography of "home" is also inscribed in and by relations of power, and is thoroughly a site of contested meanings. B y designating valued elements of the cultural and historical landscape, senses of personal and community identity may be supported or challenged. 85 Within discussions of space and postmodernism, the sharp local variations - the variegated "senses of place" - that tourism-oriented expressions of place and history demand, are posed as emblematic of the constant production, recouping, and appropriation of local identity characteristic of the geography of flexible accumulation (Harvey 1989, Urry 1988). Tourism is associated with the collapse of "space-time" associated with globalisation, through which the stock of place imagery in the consumer's musee imaginaire has expanded dramatically and we are able to "read with facility a vast array of cliched signs of real and fictitious elsewheres" (Goss 1993, 20). Expressions of place and of heritage through such forms of promotional culture are viewed as simulacra and opposed to "real identity" and "real history" (see Hewison 1987, 1989). This is the predominant framework in which expressions of place and identity associated with cultural-historical tourism have been viewed, and indicates the polarity of authenticity and inauthenticity around which "much debate on the issue now flounders" (Matless 1992, 51). Rather than viewing the results of this influence as necessarily inauthentic, superficial, or homogenous, it is productive to explore the inseparability of economic and cultural realms, placing the role of commodification in an ongoing historical process of cultural construction (Cohen 1988; Oakes 1993; Johnson 1995, 1996; Squire 1992; Urry 1995). Tourism representations are implicated in the self-conscious creation of the value of a space in terms of its "cultural capital" (Zukin 1990), as well as in the circuit of the production and consumption of cultural meaning, as "one of the ways that the social relations of groups may be structured and experienced and...part of the 'maps of meaning through which the world is made intelligible'" (Jackson 1989, 2). 86 In this view, and the one I w i l l argue through the next chapters, place identity does not dissipate in this global context, but is localised and mediated through the contemporary cultural forms of public discourse and representation available. Tourist sites and heritage practice may become the settings for the assertion of place and local identity, media for self-narration and a "struggle for place" (Ley 1989). The images of place which find expression within consumption practices are cultural texts involving the organisation and interpretation of experience and collective memory, and often, of the meaning of "home". A s MacCannell has suggested, "tourism is not just an aggregate of merely commercial activities; it is also an ideological framing of history, nature, and tradition; a framing that has the power to reshape culture and nature to its own needs" (1992, 1). It is precisely because tourism products are more than cultural texts, potentially signifying identity, that they have functioned in a host of other ways and in other roles counter to spectacularisation and arguments for endless free-floating signifiers. Posing an alternative vision for the role of cultural production in cultural tourism and regional and community development, Jafari has maintained the possibility for cultural tourism practices to enhance marginal and agrarian regions, through economic development and the preservation of regional identity: It is essential that the developments best represent the host community, and that policies be devised to ensure harmonious developments by both private firms and public agencies. This should include the restoration of existing structure and revitalization of the cultural dimensions...central to the spirit o f the host community. (Jafari 1992, 576) Such prescriptions for tourism development, however, do not acknowledge the struggles over signification that already take place through and in commodified landscapes. The 87 ability to see the cultural processes of place and ethnic identification as engaging circuits of political economy gives Oakes (1993) a way into the Chinese tourism landscape, where he argues tourism has facilitated the revival of Miao culture. He describes such reconstituted rituals as a Dragon Boat festival - a large scale tourist attraction and site of commercial exchange that simultaneously maintains a role in traditional courtship practices. In various forms, tourism development has been appropriated by local groups in cultural development. In light of the negotiation of Miao culture with broader systems of control cultural continuity or revival become possible. Blundell (1993) has observed transformative practices as well , arguing that through their own "souvenir" production, aboriginal cultural producers in Canada are altering the widely held meanings of aboriginal communities and cultural forms. The commodification of aboriginal cultural forms by non-native producers has been contested by the production of objects by First Nations artists, challenge the representations of mass-produced items that dominate the souvenir trade in Canada. Here again there is a struggle over signification, while emphasising cultural continuity: the tourism landscape becomes a medium for preserving these forms in the collective memory of First Nations communities and reinforcing cultural identity. The last point I w i l l make here leads into the next chapter that addresses how these themes have been played out in a Maritime context. I have argued in this chapter that we cannot look at cultural practices in a vacuum. I have laid out a review of research that has placed cultural producers within a context of changing urban as well as rural landscapes, and made a case for a degree of broadly similar world view and broadly similar tastes among them. Cultural products regularly escape their contexts, yes, slipping across vertical and horizontal borders without warning and w i l l be given multiple 88 meanings. But by considering their sources - a geography of cultural producers with values, beliefs, and strategies, as Oakes, Blundell, and others have, I suggest that commercial logic does not necessarily extinguish cultural integrity. M y point is not to suggest that forces of national and international political economies are not powerful. Rather, the artist and cultural producer whose practices are consumed and who are often objects of the tourist gaze themselves, and the activities of cultural production, all exist within and engage commercial processes so that they cannot be conceived of as victims or responses. The idea I want to move forward with is that commodification does not inherently or necessarily destroy the meaning of cultural products, like arts, crafts, and performance. If we resist the slippage between cultural production and the economic logic of its circuits, a space is created where new layers of meaning may be added. Addressing the opposition of authenticity and commodification, Cohen instead suggests a continuum with the effect of bringing attention to the experiences of cultural producers: For example, folk musicians , who play for money to an external audience, may be excited by the opportunity to present their art and proud to display their competence. There is no reason to assume that their music lost all meaning for them, merely because they have been paid for performing it. It would be absurd to argue that all popular music is meaningless for the artists merely because it is commercialized. (Cohen 1988, 381-382) Significantly, he suggests the possibility of a continuity of cultural meaning, for "commoditization does not necessarily destroy the meaning of cultural products, neither for the locals nor for the tourists, although it may do so under certain conditions. Tourist-oriented products frequently acquire new meanings for the locals, as they become a diacritical mark of their ethnic or cultural identity, a vehicle of self-representation before an external public" (1988, 383). Cultural production within tourist landscapes thus may 89 entail potentially important and powerful processes of self-definition and self-imagination within communities, meshing place, identity and memory. The resulting images and narratives of tradition and identity are potent and constitutive forces, for cultural practices may serve as interventions permitting the articulation of strategies that address the distribution of power and resources in society. 90 Chapter III Imaginary Homecomings: Art, popular culture, tourism, and Maritime identity Let the old pride of ancestry be bent to a new realization. Let us have old home weeks and stories and poetry and moving pictures and more local history in our schools and colleges and anything else that w i l l bring this great fact of Maritime Canadianism home to our hearths and bosoms as it never came before. (Sharp 1919) 6 Culture's transformations In 1996, the government of N e w Brunswick produced a map for its summer tourist season, locating various cultural producers and institutions geographically. Titled "Cultureroutes", the map followed the lead of another Maritime province, Nova Scotia, and was followed in 1999 by Prince Edward Island in featuring artists and cultural producers and their specific locations as part of government tourism strategies. In Prince Edward Island's studio tour brochure, Don MacKinnon, then Minister of Development, invited visitors to "meet the craftspeople/artists in their own surroundings and purchase a memory of an unforgettable weekend on Prince Edward Island." On their surfaces, these maps are transparent expressions of the matrix of an interrelationship of cultural practice, tourism, and identity. But as the previous chapters have shown, behind that static expression lies a much more complex set of stories - the processes that have led to a certain geography of arts producers, the role of their practices in signification and the 91 construction of meaning and memory, and commodification and transformation of that meaning in the landscape. In 1996, Prince Edward Island recorded 1415 individuals employed in art and culture, 2.04% of the employed labour force, N e w Brunswick reported 7025 or 1.99% of the employed labour force, Nova Scotia 10345 or 2.44%, and Newfoundland 4325 or 1.88%. These figures compare with a national average of 2.7%, though it is heavily concentrated in the major cities; Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are home to about half of all artists in Canada (Ley 1996). The artists represented on such directories w i l l inevitably be a smaller selection than the actual population of those involved in arts and culture as they often depend on direct requests to be included. Across the three maps, there this commonality: work in the area of visual art is reported at the highest frequency, followed in order by practices using fibre, clay, and wood materials. Artisanal products in the media of metal, glass, jewelry, and leather figure least prominently. Other cultural forms, such as literature, music and film, are not represented at all . A small percentage of the art producers listed are involved in M i ' k m a q and Acadian cultural practices. Even with a cursory glance, the information is telling. The relatively high frequency of visual artists - often producers of landscape paintings - stands out, and landscape has come to be the key icon of regional identity; fishing villages, working shores, rural landscapes, and industry towns are now reconstituted for the tourist aesthetic. Fibre arts like quilting, weaving, and knitting, as well as pottery and wood crafts, are cultural practices that easily become commodities, particularly in the Maritime provinces where cultural history is consistently expressed through such craft in order to mobilise folk and traditional associations of a collective past. Along with heritage and folk festivals, commemorative markers, heritage renovations, architectural conversions, 92 and the museumisation of sites and events, such folk practices have come to serve as concrete expressions of a cultural memory. In terms of the representation of ethnic groups, tourism has played a role in defining minority ethnic and cultural identities within the landscape, expressed in such forms as folk festivals, craft production, and cultural regions. A l l of these are elements of the process by which culture is transformed, subjected to aestheticisation and represented for consumption, in short the process of commodification of the landscape. This chapter examines the interrelationship of cultural practice and art in tourism as it has been played out within the Maritime region. A wider interface of art, popular culture, tourism, and regional identity in the Maritime provinces w i l l be drawn out in order to elucidate several points in relation to issues raised in the previous chapters and to provide the backdrop upon which the case of Prince Edward Island can be seen. A n overarching architectonic vision of this interface would necessarily be flawed, for there is too much range. M y intent here is to open the expressive landscape to show ways cultural practices have been engaged in the commodification of the landscape, as well as the ways they have engaged that landscape themselves. B y focusing on the "Maritime region" I do not mean to imply its inherent insularity or to reify its given distinctiveness or uniqueness. M y interest lies in its construction. In their engagement with regional imaginaries, cultural producers and their representations have drawn upon stylistic and creative influences at multiple scales, and have had roles to play and readership well beyond the "local" and "regional." Through several precedents in empirical research on Maritime cultural practices, I w i l l examine what representations have been made to do through the tourism landscape. A t the same time, I want to keep in view the informing presence of the extra-literary cultural, social, 93 economic, and political elements within cultural practice that prevents us from denying the various, contingent, even messy nature of culture and its transformations. Identities at any scale are somewhat spectre-like, materialising at moments, fleeting at others, and a generalisable identity of the Maritime region has been elusive from the start. The sense of identity that unites a group, spatialising history, does not occur naturally. It has to be created, moulded, formed over time by ideologies and by different groups with differentiated interests. In his study of the Maritime Rights Movement, Forbes (1979) locates the birth of the desire for a regional sense of identity in the regional protest movement that emerged in the early 1920s in an effort to offset declining economic political influence. He acknowledges, however, that it was necessarily an act of imagination, for there was little in history to provide a truly collective historical experience through which the people might develop a strong regional consciousness: Diverse settlement patterns likewise contributed to prevent the development of a common historical tradition. Descendants of the Acadian French looked back to a "golden age" before the expulsion of 1755 disrupted their society and left the remainder a refugee minority in their own territory. The descendants of pre-loyalist settlers in Halifax and western Nova Scotia fixed upon the 1749 founding of that city and the victory of the English over the French as the crucial period in the establishment of their society. N e w Brunswickers, particularly in the lower Saint John River valley, exalted the Loyalists as the founders of the province and portrayed their values and virtues as deserving of emulation. In the eastern half of Nova Scotia the Scottish myth reigned supreme, as its residents celebrated the landing of the Hector at Pictou in 1773 and extolled the Scottish pioneers for introducing the best features of the provincial character. (1979, 2) Forbes locates the impetus for a coherent cultural identity and regional mythology in the struggle against political and economic inferiority in the early 1920s. Reform 94 sentiment focused upon a desire to resist political and economic marginality in broader national imaginative geographies. A n y sense of Maritime identity, however, would need to be constructed due to economic rivalries and the persistence of distinct cultural identities based around language, religion, ethnic identity, and historical experience. In order to develop a recognition of the region as a unique entity with distinct regional values and aspirations, Maritimers would have to produce themselves. A broad program of cultural education was needed. There was an overt call for a linking of cultural practices - "for old home weeks and stories and poetry and moving pictures and more local history in our schools and colleges and anything else that w i l l bring this great fact of Maritime Canadianism home to our hearths and bosoms" - by R . V . Sharp for the Sydney Record in December 1919. Titled "Do you know who we are?" Forbes suggests Sharp's article conveys a new sense of Maritime identity that was emerging in the early 1920s, based not on political unrest as had been the case with previous assertions of regionalism, but emergent from aspirations for a distinct regional identity to offset a "hinterland dynamic." Despite economic weakness, the initiative for cultural education seemed to parallel a range of other developments in the arts and culture: Radio, a key force in bringing music into the home and the schools in the 1920s and 1930s, also assisted the work of collectors and broadcasters such as Helen Creighton in presenting traditional songs and folkways to the public. Competitive music festivals, community theatre groups (often with links to the Dominion Drama Festival), local branches of the Canadian Authors' Association, the Maritime Art Association and cottage and handicraft programmes all came into existence in the inter-war years and stimulated feelings of local pride and aesthetic achievement. (Davies 1993, i i , see also Tippett 1992) Forbes' reading of this particular moment raises two important points. First, in binding a range of expressive practices - stories, poetry, moving pictures, 95 commemorations of local history, and old home weeks - to patriotism, local identity and pride, this period is significant in that it illustrates an early trend in Maritime tourism, the thread linking cultural production at once to promotion and "boosterism," as well as to nationalist self-definition and identity formation. Returning to ideas developed in my discussion of expressive practice and the social construction of space in the first chapter, it is possible to see a common literacy across different signifying practices in their role in relation to the performativity of their imaginative geographies, and the invention of tradition and collective memory. There have been strong and persistent connections between cultural production and nationalistic movements, mediated by an aestheticising, romantic gaze. In the Atlantic provinces, there is a much earlier vein to this. Philip McCann has exposited on the role of nineteenth century cultural practices in the invention of Newfoundland tradition during the period 1832 to 1855, which was also an attempt to foster and promote nativist culture and patriotism (McCann 1988). The resulting forms of cultural expression produced would have more than a nostalgic appeal. The motivation for these 20 t h century practices was varied, and an element of the social backdrop was the regional movement for a distinctive identity and history. Forbes suggests, "The movement, which would become known for its slogan 'Maritime Rights,' had its roots firmly grounded among the deepest concerns and aspirations of the people - aspirations of a political, economic, social, and cultural nature which were seriously threatened by the relative decline of the Maritime provinces in the Canadian Dominion" (1979, 37). Secondly, Forbes' proposes that Maritime regional identity was a project, a conscious effort to gain power through cultural, economic and political struggle, acknowledging the instability and fragility of the Maritime regional identity that was being constructed due to the fractures of history, culture, religion, language and 96 geography that existed. The resulting imaginative geography that was being constructed to counter an imposed peripherality was unstable and incomplete. Within the region, we can see other early imaginaries linking cultural practice and local identity. Within Nova Scotia, Wynn has examined the development of the identity of a subregion, the Acadian Evangeline region, and how cultural practices such as the photography of Amos Lawson Hardy were used in production of a nascent identity (Wynn 1985). During the late 19 t h century and early 20th, the impetus of hunting and fishing tourism impetus led to the promotion of the region's natural landscape as its identity, which involved cultural producers as well . A s a professor of English at King's College in Windsor, Nova Scotia in 1891, poet Charles G .D . Roberts, known for his literary evocations of the Tantramar region in southeastern N e w Brunswick, authored the first of several editions of The Canadian Guide-Book: The Tourist's and Sportsman's Guide to Eastern Canada and Newfoundland. In this visitor's guide, he lends his aesthetic eye to a descriptive and detailed account of places and routes around the region, interspersed with advertising material (Roberts 1891). Later, the region's landscape was involved in the construction of Maritime "beauty" through the development of national parks in the mid- 20 t h century (MacEachern 1997). Even in these few abbreviated examples, it seems the imagination of the region as a distinctive region has had multiple layers and different sources, and is not a single uniform construction. A s we shall see, the tourism landscape and cultural practices that have supported it show little evidence of a common Maritime identity that might be based around the centrality of sea, land, wilderness, or a common demographic and cultural histories, but rather indicate experiences shaped by different geographical, cultural, 97 ethnic, provincial, and other "subregional" realities, all of them expressed in cultural forms. With respect to the cultural dimensions of tourism development and Maritime and regional identity, the work of Ian M c K a y has been central. M c K a y has addressed the construction of Nova Scotia as powerful symbol of home and tradition in his discussion of place, culture and identity in The Quest of the Folk: Antimodernism and Cultural Selection in Twentieth Century Nova Scotia (1994). In a series of essays, M c K a y ' s project is a "genealogy of 'maritimicity'" (McKay 1988), discussing the role of such metaphors for Maritime identity as the "fisherfolk" and the "rockbound coast" in the construction of regional culture, the cultural, political and institutional practices that have given rise to them, and also, what they exclude. It was in the 1920s, coincident with the Maritime Rights Movement, that Nova Scotia began to be promoted as Canada's Ocean Playground, a pastoral retreat where visitors could enjoy the authenticity of a rural, peasant lifestyle. It was through sites and symbols like the Bluenose, the idea of Scottishness, and Peggy's Cove, that Nova Scotia would come to be identified among tourists as well as residents. The invention and attribution of meaning to the marginal coastal community of Peggy's Cove was achieved through the literature of J .F.B. Livesay. Livesay's 1944 publication titled Peggy's Cove, was an example of literary travel writing that contained written sketches and photographs, and was key in the establishment of this tourism landmark. It also provides insight into modern ways of seeing the fisherfolk and the rockbound coastline of Nova Scotia's south shore, as well as illuminating current emphases on tradition. Livesay, M c K a y suggests, "invented" Peggy's Cove, projecting onto the past and present of this St. Margaret's Bay fishing community his own concerns and values, a folkloric romanticism. Striking a 98 chord with broader, potent structures of feeling, it subsequently took on status within a symbolic landscape: The central pastoral propositions - that there is something intrinsically quieter and simpler about the Maritime region, that what is most worthy of commemoration in regional history are the folk ways and dying crafts of the nineteenth century - have become a kind of popular "commonsense."...Maritimers find their sense of collective identity in their folk traditions, in their fiercely independent hamlets, in their amiable rejection of the twentieth century. Storm-tossed Peggy's Cove, securely nestled around its harbour, provides this social myth with the full guarantee of nature. (McKay 1988, 34) The mythology was reinforced by the work of cultural mediators, those who gathered and mediated the communication of cultural practices, such as Helen Creighton. In the 1920s, Creighton began collecting and recording songs, stories, and sayings among the "folk." The identification of the region with folklore and folk tradition had begun two decades earlier with the collecting of Roy MacKenzie, and the region began attracting collectors from the United States and Britain. "With varying degrees of sophistication and intelligence, those engaged in the 'Quest o f the Folk ' painted a portrait of organically unified societies with rich oral cultures" (McKay 1993a, 5). Such collecting upheld an image of traditionalism and gave credence to the idea of the region as a site of cultural authenticity that was organically unified and somehow pure, uncorrupted, and isolated from modernisation. Creighton quickly became an effective promoter of the folk traditions, and early on was involved in their creation as products for consumption. In the process, M c K a y suggests the practices were moved from their everyday uses and rooted firmly in commodification, marketed in the genre of a commercial antimodernism. Broadcast to wide audiences, the folk practices underwent a process of transformation. Their reception 99 has also changed over time. Today it is clear that Creighton and her work in the persistence of culture appeals to local patriotism and nationalistic ideology. However, as M c K a y notes, however, the imagined community evoked by Creighton's folk culture is actually quite ambiguous: "Creighton defined a local tradition - the province's unofficial anthem, Farewell to Nova Scotia, which was 'discovered' in the mid-1930s, would not be heard without her - and her popularity was derived more from her passionate identification with place than with any widespread enthusiasm for the interpretation of specific folk customs" (1993a, 11). The use of such sites, objects, and images as icons of region entails an invented tradition, which M c K a y argues involves significant cultural selection and serves social and political functions. In Nova Scotia, these images of rusticity and the "simple life" constituted a set of fused myths that provided Nova Scotians with an overall framework of meaning, a new way of imagining community, and an image of the province that was essentially innocent of the complications and anxieties of twentieth century modernity: "Nova Scotia's heart, its true essence, resided in the primitive, the rustic, the unspoiled, the picturesque, the quaint, the unchanging: all those pre-modern things and traditions that seemed outside the rapid flow of change in the twentieth century. True Nova Scotians were those who could trace local roots from the pre-modern era" (McKay 1994, 30). The transformation of physical landscape into symbolic landscape is tied more generally to a broad antimodern mythology of "The Folk", mediated and woven into everyday lives within twentieth century Nova Scotia through specific tourism practices, the activities of cultural producers of folklore and handicrafts, as well as the art and literature of the region. M c K a y links the expression of identity to a wider "structure" of feeling that can be found across forms of regional culture in the second quarter of the 100 twentieth century: " in the transitions from commissioned marine paintings of vessels to sentimental seascapes and coastal views, from photographs documenting individuals and industries to Turneresque photographic studies of the sea, from rural manufactories to recently revived (or contrived) 'traditional' handicraft 'industries.'" (1988, 35). The tourist realm that emerged was not separate from the lived experience of Maritimers, however. A s M c K a y maintains, " It was rather the emergence of a new vocabulary of identity and the self, the mobilization of a new army that seemed to give access to a deeper, pervasive influential and individualized truth of society, history, and politics" (1994, 35). M c K a y ' s critique of the new sense of place that evolved is based on the essentialism and cultural selection it entails. The selectivity was not a case of deliberate exclusion, but rather followed the script of hegemonic politics; "shaped by ideologies and social processes of which they were not fully aware, such cultural producers did not conspire to falsify the past, their sincerity and good intentions are not at issue. What is at issue is the conservative essentialism they installed as a way of seeing their society" (1994, 40). M c K a y ' s critique argues this fabricated identity is thoroughly false as it involves the erasure of historical realities such as mercantile exploitation, racism, and poverty. Further, the reliance on a glorified, mythical harmonious past mutes political struggles of the present: "The Simple Life of the Folk: this is the enabling framework I seek to identify, to explain, and to critique... I view the reduction of people once alive to the status of inert essences as a way of voiding the emancipatory potential of historical knowledge" (1994, xvi) . What I want to draw out here is the vision of the interface of cultural practice to commodification underlying M c K a y ' s approach, and its effects. In the aestheticisation of 101 cultural practice and its subsequent use in tourism identity, M c K a y ' s framework cannot conceive of other roles for this representation except illusion, which results in his quest to find a "true" and "real" cultural identity for the region. He proposes one based on "real" history rather than a "false" myth, recovering the people that the myth of the "fisherfolk" has ignored and excluded, as well as the history of industrial growth and the labour tradition associated with it. The result is the elision of differences among representations, suggesting that images were unproblematically and uniformly adopted "from the writing of novels to the construction of tourist attractions" (1994, 188). Although he offers some exceptions, in his view much of the literature emerging from this context uncritically reflects the wider mythical landscape and therefore can be read for the same myth of the Folk, for a nostalgia for a lost golden age of "innocence": ...a plausible short list o f cultural producers who worked with and on the Folk can be drawn up and it includes many figures generally considered highly significant in the region. In addition to Creighton and Black, the list includes the creative writers Frank Parker Day, Andrew Merkel (with the "Song Fishermen: group around him), Thomas Raddall, Hugh MacLennan, and Ernest Buckler... This is by no means a comprehensive list of the cultural producers susceptible to the appeal of antimodernism and the Folk, it merely names those who made glaring and obvious use of the idea of the Folk and expressed a strong support for their "simple life. (McKay 1994, 216) From M c K a y ' s standpoint, literature embodies the same "way of seeing" as that of history produced for the "tourist gaze" (Urry 1990). "From the invention of Peggy's Cove as an icon of regional identity," maintains M c K a y , "the transition could as aptly be traced in regional literature, in the mass enthusiasm for the schooner Bluenose, and in the conscious reinvention and manipulation of Scottish traditions" (1988, 43). Writers and 102 tourism are both seen as coordinators of this antimodernism, working conjointly to produce a distinctive and commodified sense of people and place: "it would be far too simple to suggest that local cultural producers either merely reproduced or were entirely separate form the touristic stereotypes of Nova Scotia. Yet, with very few exceptions, an interest in defining the Nova Scotian identity... was intertwined with a tendency to define every aspect of the Folk as 'picturesque' and 'quaint'" (McKay 1994, 226). Not only artists were responsible for the aestheticisation of landscape and its commodification, for M c K a y also identifies a specific group of coordinators of a broad commercial antimodernism. Most of the key signs of cultural identity "were constructed by a small group of cultural producers, mainly based in Halifax. These people built a powerful ideological network - of both words and things - which guided (and still guides) many Nova Scotians to a sense of their cultural identity": The project of these cultural producers was a complex and contradictory one of "modernizing antimodernism." Radio producers, advertisers, photographers, print journalists, travel promoters, state functionaries: here were the dramatis personae of the sweeping cultural changes in the Nova Scotia of the interwar years. ...Local producers, themselves thoroughly integrated into North America urban culture and often residents of greater Halifax, tended to highlight in their novels, paintings, broadcasts and photographs those aspects of Nova Scotia society they knew would be popular in the international marketplace. From this position within modern culture industries the local cultural producers developed a profoundly antimodern message about the province (and often, the wider Maritime region) (1993a, 1) James Overton (1996, 1988, 1985, 1980) has explored various points of a similar matrix of the folk/primitive construction in Newfoundland culture and tourism, where a parallel development of the tourism landscape occurred. He interprets the interplay of nostalgia and tourism in Newfoundland and a regionalist sentiment in relation to the 103 construction of a Newfoundland culture which has experienced a cultural revival since the 1960's. He, like M c K a y , locates the roots of this invented tradition and culture in a view of rural and underdeveloped areas based on a romantic way of seeing: "The romantic gaze is towards the past and it is from this standpoint that they criticize the present" (1996, 103). Romance and consumption are bound together and have been shaping the identity of Newfoundland since the mid-1800s, drawing tourists, and as M c K a y describes in Nova Scotia, romance has also fueled a burgeoning cultural neo-nationalism, in which tourism is a facilitator: " A particular version of Newfoundland was 'invented' for tourists. But it was not invented just for tourists. The same totems, icons, and images highlighted for tourists came to be seen as the essential symbols of Newfoundland national identity" (1996, 17). It is rural Newfoundland and its way of life which are held up as characteristic of collective identity in the vision of the cultural nationalists and the tourist literature. For Overton, this is not due to the innocent adoption of a myth, or overlapping taste cultures, but to the multiple roles played by cultural producers. "Many of the same people were involved both in creating a sense of national identity and in publicising Newfoundland. These largely middle-class individuals had a broadly similar world view and broadly similar tastes" (1996, 17) Artists, as well as academics, and politicians are identified as members of the new middle class, and as playing a central part in the formation of this nationalist mythology. A s in Nova Scotia, the expression of identity comes from individuals of the new middle class, often with roots or perspectives nurtured "away." A s Overton notes, "it is significant that much of this literature is the product of a group of emigre and returned emigre intellectuals, a group of new middle-class people with material or spiritual roots in rural Newfoundland and the outports" (1996, 119). 104 Cultural practices became increasing integrated with state and institutional support. Once "the 'Real ' Newfoundland" exists as an idea, "it is fed back onto the landscape and the pattern of people's lives. A whole set of government actions is undertaken to make reality conform to this image" (1996, 118). Overton addresses the role, for example, of Memorial University's extension service, encouraging and supporting projects of performing and visual arts, as well as craft development. The result was a burgeoning cultural industry: "Capitalizing on the Newfoundland mystique, they produced a variety of goods for the new body of consumers that had emerged since Confederation in 1949. The 'way of life' of rural producers was packaged and commodified for consumption by the new middle class" (1988, 8). The "real" Newfoundland culture is an invented, imagined community with meaning in social and political terms. His purpose, he notes, is to suggest that culture is a particular lens through which the world is "seen" and to raise some questions about how this lens was ground and the nature of the vision that it allows. Concepts express real needs and feelings, they are an effort to grasp something significant and important about experience, they can be a protest against certain conditions or a sign of oppression. ...the small region and the cultural community that the radical regionalists and those concerned with Newfoundland culture make much of are an emblem for a wide range of social values which they regard as desirable. In effect, the region and culture become the standpoint for pointing out the inadequacies of urban-industrial life. In the process, regional life and popular culture are romanticized and idealized. (Overton 1988, 16) A s in Nova Scotia, space as well as its meanings are transformed. Through the aestheticising gaze, the gentrification of the landscape takes place, as fishing villages, and working landscapes undergo reconstitution for the tourism aesthetic. Along the east coast of the Avalon Peninsula, for example, the presence of the East Coast Trail now lends abandoned outports, fishing harbours, and working farmland a recreational use. Old 105 houses undergo renovation and conversion, as has taken place throughout St. John's and smaller communities like Cupids; entire areas of the landscape are heritage, featuring archaeological digs or historical pageants, and the museumisation of culture leads to new buildings and sites of commemoration and festivals. The romantic ideology that infuses culture encourages consumption. Overton's critique of this construction lies in the selection that takes place in representation. "In this whole process," he writes, "a mythical rural dweller is created who embodies both true human nature living in harmony with nature (ecology movement), and the real nation (blood and soil ideology) The myth of rural innocence is only sustained by a neglect of certain aspects and features of rural life (economic exploitation, for example), and by separation of phenomena which, in reality, are closely intertwined: the city and the country" (1996, 119). Sharing a political-economic approach with M c K a y , Overton argues such myths are "false," emerging as part of an antimodernist impulse in a period of socio-economic crisis. It is a seductive argument, because there is no doubt there are elements of the pastoral, romance and nostalgia in the region's cultural expression. The outlook has led others, like Vaughan, to see only simplification in Maritime myth. "The stereotypes used to market 'life in the Maritimes' constitute an act of cultural impeachment; a replacing of the diversity of the east coast with a culturally resonant, supposedly benign, one-note ideal." (1994, 172) Both Overton and M c K a y pinpoint an aspect of the potential role played by artists and cultural producers in the commodification process, by their membership in a particular taste culture - M c K a y ' s cultural elite, Overton's new middle class. This bears further attention. A s addressed in the previous chapter, arguments have been made for a certain disposition of cultural producers - one shared by tourists as well . Bearers of a 106 romantic/cultural nationalism based on authenticity and rural community values, they are involved in the gentrification of landscapes. The mythologising process they are involved in has material effects, supporting such activities as historic preservation, commemoration, and cultural education. However, while Overton and M c K a y engage the transformation of culture and landscape that is achieved through an aestheticising gaze, such commentaries do not separate expression from the process of commodification in the social and cultural systems, like tourism, that might adapt it. The result is the antimodernist shading of representation is conceived of as "commercial antimodernism," in M c K a y ' s words. Little space is left for an active engagement with the cultural expression as a form of imaginative experience, or to consider the significance of the expression of folk elements like the texture of place and the texture of language and idiom within the texts. Nor is there room for a consideration of complexity or differences in the relationship between cultural practice and the construction and imagining of identity and place. Understandings of the interface of tourism, culture, and society are not unproblematic. Two directions have been suggested by research: the first emphasises the examination of cultural expression for its ambiguity of meaning, which allows for not only commercial, but critical antimodernism, while the second suggests the transformative character of cultural practice must be taken into consideration in its production of meaning. Imaginary homecomings Gwen Davies (1991) offers an instructive contrast. Addressing Maritime literature from an understanding of representation as a way of knowing and as having an active role to play in shaping sensibility, she provides a means to dismantle M c K a y ' s and 107 Overton's reading of Maritime literature of the early twentieth century. Regional literature, and other cultural forms, hold within them particular imaginings of place. In the literature of the early twentieth century, she sees the potential for expression of a collective identity in literature of the region - one based on what she terms the "home place." With roots in earlier social and economic realities of the east coast, "home place" becomes a "symbol of cultural continuity and psychological identification in the face of social fragmentation, outmigration, and a continuing hardscrabble economy" (Davies 1991, 194). The literature produced of this context is not merely an "effect", or "the product of middle class romanticization" (1991, 196). Rather, Davies sees a struggle to represent the changing Maritime experience, to deal actively with issues of realism and representation in aesthetic creation: "For the writer of literature, articulating the nature of Maritime identity is a nebulous and elusive process" (1991, 196). A s for their contemporary uses, adaptations, and circulation, the representations can still be seen as relevant today when the struggle to define and represent home is paramount as communities adjust and redefine themselves and their role in a changing global context. Davies argues for recognition of the subtlety and range of expression in Maritime literature that is addressed by Janice Kulyk Keefer in Under Eastern Eyes: A Critical Reading of Maritime Fiction (1987). Keefer contributes a definition of regional literature that can encompass heterogeneity, where the imaginative involvement with the region can range from representation based on realism to self-reflexive to critique. Such writers are "saturated (as in the case of Buckler, Raddall, Richards)" or "ironically gripped (as with MacLennan and MacLeod) by the Maritimes" (1987, 5). A sense of place and of the past does permeate writing of the early twentieth century writers. B y delving more closely into the work of two writers, I hope to show layers of subtlety in their geographical 108 imaginaries. While literature employed in advertising historical sites can be open to charges of exploiting history and of feeding an antimodernist urge to locate primitive frontiers and simple folk, Davies argues it can also be situated in terms of a revised sense of nostalgia, one which has to do with not simply longing for the past, but for the particularity of place, and longing for "home" (1993, i i i ) . In this sense, expressions constrained by everyday life and dependent upon cultural and historical tradition should be seen not only in terms of romanticisation, but also as efforts to represent historical transformation, expressing tensions between tradition and "modernisation", rural and urban. Take, for example, Ernest Buckler's The Mountain and the Valley (1952) and Charles Bruce's The Channel Shore (1954), two Maritime literary landscapes. While it is possible to see how both authors present selective portrayals of rural life - romanticising and thus reinforcing the "quest of the Folk" and an illusion of a golden age of rurality, also tangible in their writing is a critical engagement with transformation - a critique of modernity, evoking different ways "modernization" has been worked out on the rural ground. Similarly, Erik Kristiansen (1994) has argued that both these narratives offer more than conservative romanticism which "celebrates a vanished way of life" (Keefer 1987, 200). Bruce and Buckler were not myth-makers of the past, but instead proposed a "critical antimodernism" entailing an engaged rather than reactionary relationship to their present. Focusing on the "history" that exists in aesthetic productions, Kristiansen examines different responses to the emergence of a Maritime modernity as manifest in Bruce's community of the Channel Shore and Buckler's Entremont. In order to offer an illustration of possible engagements with modernisation, my discussion here w i l l focus on simply one dimension of the authors' responses to 109 historical transformation: how the past is brought to bear on the present in both of these narratives. Central to both novels is the depiction of time and the role of memory. Both focus on changing rural landscapes and employ geographies of home and away, rural and urban to structure the narratives. Neither community is a romantic refuge - isolated, idyllic, cut off from the rest of the world. But neither have modernising forces destroyed community. Both narratives address the complexity of lived experience, the interconnectedness of past and present, home and away. Bruce and Buckler can be seen as actively engaged with modernity, describing communities that were being undermined by growing urbanism and capitalism. But both are interested in the interplay of transformation and continuity. In this regard, memory - the site of past in the present - is central. A s the communities re-form under pressures of change, memory has the potential to disrupt the progress of linear time, mediating past and present. It is through memory that continuity and change may converge, for memory is at once a mark of transience and trace of inherited worlds. Through the play of memory, historical transformation is highlighted not as an abstract process, but as mediated at the level of people and their communities. Attention turns to, as Charles Bruce's character of Grant says, "Queer how time lived" (1954,217). Bruce's The Channel Shore tells the story of one transforming rural community. Change is a recurring theme in the narrative, both physical and historical, and is often addressed directly: "The map's crossed lines, its small figures indicating elevation, its streams and roads and headlands, were merely reminders. On linen-backed paper the county did not change. But in his mind the country lived as earth and rock, still lake and running water, barrens and clearings and standing timber, never quite the same from year 110 to year." (1954, 299) Bruce constantly invokes the distance that separates past and present. On the one hand, this temporal distance is expressed in the landscape: "This was the frontier of an old prosperity. B y the opening years of the nineteenth century all the land along the water from Copeland to Findlay's Bridge had been taken up...A few side roads like the school-house road remained, leading back through places stubbornly kept in cultivation. But most of the backwoods had turned to woods." This transformation is not a thorough and complete rupture, however, for the old persists in the new. The use of space reveals a lived dimension, the locus of continuity - these abandoned sites are now "places to search for small fruit grown wild , to explore for no reason at all , to name for a meeting place" (1954, 12-13). The historical transformation that is the novel's focus is mediated though the characters' lives and activities. The Channel Shore portrays a group of individuals -each intertwined differently in the tension between progress and "venture", and place and community. Lives are lived in this ambiguous position - not sheltered from modernity, nor unbound from the pull o f place. Human relationships within the narrative thus represent a dialogue between various responses to modernity and the choices and challenges they pose (see Kristiansen 1994). The distance between past and present is also evoked in terms of memory and imagining. The role of literature for Bruce, as Kristiansen has noted, is as a vehicle for remembering that enabled him to mobilize memory to resolve, on an imaginative level, conflicts and frustrations that seemed irresolvable outside the bounds of aesthetic imagination (1994, 240). Memory is quite central within the text as well . Memory is continually interjected - traces of childhood, generation - in order to situate the present: "...Something out of time past came back to him" (1954, 299). I l l Ernest Buckler is also interested in the relations of past and present, continuity and change. The rural community of Entremont depicted in The Mountain and The Valley is one that is also undergoing transformation. Buckler places his main character, David Canaan, at the centre of these tensions. Around him, community and family change - dying and leaving - and David himself grows increasingly alienated from other people and the surrounding landscape. A struggle with change is also depicted at an intellectual level. A s an artistic figure - extremely sensitive, perceptive - David is constantly struggling against transience, trying to express memory, emotion, "half-forgotten but instantly recognized pictures, odors, feelings, thoughts and impressions" (1952, 67) Buckler, like Bruce, sees the potential for continuity. Two strategies within the text provide metaphors for a challenge to linear time and change. First, the prologue and epilogue mirror each other, so that the progress of David's life in the end seems contained within one day - the final day of his life. A s well , the character of the grandmother provides an element of constancy. The only character remaining at the farm in the end, she is involved in weaving a rug throughout the narrative, a rug made up of fragments of clothing associated with particular events in the characters' lives. These pieces of cloth and their associations are recombined, out of temporal sequence, within the rug, which serves as a symbol of the potential for continuity and re-invention. The grandmother represents a kind of eternal, unchanging present, while simultaneously traversing various time periods. A s she weaves, memories are associated with each piece - "Scarlet. That was scarlet. That was the cloak David had worn the night someone laughed at his piece in the school play" (1952, 294-295). A s well , her memory 112 is a source of narratives of the past for David: "He thought of them in the magic moment when his grandmother said, "Did I ever tell you about the time...?" (1952, 52). Memory is central for Buckler in evoking a potential for continuity. A s in The Channel Shore, transformation meets resistance where there is human negotiation and the potential to capture the past in the present. Intruding forces of change cannot undo human associations and the lived experiences they refer to: A n d now he was halfway up the mountain, where the leafless hardwood began. Past the branch road where he and Chris had built the lean-to and believed that it made them feel like men for the first time; past the branch road where he had done the thing with Effie that he'd thought was the miraculous shortcut to manhood, but hadn't really changed anything; past the highest point of the brook that held all their images at some time or other as they knelt to drink, and now fell downward behind them. (1952, 282) A s in The Channel Shore, it is lived experience that is the site of the crossroads of continuity and transformation, where memory can bring the past to bear on the present. Buckler saw the ultimate potential for continuity in the face of impersonal modernising forces quite pessimistically, however, perhaps represented best in David Canaan's continually burning headache, his isolation, as well as his death which prevents him from writing of his experience and that of his family and community. A s the physicality of both titles indicates, memories are bound to distinctive landscapes. Examining the way place and historical transformation have been represented and re-imagined in Maritime narratives such as The Channel Shore and The Mountain and the Valley reveals not so much romanticism, but instead a complex concern for the intertwining of place, time and memory. Alternative responses to a Maritime modernity are tangible. These texts do not indicate a straightforward romantic 113 "quest of the folk," or a yearning to return to a glorified past state, as much as the necessity to bring diverse pasts to bear on the present. For as Samson notes, Such variation reflects more than local colour or interpretive differences; it reflects the material and discursive bases of a world positioned for change on a number of different fronts, but where the outcome was by no means clear. There was no single countryside, no single essential type of country "folk"; it was, as Charles Bruce writes, "made up of people" - real ones, not peasant dreams of urban historians nor the mythological progenitors of neoconservative capitalism. (1994, 268) A s Brosseau (1995) reminds us, it is the particular geography generated by the work, its mediation of space and time, tradition and modernity, that allows for the different outcomes in such narratives. Texts are active, their representations performative, which also leads to a second dimension of the interface of cultural practice in the expressive construction of landscapes - its engagement with its transformation. From romance to tourism Tourism landscapes are fundamentally about transformation, as cultural practices change contexts and take on new meanings, including new meanings to landscape. Shelagh Squire's work on the dynamics of cultural meanings in tourism settings provides a second means to approach cultural practice as they are involved in shaping place and in commodification processes. In her research on Lucy Maud Montgomery and the construction of the Prince Edward Island tourism landscape (1992, 1996), Squire engages an archetypal case of literary tourism and an important precedent that must be considered in addressing cultural practice against the backdrop of Maritime regional identity. Although Montgomery w i l l be dealt with further in the next chapter as to her engagement with modernisation, I w i l l lay out several points of Squire's theoretical 114 foundation here. For Squire, Lucy Maud Montgomery and her works, notably Anne of Green Gables (1908) demand an approach that moves in multiple contexts beyond simply the meaning of the text to examine its role in the production of landscape and spaces. A s in heritage tourism more widely, literary tourism is premised on the public's desire to experience the "otherness" in time and space. It therefore trades in images and expectations of people, places and particular historic periods (Squire 1996). The meaning of the literary text extends beyond its written form to involve the landscape. A s a result, questions of representation, changing representations of places through time, and the positions of both "image makers and interpreters are therefore crucial" (Squire 1994, 5). The tourism landscape of Prince Edward Island is very much tied to the promotion of the characters and narratives Montgomery created. Tourist images of Prince Edward Island pervade the visual environment, in part shaped by these literary influences. A t one level, Montgomery's work is place-specific and historically- and culturally-contingent. Her recorded rural landscapes and villages, the small Island identity, and expressions of nostalgia are a potent part of regional consciousness. The landscape evoked was that of the late nineteenth century, and a sense of Island self-sufficiency suffuses her literature. Montgomery represented Prince Edward Island on different levels. She drew upon the local landscape, later acknowledging the fictional Avonlea was loosely based on factual elements of Cavendish: Thus, the long hi l l in the centre of the village, the sand shore, the site of the old school and the local graveyard form part of the present community much as they did when Montgomery incorporated them into her writings. Other details are also autobiographical: the literary 'Lover 's Lane' was a path leading to pasturage on a village farm, the 'Haunted Wood ' was part of another farm property and the 'White Sands Hotel ' was based on a seaside hotel in nearby North Rustico. (Squire 1996, 121) 115 But imagination is used in the transformation of landscape into fiction (Epperly 1992, Tye 1994, Squire 1996, 1992). Montgomery's vision was shaped by her intense attachment and affection for community and landscape, recording it with emotion and nostalgia. Montgomery evokes the Island as a pastoral utopic site of rural tranquillity and renewal, exhibiting a romantic, expressive aesthetic: "Montgomery's own thinking, and that of her characters, is influenced by nineteenth-century concepts of romance and valour, themselves much influenced by the Romantics..., and also by the Romantic and then the Victorian-Romantic revaluing of medieval romance; Montgomery's nature descriptions are strongly influenced by the Romantic poets and by late Victorian romanticism" (Epperly 1992, 10). Images evoking pastoral nature, and a spiritual attachment to the environment appear in her fiction, journals and poetry. These images articulate sentiments that resonate widely at the level of its evocation of the Island as an agrarian Utopia and site of bucolic nature, as well as its expression of folk culture arising from a limited context. While "it reflects the author's childhood experiences and love of place...in a larger sense, Montgomery's novels reveal much about Canadian landscape preferences and, in particular, about the rural myth that still pervades the Canadian cultural consciousness" (Squire 1994, 138). Through the vehicle of a romantic ideology, Montgomery offers a perception of the environment based on the idealisation of the primitive and of rural life, and an attention to the aesthetic dimensions of landscape. A s in the cases presented by M c K a y and Overton, this aestheticised perception lends itself to consumption and the desire for authentic experience, Through the work's incorporation in the tourism landscape, "ways of seeing" become "ways of being," and the basis for the transformation of space in tourist regions such as Cavendish, the location of Green Gables, as well as countless 116 attractions and products relayed through the literary works. A s well , the novels have been interpreted in other forms, so that the author's experience of turn of the century Prince Edward Island and its social conditions, are appropriated and transformed within a much broader cultural framework: Such far-reaching cultural dimensions of Montgomery's work, and of Anne of Green Gables in particular, suggest that the books carry a variety of contextual meanings. One aspect of their literary identity and of their links to nascent Canadian literature may be theorized in terms of the rural idyl l . Yet this rosy view of village life as depicted in Montgomery's work is rich in mythic connotations that today still impinge on the Canadian cultural consciousness. Montgomery's impressions of Prince Edward Island have been abstracted from the literary texts, transformed into symbols of Canadian cultural identity, and represented in other forms, in particular, through tourist development. (Squire 1992, 142-43) A t a very basic level, there are clearly many ways of seeing place and landscape, and literature is one influence on perception. Squire calls for attention to not only the production of meaning in the text, but to the contexts in which cultural practices circulate. In her framework, it is the meaning and representation of space and its effects that bears attention: cultural practice is constitutive of space and not its reflection and thus enters into the transformation of landscape, undermining questions of the realism or veracity of the resulting geographies. The process of commodification through aestheticisation is not equated with falsity or illusion. This conceptualisation of the transformation of cultural forms suggests we have to consider the specific, contingent ways the interface of art, aestheticisation, commodification and identity are played out, and the multiple contexts and meanings of other cultural practices. Take for example, another case of the integration of literary work in tourism, that of Acadian writer and performer, Antonine Maillet. In both novels and 117 performance, Maillet's writing features a strong sense of the time and place of folk traditions of New Brunswick Acadians. She has focused her writing on the experience of the economically-deprived and uneducated - scrubwomen, smugglers, bootleggers -conveying a folk culture through character, textured dialect in both written form and oral performance, and through situations which show both comic and romantic vision. The audience for this work is international; she has performed her plays and monologues to Canadian, American, and European French communities. Fig. 3.1 Promotional brochure for "Le Pays de la Sagouine," Bouctouche, New Brunswick In 1992, a tourism site based on her work La Sagouine (1974) was developed in Bouctouche, New Brunswick. "Le Pays de la Sagouine" was recreated on an small island - LTle-aux-Puces" (Fig. 3.1). Located in the Acadian cultural region in New Brunswick, it features a long wooden boardwalk that takes visitors to a small re-created village - a stage from which actors perform monologues in Acadian vernacular, based on Maillet's characters. The audience is mainly French Canadian, largely families, who often remain 118 to have their photographs taken with the characters (Fig. 3.2). With a slight irony, this is portrayed not only as a transformation, but also a return. As the book jacket on a collection of these monologues reads, "Avec la creation en 1992 du Pays de la Sagouine au coeur de l'Acadie, le monde litteraire de l'Antonine Maillet retournait a ses originies. Ses personnages - et notamment la fameuse Sagouine qui a fait entendre sa voix unique a travers le Canada, les Etats-Unis et l'Europe - avaient desormais leur port d'attache: l'lle-aux-Puces, ilot de foins sale dans la baie de Bouctouche." Fig. 3.2 Visitors pose with the character of " L a Sagouine" Consider as well the effects on regional imaginaries of the circulation of such representations as Cape Breton writer Sheldon Currie's - "Glace Bay Miners' Museum" -a darkly humorous short story published in 1979 in the Antigonish Review and then in a collection of his stories. It is a portrayal of Cape Breton that would seem to resist romanticisation. Published as a novel, The Glace Bay Miners' Museum (1995) contributed to the script for a film based on the work, Margaret's Museum, that was released that year. The story was also the basis of a CBC radio play by Wendy Lill in 1991 and extended as a stage play in 1995, co-produced by Eastern Front Theatre and 119 Ship's Company Theatre in August 1995 at Ship's Company Theatre in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, and subsequently in Halifax. The transformation of meaning and representation of space as cultural practices gain new audiences is not lost on Currie: In 1962, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I wrote a ballad about a coal miner named Charlie Dave, I used the song in a short story, The Glace Bay Miners' Museum, which was later adapted by others into a radio play and a stage play, I rewrote the story as a novel, and it is now a feature film. I sometimes ask myself: Where did the story get the strength to withstand so many transformations, and finally to attract the enormous resources of the movie industry to our beloved island... Margaret's Museum is an artistic monument testifying to the hardship endured by coal-mining families everywhere. It is a supplement to the real-life Glace Bay Miners ' Museum, the brick-and-mortar building that looks out like a sentinel over the Atlantic Ocean and the invisible tunnels that stretch out under the sea. (Currie 1996, 28) The over-arching social and cultural value systems where questions of heritage preservation, authenticity and community values are central have also precipitated numerous blendings of tourism with nationalist impulses towards local identity in the form of festivals. The Maritime region is well known for its promotion of what are typically called "folk" practices in differentiated forms - folk music in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Celtic and Gaelic music traditions in Cape Breton, Acadian cultural traditions throughout the provinces, traditional artisanal arts and crafts, and "folk art". Traditionally seen as symbolic cultural behaviours and forms of regional culture, even earlier this century, as Creighton indicates, "the folk" that was produced represented the syncretic blending of established tradition-based regional forms with new cultural elements. A romantic world view runs through much tourism and tourism production, as community, ethnic and regional festivals are based on production and consumption of staged authenticity. Narvaez and Desdouits suggest they are "widespread, self-referential 120 rituals in which tradition and 'heritage' are invented and validated through the availability of purchasable signs" (Narvaez and Desdouits 1992, 2). Tourism plays a leading role in mediating cultural practices, identity and memory through such events and festivals. The tradition of folk studies and folklore research in the region has also been involved, reinforcing the sense of definition to a diversity of geographically- and ethnically- based communities. The process of gathering and recording lends the work authenticity and reinforces geographical imagination of belonging in a similar way to tourism. In turn, not only a cultural value, but an economic value is placed on the cultural practices. It is such communities and practices that come to expression in festivals and folklorists themselves have often been involved directly in the festivalisation of folk traditions to enable their dissemination. A s M c K a y illustrates with respect to Creighton, early folk music and stories were often commodified and traded in the marketplace. More recently, Edward (Sandy) Ives, former Professor of Folklore at the University of Maine at Orono, Director of the Maine Folklife Center, and the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History, began a career as a folksinger which led him to folksong collection. His work on Prince Edward Island songmaker Larry Gorman has led to the Larry Gorman Folk Music Festival held annually in Prince Edward Island, which features local and regional singers and songmakers. Louise Manny, who recorded many New-Brunswick folksongs initiated the Miramichi Folksong Festival, which is currently in its thirty-fifth year. In other forms, Antonine Maillet, as well , began her work in the study of folklore and went on to study at the Universite de Laval researching Rabelais in relation to Acadian popular arts, influencing her later writing and performance. 121 Fig. 3.3 Promotion of the Rankin Family in Mabou, Cape Breton In Cape Breton, Ronald Caplan's research on Cape Breton traditions led him to publish Cape Breton's Magazine, a publication "devoted to the history, natural history and future of Cape Breton Island." Am Braighe, a Celtic newspaper published from Mabou, Cape Breton by Frances MacEachen is devoted to promoting Gaelic culture, and includes articles about Gaelic culture as well as articles written in Gaelic. It also publicises song and music festivals, as well as products related to Gaelic and Scottish tradition. The link between Gaelic cultural practice and Cape Breton identity is strong. These periodicals are distributed throughout Cape Breton in community stores such as the one above in Mabou, a community that has become defined in terms of its associations as the "home place" of the Rankin Family (Fig. 3.3). The family of musicians has been integral to the Gaelic cultural revival of the last two decades, and also emblematic of its commodification. Before disbanding in recent years, as their music gained popularity it was viewed increasingly as having "sold out" to American markets which demanded a more "contemporary country" sound. Efforts to reconstruct an authentic "traditional" Gaelic culture are defining points of Cape Breton self-identity and its definition beyond 122 its borders. Musicians are viewed as "ambassadors" bearing Cape Breton's distinctive cultural authenticity and innocence globally. Such cultural practices have been influential in the transformation of the landscape. Writer Silver Donald Cameron, as both mediator of that identity in popular literature and researcher as Dean of Community Studies at the University College of Cape Breton, provides a brief inventory of cultural sources in the landscape: Y o u can touch it at the Gaelic College in St. Ann 's , which during the summer offers instruction in the language, the music, the dancing, the weaving. Y o u can touch it at the Highland Village in Iona, on Barra Strait, where historic Scottish houses have been moved from all over Cape Breton along with a store, a blacksmith shop, and other buildings to form a complete panorama of the Scottish built heritage. Y o u can touch it at the innumerable summer festivals and Scottish concerts. (Cameron 1996,219) The tourist gaze has established culture and history as symbolic resources, and today tourism is a key medium for the expression of identity. Finally, I would like to consider the politics of representation that come to light when we start from a premise that cultural practices are constitutive of landscape and its transformations. Representations and their imaginative geographies may be put to use in struggles over the landscape. Elsewhere I have examined the assertion of identity in touristic cultural forms in Sackville, N e w Brunswick (McCabe 1998). Here, a conflict over representations highlighted the complexity of constructions of home. In 1993, two interpretations of the landscape came to the fore of local public discussion, centring around two proposals for tourist-oriented constructions of place, one based on efforts to integrate the literary landscapes of turn-of-the-century resident, writer, and poet Charles G .D . Roberts, into the local tourism landscape. The other centred around conflict over a proposal to establish 123 the contours of an Acadian cultural geography as part of a wider tourism promotion of the Acadian history of the region. In the case of Sackville, one such cultural element that has been transposed to tourist-oriented practices is the association of 19th century "Confederation poet" Charles G . D . Roberts with the area. The period of time Roberts spent in the Tantramar area was tremendously influential to his writing; his books and poetry are all powerfully evocative of this place. The intimate connection between much of Roberts' poetry and fiction and the physical site of the region of the Tantramar is reflected in the references to the Sackville area and environment that pervade Roberts' writings. Roberts' particular literary lens is that of an elementary nostalgia and a critique of the historical transformation he saw overtaking the landscape. Writing his poetry and prose in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Roberts' vision of nature, landscape and place owed much to writers in the English Romantic tradition. Roberts' vision and literary work continue to have a presence a century later, influencing Sackville's contemporary cultural community. Recently, his relationship to the area has taken on another dimension, reclaimed from local memory and knowledge by tourism promotion. He is seen as a cultural resource, a valuable part of the identity of place. A s a regional poet, Roberts offers his own representations of place, a resource to be mined by a new generation of local boosters. The reception of these ideas was quite positive. For example, newspaper coverage in an article was titled "If Scotland has 'Burns Country' Then Why Not 'Roberts Country' for Tantramar." A n earlier period of Acadian settlement has also become an important source of such symbolic meaning. Coinciding with the Roberts discussion, The Sackville Tribune-Post carried an article regarding a proposed tourism endeavor involving the construction 124 of stone caims or monuments commemorating the location of Acadian settlements. The context for this was the 1994 reunion of Acadian descendants, a huge festival that would draw 200,000 visitors to nearby Acadian communities in the region. Reaction was swift and heated. Within a month, the weekly paper published nine letters to the editor: six of them negative, three positive. The negative responses often focused on the use of taxpayers' money for this project and questioned the constitutionality of the proposed cairns. Tourism provides a vehicle for the representation of a range of myths and symbols drawing upon, and shaping, the identity of place and community. Roberts' appeal can be tied to several factors. The first has to do with the current desire and inclination for such expression. A s in the work of Livesay and Montgomery, Roberts' writing and its expression of a tension between tradition and modernisation, rurality and transformation, arises from and reinforces a wider cultural discourse. But as the response to the Acadian monuments indicated, however, the iconography of "home" is also inscribed in and by relations of power, and is thoroughly a site of contested meanings. B y designating valued elements of the cultural and historical landscape, senses of personal and community identity may be supported or challenged. There is clearly a politics to representation and the resulting public landscape. If the tourism environment is indeed a cultural production, the implications of such choices and tensions over collective representations go far beyond questions of economic development, in fact engaging how residents conceive of themselves and of the meaning of the place in which they live. The differing responses to the incorporation of historical cultural practice into the tourism landscape highlighted the contestation over the meaning of place and the 125 substance of collective memory. Cultural expression embodies the artist's orientation to historical change and political, social and cultural conditions - and their integration in tourist landscapes thus entail important and powerful processes of self-definition and self-imagination within communities. Through such tourist representations, the symbolic terrain is at once expressed and reconfigured. These landscapes are cultural productions expressing social relations and thus play a role in defining what subjects and images are available for communication and public circulation. The defining images in turn shape the attitudes, actions and alternatives people can imagine and propose. They are at once rooted in the field of power relations in which they take place, and act on and influence those relations. To conclude, I have provided here a broad overview of the interrelationship of cultural practice, place and commodification in Maritime region, laying out empirical research and the theoretical precedents that have been offered. What is clear is that there is no single unified Maritime identity. Rather, particular constructions have arisen in particular places and times for differing purposes, often with an underlying mythologising of unity based on a cultural romanticism. However, these imaginative constructions of the region do not necessarily or naively reflect or refer to the wider social landscape, but may be attempts to represent an elusive, changing world. Identity is not a straightforward matter of transmission or salvage, but is constantly reinvented and recreated within the dialogue and contestation that is culture. A n d so, cultural practices may be vehicles for memory and identity, deeply involved in the politics of representation and the re-interpretation and reshaping of space in the present. A s a result, the interface of cultural practice and commodification is characterised by differentiation rather than uniformity. 126 Expressions of identity of place and of homeland in cultural practice may certainly have meaning beyond the lure of nostalgia for vanished or dreamed places. In the next chapter I w i l l address the social production of the Island's meaning and various threads of its mediation of modernisation and tradition. In this light, I w i l l set out the paradigmatic example—the historical identification in tourism of the meaning and traditional identity of Prince Edward Island with the promotion of the romantic literary imagery of Lucy Maud Montgomery. Framed within such a perspective, I argue that in her case and the ones that follow it is necessary to examine the way place and historical transformation have been represented and re-imagined in arts practices. In locating the practices in this matrix, they reveal not romanticism, but instead a complex concern for the intertwining of place, time, and memory. Alternative responses to a Maritime modernity are tangible. These texts do not indicate a straightforward romantic "quest of the folk," or a yearning to return to a glorified past state, as much as the necessity to bring diverse pasts to bear on the present. The meaning of expressive cultural practices lies not in the forms themselves but in how the forms are put into action at a given moment and place to re-articulate or dis-articulate dominant spatialisations and ideologies. 127 Chapter IV The Architecture of Islandness: Mediating tradition and modernity, home and away The architecture of Islandness Cultural practice has been central in giving form to the construction o f the collective value and myth of "Islandness," and in the creation of cultural meaning over space and time. Bound to landscape and culture, historical and economic circumstances, the myths of place that have evolved are built from a sense of shared historical experience, as well as of difference and independence from what lies beyond the physical and symbolic boundary of the shoreline. Although physically autonomous, imaginative geographies have done as much work as the sea in dramatising the distance between, and the difference between, the Same and the Other. The architecture of Islandness is comprised of layers of varying interpretations of relations between individuals, their actions, social structures, and environmental setting. It is, by its very nature, a dynamic cultural interplay of home and away, tradition and modernisation. Islanders have consistently drawn upon the "land beyond" in constructing their economic, social, cultural, and political meaning. A s well , its agrarian landscape that has been slow to modernize but aestheticised with ease has been embedded firmly in efforts o f self-definition. That is not to say that substantial conflicts and fissures cannot exist within the Island. A t any point in time, imaginative geographies w i l l inevitably be challenged and 128 jostled by others within a heterogeneous social field. This chapter w i l l address the social production of the Island's meaning and various threads of its mediation of modernisation and tradition. In this context, I w i l l set out the paradigmatic example—the historical identification in tourism of the meaning and traditional identity of Prince Edward Island with the promotion of the romantic literary imagery of Lucy Maud Montgomery. A s the previous chapter indicated, in her response to the historical transformation of the rural landscape, Montgomery's work was incorporated into an already existing structure of feeling, a romantic antimodernism with roots and reach far beyond the Island. This broad sentiment promoted the values of the premodern, small-scale, face-to-face community of the late 1800s and early 1900s, which is perceived to dominate the historical imagery of this place. Montgomery's cultural practice has been central in the subsequent definition of the space of the Island as "home place." The primacy of her association with the Island may be the reason that beyond the hypostatization of Anne of Green Gables, the three cases of cultural practice which follow w i l l engage other imaginaries of Islandness, revealing persistent tensions of tradition versus modernisation. Forces of localism and identity, of course, are not exclusive to islands. The creation and use of symbolic resources that at once inform and are informed by the historical, economic and political conditions of locale, as well as respond to broader global forces, are integral to the definition and maintenance of all places. A s has been established in the previous chapters, geographic imagination and historical memory are not static, but malleable and always evolving. They are produced and negotiated through complex interaction and across multiple geographic scales. Such an interdependent and relational nature of identity characterises Prince Edward Island. "Keeping in mind that notions of locality or community refer to both a demarcated physical space and to clusters 129 of interaction," note Gupta and Ferguson, "we can see that the identity of a place emerges by the intersection of its involvement in a system of hierarchically organized spaces with its cultural construction as a community or locality" (1992, 8). How geography and history have been expressed forms the crux of Prince Edward Island's "Islandness". Material experience of place is mediated through expressive practices that act to define, shape, and extend perception and understanding. The lived, representational space of the Island - the product of the interweaving of different cultural sources - is a hybrid, intertextual space, for images do not remain extraneous, but are intrinsic to material circumstances of experience. Each account of space interacts recursively with other forms of understanding. A t the intersection of social constructions, cultural conceptions and practices, social space is "infinitely fine-grained, myth-laden, qualitatively inflected, and people-filled" (Shields 1992, 189). A t issue in cultural expression is not a question of realism, or the veracity of images, for as Burgin acknowledges, "representations cannot simply be tested against reality, as reality is itself constituted through the agency of representation" (1996, 238). More significant is the process and impact of particular imaginings of place and history. The meanings and myths associated with the construction of landscape are not free-floating or randomly attributed. Selected elements of the past and of landscapes symbolising the particularity of territory and shared tradition become a focus for individual and collective identification, and play a role in the reproduction and transformation of that place. Images and narratives which occur in cultural practice are constructed into collective and individual memories, creating the recognisable fictions of place identities, supporting specific political aims and ideologies (Ashworth and Larkham 1994). 130 In Prince Edward Island, these images and narratives also come to expression in tourism, reinforcing certain perceptions and uses of the Island landscape. Prince Edward Island's history is characterised by changes experienced by many communities engaging such forces of economic restructuring. In rural areas, this transformation has most often been manifest as challenges to an established staple economy and a rise of forms of aestheticisation as places shift from being centres of production to sites for consumption. A s a result, Urry maintains, "there is hardly a village, town or city which does not have the promotion of tourism as one of its key objectives. A n d this is increasingly true worldwide" (1992, 10). International tourism research has found Island tourism to be based on the creation and reinforcement of difference. "Islands are perceived, by visitors, to offer a significantly different environment to the pace and pressures of 'normal,' particularly urban, living...islands are seen as slower paced, perhaps 'backward' in their culture, emphasising traditional, old fashioned values - a real chance to 'get away from it a l l ' " (Baum 1996, 21). A n island takes on meaning in contrast to the physical and psychological realities of everyday existence. A high level of dependence on tourism is, therefore, a characteristic feature of many small island communities. Whereas tourism in, for example, Germany represents 1% of G D P , in the United Kingdom, 1.5%, in Prince Edward Island, it represent approximately 9.9% of the Island's economic activity in 1996 (Prince Edward Island 1997, 3). The main pursuit of Prince Edward Island's private sector remains the production of food (Beaudin 1998, 94): the contribution of agriculture to the total G D P of $2,648 mil l ion of current dollars in 1996 was $294 mill ion. That year, tourism ranked second, contributing $171 mil l ion (Prince Edward Island 1997). However, by then of 1997, after the opening of the Confederation Bridge, the number of 131 visitors during the prime tourist season from mid-May to the end of October had grown from 788,000 in 1996 to 1.24 mil l ion in 1997 (Prince Edward Island 1997, 3). 7 A s a result, tourism strengthened its contribution to the G D P by attracting an estimated $262.7 mil l ion in visitor spending in 1997, compared with $171.2 mil l ion over the same period in 1996. Cultural practice is inevitably affected. Two important facets of the tourism industry in the area of culture are the arts (embracing the visual arts, musical and dramatic performances) and craft production. The association of artists with Prince Edward Island is longstanding. A s early as the late 19 t h century, a creative cultural community was established. Locations on the Island served as residences to enclaves of those with artistic and literary inclinations. The solitude and character of many outlying areas of the Island have been attractive to the cultural community, such as a thespian colony in Bay Fortune which dates from the late nineteenth century, where actors and writers have resided for much of the last century. The first summer actors' colony was established here around the turn of the century by Charles Flockton. The colony was later home to Elmer Harris, the American playwright who wrote the play Johnny Belinda. Harris' residence subsequently belonged to late Canadian actor Colleen Dewhurst and her husband George C. Scott, and reflecting the wider transition to consumption, it now houses the Inn at Bay Fortune. ' The 1970s drew many arts and craft producers to the Island as part of the "back to the land" movement, a counter-cultural element drawn by inexpensive land, who shared an interest in environmental awareness, small-scale rural values, the historical integrity of landscape and cultural continuity. They settled in areas such as the Dixon Road in central Prince Edward Island. Certain rural landscapes and locations were attractive as "oppositional spaces: socially diverse, welcoming difference, tolerant, creative, valuing 132 the old, the hand-crafted, the personalized, countering hierarchical lines of authority" (Ley 1996, 210). The area of Dixon Road and locations such as Victoria and Flat River have gained significance and an alternative cultural image as centres of cultural production, and still house substantial creative communities and craft production that are incorporated within the tourism and craft industry. Inwood and Chamard (1986) have noted the relatively greater importance of the small-scale artisanal production in the rural Maritimes, which is in clear evidence in Prince Edward Island. In 1998, there were 170 outlets on Prince Edward Island where crafts were sold, sometimes directly by individual producers and by stores offering a variety of products by a range of cultural producers. There are hundreds of craft producers on the Island, most of them pursuing their trades as second careers or as income supplements, and the supply of crafts is already outstripped by demand (Beaudin 1998, 104). Tourism is a major economic support for artists, performers, and cultural producers. A study conducted by Heritage Canada in 1998 reported that the cultural sector as a whole, including arts, crafts, and technical support to theatres, contributed as much as $64 mil l ion to the Island G D P in 1995 and employed twenty-four hundred people (Durand 1997). The value of such practices in the Island's economic development has been acknowledged, for example, in The Story in the Landscape: The Promise of Cultural Tourism, a 1997 report of the Cultural Tourism Planning Committee: Culture tourism has a view towards sustainability of nature and way of life as well as promoting development and marketability by including heritage tourism, literary tourism and ecotourism. It was also recognized that cultural tourism is not a product but a process, one of making our communities more liveable for ourselves and consequently of interest and enjoyable for visitors, too. (Joliffe 1997, 7-8) 133 M u c h effort and promotion goes toward the association of the Island with Montgomery's fictional Anne of Green Gables (1908). The spin-offs from literary work are clearly important economically; visits to the Cavendish area accounted for nearly half of overnight stays by visitors to rural areas of the Island. In Charlottetown, one of the anchors of the Island's tourist industry is the Confederation Centre of the Arts which includes an art gallery, as well as a theatre where the long-running musical Anne of Green Gables and currently a new musical based on Montgomery's Emily of New Moon have formed the core of the Charlottetown Festival. Island-wide, businesses and institutions reinforce and provide a context for the literary themes. Prince Edward Island's tourism has been largely arts-led. Creative arts and craft practices have a high priority in tourism development. Resident arts producers, however, are more inclined to be involved in activities and events unrelated to Montgomery's creations. A number of other communities are home to theatre and music. The harbourfront Jubilee Theatre in Summerside, the King ' s Playhouse in Georgetown, and the Victoria Playhouse, all endeavor to offer locally written and developed productions. Festivals are a core of the tourism industry and numerous musical events take place annually, featuring local performers. The Prince Edward Island 2000 Visitors Guide provides an inventory of 81 festivals and events, including the Summerside Highland Gathering, bluegrass and fiddling events at Rollo Bay, the Indian River Festival, Irish festival, the Prince Edward Island Environmental Coalition's Greenfest, and the PEI Shellfish Festival. Other musical events, such as ceilidhs and shindigs - once associated with house or kitchen parties - are now scheduled weekly throughout the summer and as part of many local and thematic festivals, featuring a roster o f Island performers. Attempts to spread the activity over a longer period have been the subject of discussion in 134 the arts and tourist communities. The Island is also rich in museums and historically-based attractions and thematic displays. With the exception of a few events that are aggressively marketed, most rely on drive-by traffic and local press coverage. The play of modernity: the social production of space in Prince Edward Island In the twentieth century, the trajectory of Prince Edward Island (as in the case of many regions and communities) has been increasingly determined by tourism. This transformation of Prince Edward Island into a destination has been facilitated by economic restructuring, social change, government policy intervention, and the attribution of cultural capital. A s the landscape has transformed, cultural producers have inevitably negotiated relations of "home" and "away," tradition and modernity. The Island is a composite of ideas, and therefore subject to change and challenge. The sense of the Island's " I "— the layers of its geographical identity — have evolved under historically specific circumstances intra-locally and in tension between local expressive practices and broader networks of geographical relations, regionally, nationally, and internationally. A n approach is needed that both grasps the necessarily interactive field through which economic and political processes are mediated and the complex geography of power in which places and their identities are invented and installed. The countervailing factors in this invention - elements of human practice and of the local "customisation" of processes and practices -challenge any simple cause-and-effect model. Cultural practice expresses a fluid, constantly reworked culture and memory. I w i l l address here several threads of the Island's narrative of identity relevant for this discussion. The prevailing image of Prince Edward Island has been tied intimately to its insularity, as well as to its rural past and an associated sense of a pristine and pastoral 135 environment—a symbolic landscape that has offered a powerful iconography. "The Island" as it is imagined by cultural producers as well as by visitors and promotional agencies has been powerfully identified with specific images of the highly visual landscape, images which have become heavily-marketed tourism icons such as the sea, rural landscape, red clay roads, sandy beaches, fishing villages, lighthouses, and "Green Gables," the house representing the residence in Lucy Maud Montgomery's fiction Anne of Green Gables. This chain of landscape-based metaphors and myths has been linked to offer a potent sense of "home place" within the international tourism industry, with connotations of the rustic, the premodern, the traditional, the authentic, the quaint, the pastoral, and the picturesque. These elements have been presented as an iconography of remains: while the world may have modernised and homogenised, on this isolated island an unchanging core culture and distinctive heritage persists. Such landscape fragments serve as cues, functioning as metaphor and allegory for homeland, tradition, and belonging. A garden myth has predominated in a range of aesthetic practices and tourist imagery: A t the centre of the question of identity—of the "Island way of life" —has rested a garden myth, which organized for Islanders an ideal picture of themselves as an independent agricultural people protected from the world in an unspoiled pastoral setting. Some elements of the idyllic metaphor...were always strong enough to make the garden myth compelling and realistic. (Milne 1992) In fact, despite the pastoral imagery, the rural landscape has changed dramatically over the twentieth century. While the main pursuit of Prince Edward Island's private sector remains the agricultural production of food, the number of farms has declined. Those that remain have increased in size. In recent years, the agricultural industry has 136 grown substantially as M c C a i n Foods Ltd. and Cavendish Farms (as part of the Irving group) have established and expanded their potato processing facilities. Like the economy based on the land, that based on the sea has also changed. Prince Edward Island has a moderate-sized highly-seasonal fishery, whose development has been restricted by a restricted territory and declining wi ld fish stocks. Simultaneously, the tourism industry has grown to compete with agriculture as the primary economic activity in the province. In tourism images, ironically, despite the changing landscape, traditional images of a resource-based economy based on the land and sea are predominant themes. A t the end of the twentieth century, the Utopian garden myth is undermined by the decay of rural communities, economic and political dependency, the presence and convenience of the Confederation Bridge, and the burgeoning tourist economy of roadside attractions and theme parks. Yet the image of the Island resists and persists as "home place." Tourism is simply the most recent catalyst for struggles over the relationship of people to place, and questions of land use and land ownership that have been entwined within the political history shaping the identity of the province. The loss of control and independent ownership of the land have been a persistent concern. The tensions established between absentee landowners and tenant producers with the land lottery of 1767 continued until after Confederation when the provincial government bought back the land from the landlords. 8 But "the land question" and issues over ownership and use of land remain emotional issues today (Robertson 1988, 136). There have also been persistent tensions between the dependencies of this small province and regional inequality, and the mythic narrative of its national status as "birthplace" of Confederation. The Island's status grew with the Charlottetown meeting 137 of the Fathers of Confederation, preparing the way for the Quebec Conference in 1864, and the founding of the Dominion of Canada which followed. Prince Edward Island has since been known as the Cradle of Confederation. The Island, however, did not jo in Confederation until 1873, and only with hesitation. Promised by the federal government was the completion of the trans-Island railway that the Island government had begun in 1871, fulfilling the federal guarantee of continuous communication with the mainland. The offer was challenged by critics who argued that the laws of political equality were being violated when it came to Confederation. For much of the recent history of Atlantic Canada, the Maritime provinces have been dependent for their survival on the federal government, a dependency that is above all financial in nature and has been a fact of political and economic life since the beginning of Confederation (Acheson 1993, Bakvis 1993). This has been an issue more broadly within Maritime culture: The Atlantic provinces are a geographical hyperbole in the national text, and the people who live here have provided the centre with a key mythology in the narrative of nation building —the mystery of the folk, the feudal drama of an early "homeland" people who mark the beginning of the time line of progress. (Vaughan 1994, 169) Confederation is linked to a historical rupture. The end of the "colonial" period coincided with changing economic and political conditions that marked the beginning of a historical transformation of the Island landscape. The technological basis of industry was changing from wind, wood, and water to steam and iron, a new era in which Prince Edward Island did not have the resources to compete. Damage to the economy was incurred as well with the abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty in 1866, as well as the massive debt resulting from the building of the Prince Edward Island railroad. The "terms of union" under which the Island joined Confederation proved to be inadequate, 138 and failed to remedy basic economic problems. The financial situation of the Island worsened considerably in all sectors - agriculture, fishery, and forestry: "The events of the early 20 t h century seemed to be producing their benefits elsewhere. Prince Edward Island was just a small isolated community located [away] from the great centres of economic enterprise" (Schwartz 1979, 102). Simultaneously, the provincial status and political jurisdiction of Prince Edward Island gained with Confederation enhanced the insularity of the Island in a cultural and perceptual sense. Technological developments in the early century were influential, encouraging greater integration of the Island within larger networks. Mechanisation of methods of production led to a shift to greater specialization and larger factories. This was paralleled by changing markets, from local production and consumption to introduction of national and international mass markets and consumption. After 1946, there was another period of rapid economic expansion and change. N e w technologies and changing economics changed the Island. When in 1969, a massive exercise in federal-provincial development planning began, the cultural "break" with the prewar era had already occurred. The Government of Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island defined the challenge: "...the Province is a predominantly rural area, has experienced widespread low income, has substantial adjustment problems and has significant potential for economic and social development" (Department of Regional Economic Expansion 1970, 14). Through the Comprehensive Development Plan, the federal government was to take an active role in provincial affairs, with the objective "...to further the social, economic and institutional improvement of the Area, through the development of physical and human resources, social services, resource supporting and commercial services, and through the setting up of an effective intergovernmental structure for the coordinated implementation 139 of the Plan" (Department of Regional Economic Expansion 1970, 7). This was perceived by a portion of the Island's population as further loss of local control, as modernisation models that were imposed on an island population more intent on preserving its rural identity. Most of the changes that have occurred in the economy since 1950 reflect a further movement away from a mythical status of self-sufficiency and toward more interdependence upon global connections, with a resulting commodification of the landscape. Over the last centuries, there has been continuity in the issues that draw passion here, such as land use, exploitation of resources, and political dependencies. These are basic themes that link the Island, through its history: The motto of Prince Edward Island, Parva sub ingenti, "The small under the protection of the great," is an apt metaphor for Canada's smallest province. It is also a bitterly paradoxical expression of the Island's status as a "have not" province, largely dependent on others for survival, first as a colony under British rule and then as a somewhat reluctant new province of Canada. A s Prince Edward Island comes to the end of the 20 t h century, the goal of greater self-sufficiency and self-reliance remains as elusive as ever. (MacKinnon 1998, 175) This has also influenced its identity internationally, derived from an acknowledgement of common cultural and historical links and shared experiences across many of the small islands, particularly of the North Atlantic region. Like other islands, Prince Edward Island has faced formidable challenges concomitant with small size and relative remoteness, such as underdevelopment and regional disparities: "peripherality both in terms of real physical distances as well as relative neglect in metropolitan centres; acute dependence on limited resources with attendant crises of supply or terms of trade; and heartbreaking cycles of outward migration" (Bartmann 1998, 5). Prince Edward 140 Island must be seen within the socio-economic development trajectories of small island territories, for the global project does not render all flush and even under its crushing weight. In itself, globalisation tolerates and even reinvents differences and inequalities (Massey 1994). The result is a constant tension within Islandness of tradition and modernity, home and away. Symbolising home and its boundaries and identity becomes a way to negotiate change from a marginalised position, a conscious localising of identity and action. The imagining of Islandness must be seen within global restructuring which has had profound implications for sites within this spatial order. Each imaginative evocation of place has its grounding in a particular socio-economic-political context, emerging under historically specific circumstances, in tension between dominating forces and local expressive practices, deterritorialism and the saliency of place. Massey offers a provisional, unfixed sense of place that is helpful in conceiving of Island as "home": ...the identity of place is in part constructed out of positive interrelations with elsewhere. This is in contrast to many readings of place as home, where there is imagined to be the security of a (false, as we have seen) stability and an apparently reassuring boundedness. Such understandings of the identity of places require them to be enclosures, to have boundaries and - therefore and most importantly- to establish their identity through negative counterposition with the Other beyond the boundaries. A n understanding of the socio-economic geography of any place...reveals that such a view is untenable. The identity of a place does not derive from some internalized history. It derives, in large part, precisely from the specificity of its interaction with 'the outside'. (Massey 1992, 13) Through the self-conscious attention to cultural and geographical location, and to the dynamics of power relations that are manifest in past and present objects, practices and landscapes, autonomy and identity are asserted through what Audre Lorde has called the "sharpening of self-definition" (Lorde 1990, 287). Senses of place - not unitary and 141 homogenous - emerges dialectically with the delineation of symbolic boundaries and the reconstitution of tradition to mark belonging - "how people experience and express their sense of difference from others, and how their sense of difference becomes incorporated into and informs the nature of their social organisation and process" (Cohen 1982, 2) Establishing Prince Edward Island as "home": Lucy Maud Montgomery Within these multiple layers of tradition and modernisation, the popular imagined geography of home has been identified most clearly with the legacy of Lucy Maud Montgomery. A n intensely regionally-based writer, her well-known creative fiction is intimately tied to Prince Edward Island's identity, and more broadly, Canadian culture. Montgomery offered a particular envisioning of the changing landscape. In her writing, Montgomery's depiction of the Island place and culture was as much the reflection of her intense attachment to the Island, as it was a conscious attempt to evoke a particular geography. Like other writers of the late 1800s, her landscapes were rich in nostalgia and powerful sensory imagery, in the tradition of the late nineteenth century pastoral idyl l : "Montgomery revelled in pastoral nature, and throughout Anne of Green Gables she attempted to put into prose the intangible aspects of landscape and place that Prince Edward Island evoked for her. Her journals and letters are replete with reference to this spiritual attachment to 'home'... Love of home was synonymous with love of the Prince Edward Island countryside, an attachment that shaped all her fiction" (Squire 1992, 139). Imagination of the past and a collective memory infuse her expression and intense identification with Prince Edward Island. A s Squire notes, this was in part a personal strategy, for "writing enabled her to escape from domestic concerns into a world of imagined childhood memories" (Squire 1996, 122). The resulting fictional geography 142 speaks to small-scale, intimate rural communities, and offers a commentary on the historical transformation of the rural landscape. Although written during a period of time when new modes of transportation and communication were powerfully altering the prevailing sense of time and space (Kern 1983), Montgomery's fictions were set in limited locales with local horizons. While various modernisms were being expressed in art, literature, and philosophy, her work conveys a strong sense of tradition and romance, placing a high value upon and authenticating the "rural order which persisted across Prince Edward Island from the late 1800s until its rapid dissolution in the middle decades of the twentieth century....It was a traditional folk society, with an inherited integrity and character, and it provided in its own way for the needs of its inhabitants" (Weale 1986, 3). Montgomery's evocations of home must be seen in terms of broader influences and wider sensibilities. Montgomery's engagement with landscape and with change synthesises a number of values and attitudes associated with Romantic movements that had taken form in Europe, England, and North America. B y the twentieth century, the movements had largely ended, but the impact of Romanticism as a cultural epoch, an ideology, as well as a literary and aesthetic movement, was in each case shattering and extensive. Romanticism's most powerful contribution was a legacy of a way of seeing or mode of perception, as well as a set of values and sensibilities, fundamentally transforming prevailing attitudes to the natural landscape. Romanticism has provided an economy of meaning - a framework for the rhetorical organisation of landscapes and lifestyles. Influenced by the cult of the picturesque, it has affected artistic expression and landscape attitudes into the 20 t h century. Romantic ideology favoured a distanced, objectifying gaze that characterises the aesthetic eye. This aesthetic gaze did not "scan" objects in the landscape cursorily but 143 stopped to mythologise them, attributing to them a particular aura of the genuine, of value and authenticity. In this way, the Romantic way of seeing emphasised the aesthetic qualities of landscape, where landscape and place are clearly not simply "location," but repositories of meanings, experiences, attitudes and values. Romanticism thus indicates an enthusiasm for the "picturesque," its precursor, and the consciously visual, giving form to a particular aesthetics of landscape. The cult of the picturesque, which flourished in the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth, involved an appreciation of landscape based on a search for subjects that exemplified beauty and the aesthetically pleasing, locating the spiritual in nature. The pastoral, romantic lens was increasingly assimilated to seek out the primitive, rural, and innocent, and would eliminate elements that did not fit or transform them to the aesthetic gaze. Squire notes a kind of blindness "among romantics when confronted with the effects of industrial development and expansion. Seemingly oblivious to the factories, copper mines, and slate quarries that dotted the rural landscape, these seekers of majestic solitude saw, and later wrote about, a mythical Wales that had no existence beyond the bounds of their imagination" (Squire 1988, 245). Nevertheless, their work had an important impact on the landscape. The enchantment of space lent it to consumption. In the case of writers in the romantic tradition, they often defined themselves in relation to particular regions and played an integral role in making and creating "place" shaping a new form of nature tourism, illustrated most convincingly in the attraction of tourists to areas associated with the picturesque before 1800 (Andrews 1990) and Wordsworth's stimulation of tourism in the Lake District of England (Squire 1988). Literary and artistic landscapes appealed to these visitors, generally members of cultural and intellectual elites, who shared the same sensibilities as the artists. 144 The precedents of the cult of the picturesque and 19 t h century Romantics are significant here. Montgomery's writing lends itself to the same dynamic. Despite the critique of change embodied in her writing, the commentary on turn-of-the-century modernity articulated in her landscapes was nevertheless bound to economic commodification through tourism circuits. Montgomery's representations had a powerful transforming impact on Island tourism. Written in the early 1900s, her evocation of "home place" suited the needs of early promoters. In response to outmigration in the late 19 t h and early 20 t h century, "O ld Home Week" had been created, setting a precedent for actively luring back migrants and attracting tourists. In 1905, the provincial government began to support the PEI Development and Tourism Association. Over the next three decades, the Island began self-promotion. 9 With the publication of Montgomery's first novel Anne of Green Gables in 1908, tourists to Cavendish were drawn to the fictional world of Avonlea. B y the 1930s, residents were renting rooms to tourists. The desires of outsiders to experience the locale of Anne began to deposit layers of meaning on community life of the area. B y the 1920s, the promotion of Anne had begun. Sentiments expressed in Montgomery's literature have resonated with visitors and over the twentieth century have created tourist interest in the area. When the area was selected as a National Park site in 1936, the decision was tied more closely to tourism than to environmental protection, two forces that have been in tension ever since (MacEachern 1991). The park covered 12.24 square kilometres of shorefront property and encompassed the Cavendish sand dune system and 800 acres of farmland, including Green Gables which was one of the first areas identified for development (Home 1979). The house that had inspired Montgomery's fictional construction of Anne's home was owned by the Webb family. 145 Unlike some of their neighbours, they accepted expropriation and worked on the site and lived in part of the house for a nominal rent (Tye 1994). The house was altered in order to match the fictional house visually, and to be Green Gables imaginatively. B y the 1970s, Parks Canada reviewed its interpretation of the Green Gables site and began to disentangle fact from fantasy. In 1983, they began to concentrate on reflecting an interpretation of the literary aspects of the book while site development concentrated on providing context for the fictional work, interpreting the cultural and human history of Cavendish in the late 1800s (MacKinnon 1983, 6). In the area of Cavendish, Montgomery's literary landscapes come to concrete expression through Parks Canada interpretation and through local private business. In the 1995 season 73% of all pleasure travellers who came to Prince Edward Island visited the Cavendish tourism region (Enterprise PEI 1995, 26). N o longer a farming and fishing community indistinguishable from its neighbours: Cavendish is one of Canada's best known summer resorts. Believing that tourism has the power to bulldoze local culture, we may be tempted to assume that as an essential stop for visitors to Prince Edward Island, Cavendish now exists only as a place constructed for tourists. Certainly the community changed as outside developers capitalized on its marketing potential. Not only were farming and fishing eclipsed, but governmental agencies and entrepreneurs replaced early locally controlled tourist operations - ice cream stands and guest homes operated by farm women as an extension of their domestic role - with 'attractions' - amusement parks, museums, and commercial outlets - to create an external veneered representation. (Tye 1994, 122). Today this takes form as the hyper-commercialism of Montgomery's fiction, the basis for a provincial tourism region called "Anne's Land," businesses such as the Anne Shirley Motel , Mani la ' s Pizza, Anne's Tea Party, and Green Gables convenience stores which cover the Island. A t the core of tourism efforts is the central north shore 146 landscape. Here, there is strong support for the Tourism 2000 plan established in 1988 - a twelve year strategic tourism plan, suggesting five tourism development strategies, including an annual 3% increase in visitor numbers, with an emphasis on developing more natural and heritage-based attractions (Peach 1995). Part of the narrative of region and nation, Montgomery's romantic invented landscapes are reinforced by television shows based on other Montgomery books, such as Road to Avonlea and Emily of New Moon, which have generated national and international attention for Prince Edward Island. The most recent television adaptation of Montgomery's work, Emily of New Moon, based loosely upon Montgomery's Emily of New Moon [(1925)1973], Emily Climbs, [(1924)1973] and Emily's Quest [(1927) 1973], has now produced its own tourist landscape. Unlike the fi lm based on the book and earlier television programmes, the programme was filmed on Prince Edward Island, and currently tours enable visitors to view sets such as the house where the character of Emily resides and the "Disappointed House." In 1999, the fictional town of Avonlea was brought to reality (and fantasy) on a 50 acre site. Financed by the Linkletter Group, the tourist attraction offers Island arts and crafts, performance, and a variety of recreated 19 t h century buildings and features the schoolhouse where Montgomery pursued one of her first teaching assignments. The transformation of cultural forms has an international dimension, as Anne's popularity with young women in Japan has forged new landscapes and images. Due to the popularity of the Anne mythology in Japan and beyond, a large part of international promotion is Anne of Green Gables-related. The novel is part of the Japanese school curriculum and for many Japanese, the character is synonymous with the place of Prince Edward Island (Squire 1992). Anne is featured in comic books aimed at young women 147 and presented in Japanese theme parks, while literary tours to Prince Edward Island are planned by the company holding the Japanese rights to the novels (Squire 1996). In "Canadian Land", a jumbled collection of stereotyped sites has been assembled to represent Canada, where young Canadian women play the roles of Anne and Diana: In the international market, the Anne theme has special appeal for young Japanese women. Montgomery's evocative landscape descriptions, no less than her independent, though family-oriented, heroine, have attracted a cult following... In both the international and domestic markets...tourism works on the Anne dream, creating an industry out of literary heritage and giving what were once purely literary experiences tangible form. (Squire 1992, 144) Literary heritage is appropriated from its original context and acquires new cultural meaning. This is not simply heritage as spectacle, however. Cultural expression plays a deeper role, shaping landscape meaning, perception and experience. Over time and over space, varying images shape the regional imaginary of Prince Edward Island, from within and without: Subsequently, the literary landscape has been transformed - through television dramatizations, tourist brochures, and today, through the growing phenomenon of mass tourism. Just as Montgomery found literary inspiration in the "real" landscapes with which she was familiar, her imagined world has today been appropriated for other purposes, thereby shaping new cultural patterns. (Squire 1992, 137) The effect of this circulation of meaning has been the accelerated gentrification of the countryside, its cultural capital drawing not only tourists but new resident groups. "Over time the bucolic beauty, accessibility and relatively cheap land prices made Prince Edward Island attractive to absentee owners once again. Tourism promotion, in particular, brought many to the Island and, as one commentator noted at the time, 'the Department of Tourism has unwittingly become a successful real estate agent'" (Michael 148 1974, 3). Whether to "Come play on our Island," the Prince Edward Island tourism slogan, or to "Come stay on our Island," the values and meaning associated with the landscape have been central to its attraction as "home". Understanding the complexity of the construction must incorporate a sense of the range of users - tourists, local workers, cultural producers, as well as residents, who seek individual meanings in landscape and in relation to the work of Lucy Maud Montgomery, though to various degrees. "In independent searches for authenticity," suggests Tye, "al l constituencies, relying on images originally created by Lucy Maud Montgomery, shape the community. They frame, inscribe, and transform it into a site where the author herself is ultimately reproduced and reinterpreted" (Tye 1994, 123). Tye's point bears further consideration. If cultural practices undergo transformation, so must their authors. Lucy Maud Montgomery and her characters have come to be identified, sometimes equated, with Prince Edward Island. Her poetic and prose evocations of the Island are perhaps less directly "about" the Island than we might assume, and must be considered in terms of their connections beyond the Island. A s Squire notes, "the tourist industry was not solely derived from popular interest in the writer and her work. Rather, both production and consumption of the tourist setting were integrated into over-arching social and cultural value systems where questions of heritage preservation, authenticity and values for country life played a pivotal role" (Squire 1994, 10). To relate her simply to the Island is to succumb to insularity. Montgomery was not alone, except in respect to her Island location. Her attention to limited settings, bucolic landscapes, and the natural was shared by other cultural practitioners of the period, such as poet Charles G .D . Roberts, Stephen Leacock, and Andrew Macphail . A s 149 Kristiansen notes, "this theme is not confined to Maritime novelists; it was a preoccupation of many 19 t h- and early-20 t h century social theorists. Ferdinand Tonnies' ideal types, gemeinschaft and gesellschaft (literally, community and society), provided a paradigm for examining differences between small pre-modern societies and modern urban-dominated ones" (1994, 227). There was a profound dis-ease in turn of the century Canada, as well as in the United States, where Lears (1981) has observed an antimodernism in cultural practice manifested as a retreat to the exotic, the pursuit o f intense physical or spiritual experiences, and the search for cultural self-sufficiency through the Arts and Crafts movement. Lears argues that this antimodern impulse was pervasive and could not be dismissed as "simple escapism," but reveals some enduring and recurring tensions between tradition and change. This wider recoiling from modernisation that was taking place as time and space collapsed meant that there was a ready readership for her work, in urban centres such as Montreal and Toronto, as well as Boston and N e w York. The Island was a perfect foil , and wil l ing creative resource. In her novels, landscape is a fluid construct. Montgomery's expression is a form of cultural communication - conveying a certain vision of the Island as a landscape of integrity, authenticity, and value. Montgomery's writing is a form of social history. A s Bumsted argues, "While a charge of sentimentalization can easily be levied against her...[s]he was too accurate a social observer (and too Calvinist in background) to attempt to eliminate or even disguise the less favourable aspects of that society. A l l the warts are present in the novels - local gossip and backbiting, an abiding suspicion of outsiders, a narrow religious sectarianism - as well as the positive virtues of landscape, family, and community" (1982, 32). Montgomery depicts agrarian society in rural Canada as it faced early stages of modernisation and industrialisation. 150 Also represented are associated tensions between the local and global. Recording rural life and idyllic rural communities from which one often had move away in order to sustain oneself personally and economically, she creates a rich mythic dimension. Many of her characters reflect this ambivalence and the movement between the Island and "away" creates an image laden with symbolism. This was reflected in her own life as wel l : Her journals and letters are replete with references to this spiritual attachment to "home". In 1891, on a visit to her father in Saskatchewan, she write to a Cavendish friend: "I wish I were home this spring...Often in my dreams I see the dear old shore with its brown rock and pebbled coves and the blue waters of the sparkling g u l f (Montgomery to MacNei l l , 22 A p r i l 1891; Bolger 1974, 124). Love of home was synonymous with love of the Prince Edward Island countryside, an attachment that shaped all of her fiction. (Squire 1992, 139) From a perspective "away," a stronger sense of nostalgia is possible, fostering a potent sense of identity, community and home. ' " D o w n home,' 'the home place,'" notes Davies, "makes a veiled appearance in Maritime Provinces literature in 1907 with the local colour writing of L . M . Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables...'''' (Davies 1991, 193). In her writing, such an image of home embodies a wrestling with change and with loss of place. Deeply concerned with small, face-to-face, premodern communities, she responds to forces that would transform landscape, integrating them into an impersonal, modernised society. Expressed in fiction and art, the space of the Island becomes vested with meaning and has been transformed to other purposes. Today, as Squire notes, Montgomery's novels are being read in contexts different from those within which they were originally written; "tourist development in particular has seized upon the Montgomery heritage and reinterpreted it in various ways" (1992, 144). This expression, 151 therefore, shapes new experiences, reconstructing and conveying the Island as core of home, authenticity, and tradition. Cultural practice is one element of Jackson's "maps of meaning" through which sense of place is made (Jackson 1989). Lucy Maud Montgomery, however, is not the sole source of the structures of feeling that pervade the imagining of community. Multiple voices have shaped the Island as a cultural space, intervening in the dialogue of the transformation of the landscape in represented spaces. Various artists have used the past and place to inform the present, giving meaning to events and sites. The result is a sense of the ongoing formation of place, for as Munn writes, "the relations between events are developed in the practice of everyday life through infusing the experience of a given event with pasts (or possible pasts) and futures" (Munn 1990, 13). Her images represent one voice, one influence, in the shaping of this place as a politicised cultural and political construct. O f interest are the contests and tensions between different actors and values. Importantly, the relationship of Montgomery's work to place and the past does indicate the need to look beyond spectacularisation and to be attuned to the complexity of representation. In the cases which follow I w i l l look at further representations of Islandness for their potential for critique and response. Selected on the basis of their interweaving of home and away, tradition and modernity, a thematic thread centred upon an antimodern critique can be developed through the art practices. Each is an important source of perception: " A complex understanding of the capitalist transformation of the Maritime countryside requires an exploration of the ways this epochal event was represented and reimagined, sometimes confusedly and sometimes brilliantly, by those who told the region's story in fictional form" (Kristiansen 1992, 256). The distinct space of the Maritimes has been constructed to eschew industrial 152 modernisation, and favour the romantic and pastoral. A s we shall see in the three cases that follow, there has been a range of engagements with Islandness, including further themes of artistic preservation as well as countervailing messages of intervention and reconstruction. 153 Chapter V Narrative Landscapes: Images of myth and memory The folk culture-popular culture continuum: the art of Alfred Morrison There would be further applications beyond Montgomery of this profoundly romantic, antimodern discourse in Prince Edward Island. This chapter examines the work of Alfred Morrison, an artist associated with the "folk art" tradition. While his images emphasise tradition and "home place," I argue they also entail a critique of rural transformation. Relating his motives and experience as they are expressed in material forms to his visual images, a response to the restructuring of the Island economy and landscape over the twentieth century becomes visible. Emphasising the traditional Island landscape and rural past, his work offers a cultural memory and highlights a critical element of art that is often assumed to be unquestioning, commercial, and romantic. "Tradition" itself, however, is not immutable and frozen, and I w i l l examine his work in relation to the particular invention of the place and memory that takes place through it. The work of Alfred Morrison (1909-) offers a perception of historical transformation, establishing a narrative sense of place for the Island and mythic elements within a system of interconnected spaces. A t the core of his work is a collection of 81 paintings that depict the place and history of Prince Edward Island; the stories within these cultural forms are entwined with personal memory. Morrison's work, created between 1961 and 1986, addressed historical changes and ruptures across the twentieth century (see appendix). His expression is rooted in Island experience, giving shape to 154 traditional rural landscapes and "home place." He brings to life in his images and words a sense of community and kinship relations, expressing the decline of small scale agriculture and subsistence production. Like Montgomery, his artistic practice is, above all, informed by a blend of respect for tradition and a fervent pride of place. Perspective shifts, proportions vary, and the past takes on mythical shape through bright colour composition and attention to detail. Morrison's work parallels the style and backgrounds expressed by a great majority of artists associated with the folk tradition. Often, "none have formal training, all have worked with their hands in a primarily rural setting, and each came to express his creativity late in life" (Blanchette et al 1983, 207). A n approach that is very spiritual, common to artists in the folk tradition, is tangible in his work. A s well , Morrison painted when inspired, using oil paints to obtain the colours of the environment around him as he saw them, on a wide range of accessible materials, from canvas board to cardboard packaging and calendar backs. His paintings were not created for the marketplace; rather they were most often given as gifts to family members, and today his collection of original paintings remains in the possession of the artist and his children. Conventional ideas of folk-made objects, however, have been radically challenged in recent years, most notably from the awareness that folk art does not exist separately from increasingly blurred categories of traditional and contemporary practices, local and global spaces, and folk and popular cultures. A s a result, there has been a great acceptance that conventional definitions of folk art as naive, primitive, rural-based, or limited to a certain historical period are inadequate. Morrison's paintings certainly fall within the "folk art" tradition, in the sense of "art of the people." A s the artist acknowledges, "I suppose my own painting would be categorized as folk art— 155 illustrations of everyday life, and happenings, and events." 1 0 In this sense, folk-based expression may be linked to popular culture - a popular culture derived not from mass or commercialised culture, but entrenched in the "local" and attributed a critical social dimension. It comprises " in particular, the articulation of popular sentiment and social identity within limited context (region, community, class, for example), through the expressive, symbolic, and popular processes of culture" (Laba 1988, 82-83). Laba has suggested although there is a folk culture-popular culture continuum whose contents exhibit conservative and dynamic qualities, "the proclivities or biases of the media of artistic communications have sometimes led to oversimplified associations of folklore with conservatism..." (Laba 1986, 1). Both, however, function as expressive forms by which shared culture is created, modified, and transformed within the social sphere; their connection lies in the impulse to, and ways in which meaning is made, "as means by which individuals and groups ritualize, organize and make sense of those forms of their day-to-day experience" (Laba 1986, 17). It is therefore necessary to look beyond the folk art designation and a perspective that focuses on the art's literal content, to what the art does—the significance of imagining the past and place in this way. Corner has noted with respect to maps and art that there is a tendency to view them in terms of what they represent rather than what they do. Both considerations of maps and of drawings and paintings overlook the experiences and effects of such representation (Corner 1999, 116). The layered images and themes within the stories Morrison told over forty years go beyond unquestioning, idealizations of the premodern. There is cultural symbolism communicated in the complex of meaning, communicating the value of home as not static, but reinterpreted and restated. It serves as an example o f expression emerging from limited locales, communities, and regions 156 offering stories through which identity and self are defined. In his discussion of the work of N e w Brunswick Acadian artist Y v o n Gallant, Graff suggests "it is not simply the remembrance of things past that enables a culture to survive; it is the ability to go on telling stories; that is, not simply telling the same story over and over again...but creating something new through reinterpretation based on present and felt experience" (Graff 1995, 63). Morrison's work challenges traditional conceptions of folk art with its depth of critique. While this art may be "intuitive," "spontaneous," and "colourful," here it also entails a conscious and deliberate response to a perception of loss or of changing circumstances. Embodying within it a nationalist "Island" consciousness as well as an identity of resistance, Morrison's art acts as a performance of identity. 1 1 Such a notion of nationalistic identity can be traced back ultimately to Rousseau, and to romantic ideologies in the 19 t h century. There is a longstanding historical association of popular cultural expression and nationalistic ideology (see, for example, Anderson 1983, Deane 1985, Thompson 1963). Burke has argued that such kinds of popular culture have been important in the construction and reconstruction of popular identities at various levels: "identities are multiple and fluid or 'negotiable' and...the same individual or group may privilege one identity over another according to the situation and the moment" (Burke 1992, 305). Morrison's images call upon history and memory to critique the present and hint at possible alternatives for the future. To the powerful element of critique associated with artistic communities, particularly of mechanistic and instrumental development, in Morrison's objections are also the traditional and religious values often associated with folk artists. 157 His focus is the transforming landscape of the twentieth century, which he views from experiences both on the Island and away. Morrison was born in Boston in 1909. His parents had moved from Prince Edward Island in 1906, joining a common migration to the N e w England states. They left the Prince Edward Island Morrison family homestead that had been established in 1773 in Darnley. The artist would visit the Island often as a child, and would return to settle on the Island in 1929. A strong sense of his family and roots came from his childhood visits and his memoir describes the first of these travels to the Island as a clearly powerful sensory experience: M y sense of smell really jolted me into a state of conscious curiosity. The smell of burning wood, of a wide variety of cooking like baked foods, smoked meats, cheese, and vinegar, or pickled something or other, in the kitchen. Then it was off to bed. Once again my sense of smell was brought into play in the upstairs bedroom, a wooly smell, bed clothes I guessed. It was all very homey and filled me with a sense of security and anticipation about what tomorrow would bring. It brought utter happiness as did all the days that followed. I slept like a baby. M y new life seemed to be motivated by my sense of smell, first by the inside of the house and then outside as I toured the farm. The odors filled Morrison "with a sense of security" and "brought utter happiness". "In the past as in the present, a beloved odor is the center of an intimacy," Bachelard has written, "a whole vanished universe is preserved by an odor" (Bachelard 1969, 136, 139). The Island and what it offered as a homeplace would become a strong undercurrent in his imagination. Like Montgomery's work, the cultural forms Morrison produced are suffused with these childhood memories. The Island became an archetype of simple happiness and innocence, reflected in both his images and words. Prince Edward Island was established as a space of difference and integrity. Throughout, he references his life against this experience of encountering family and his ancestral past Prince 158 Edward Island itself becomes a character in his mind and work, representing home, tradition, comfort, and moral strength. Ultimately, being born away from the Island and as one who must recover "homeland" and heritage in all likelihood intensified Morrison's interest in defining home and his attachment to the Island. Because he was not a product of rural life himself, it gave him the distance and critical eye that allowed a perception of difference and value, and to find in "home place" what Davies has called "a heightened realization of s e l f (Davies 1991, 191). Creating a collective popular history is a clear purpose in his art, with its records and stories of historical events and changes, recalled and imagined. This perspective is paralleled by volumes of carefully typed and handwritten pages that record family, local, Island, and world histories and articulate his commitment to making the past relevant to the present. Morrison's philosophical approach and his sense of the larger questions of the purpose of history and historical research are balanced with practices that are quite organic and practical. Within his production was that which was genealogical and inventory-like in nature. The communication of his world view has taken various forms: as well as paintings, he has produced numerous essays, a memoir, letters, community and church histories and notes. Apart from the histories he produced for communities and churches which were published locally, the majority of these are untitled and undated and have been collected by his son Alfred Morrison, Jr.. His history is traditional, one seen as a structured whole, and based on verities of God, nation, community, and family, and certainties of roles and responsibilities. There is almost a didactic commitment to moral guidance and education in his stories. "Youth needs a clear and concise mind picture to 159 pursue at all times," as he puts it, "a picture which makes sense to them and from which the mist of obscurity or blindness has been removed." The images present a trajectory of modernity. His interest is in showing place through time, offering maps of a sort, and a visual landscape history. His images, as a result, are not just records, but are painted with a geographer's eye towards showing patterns in relationships of people and place. Drawing upon his memory and experience, Morrison has recorded the changing social, economic, and political landscape of the localised space of Prince Edward Island, offering a narrative of transformation. His work provides an important lens into how change was perceived, how perception of transformation can be shaped. The images are a reminder that landscape is not simply reflected but is discovered and constituted through such imaginative geographies: " A s a creative practice, mapping precipitates its most productive effects through a finding that is also a founding... in uncovering realities previously unseen or unimagined, even across seemingly exhausted grounds" (Corner 1999, 213). Alfred Morrison's preoccupation with time and its lessons entails a form of thinking about space: in his images, in his effort to show places, details, relationships of landscape elements, his paintings often have a map-like quality to them. Landscape painting blurs with cartography. A t the core of geography is attention to the relationship between the landscape and the activities of the people who have left their impression on its surface, attention he clearly exhibits: 160 Prince Edward Island Art interests me intensely because of its related influences in the need to research family heritage; to seek out knowledge of people who put certain things in certain places which appear in the painted pictures: religion, history, geography, geology, agriculture, things of the sea, and a host of other curiosities which literally take one by the nose and lead one on to know everything... ("Art notes" n.d.) He undertakes the task of a geographer and mapmaker to convey the lay of the land, and the processes that have given rise to it. The effect is to "tread the boundaries" of Prince Edward Island, defining its territory. Across the eighty paintings in the collection, he ultimately presents a landscape history and an inventory of moments and sites in personal and collective memory. The result is the accumulation of a storied map sustained in narrative and memory, which establishes the Island as a physical and social space. His intent is to promote understanding of the past, and a sense of its indispensable use. In his memoir, titled "What I have done with my life," he writes: M y aim: to make an honest contribution toward the preservation of the Island's past both from what I know, and from what I learn; also to treat the present as it is in reality and to the best of my ability. The young cannot appreciate nor respect their homeland unless they know something about it. ...From knowledge of the past we can best learn how to deal with the present, and within limits, the future. ("What I have done with my life", ca. 1986) His conviction in his own act and the deliberateness of his intent are clear, evoking not only history and the shape of landscape, but the value o f that past and place. He has an ability simultaneously to communicate the story to others and convey its subject as being of value, trying, as he has said, to find a "fitting way to best impress upon their minds the fact that they are much privileged in being allowed to be a part of it a l l . " Morrison's act of recording points to the significance of landscape and the authenticity of Island 161 experiences, of honour and pride of place. These are narrative landscapes, structuring a way of knowing and seeing this place. Morrison's art is intent on recording Prince Edward Island, with its consistent themes and expression of the distinctive cultural identity and cultural memory of the Island. Like Montgomery, underlying the work is a sense of intensely experienced community and place. Two distinctive, though related, bodies of work can be distinguished. Over half of his paintings record historical events in the Island's past, showing changing settlement patterns, historical practices and settings. There are also those that exemplify a more consciously critical response to modernisation. The period of the early twentieth century was of particular interest to him, based on his memories as a child and youth of the altering landscape of the early twentieth century. Changes to the postwar agricultural landscape and the 1969 Comprehensive Development Plan would also shape his critique. His final painting was created in 1994, and among his later paintings he continues to address changing contemporary Island landscapes. Morrison locates the value and integrity of the Island in a traditional, self-sufficient, small-scale landscape, which forms the foundation for his approach. He is conscious in his own work of trying to promote and facilitate the survival of elements of a traditional Island landscape and "way of life." Simultaneously Morrison's body of work was created out of a questioning of the decisions, processes, and practices that have resulted in the contemporary landscape. A s a result, Morrison's art is situated as an important element of the ongoing narrative of Canadian places and histories, a lens into broader responses to modernisation and industrialisation. Even as industries, urban development, mechanization, and technology changed the social landscape, cultural expression shaped the perception, expectations, and experience of this change. His work 162 makes real a particular experience and perception of Prince Edward Island, and of the transformation of rural landscapes more generally. His approach to the modernising Island landscape embodied a critique. Out of his intense sense of roots and responsibility, Morrison became concerned about the changing landscape and exodus of young people from the Island, and wanted to encourage a sense of belonging and identification. He set out to write an Island history book suitable for use in grades 5 and 6, but the Provincial government commissioned someone else to write the text before he could complete it. A s a result, he began a "one-man attempt" to record this history in images, inspired by historical and Bibl ical images that had impressed him as a child. He recognized the power to convey narrative in image and symbol, constructing history and landscape. He began to create images of incidents in Island history and representations of an Island way of life: A s time moved along I became disturbed that such a great volume of words had been printed, but there was a marked absence of pictures. I feared that children would become bored while plowing through these wordy pages. I then decided to paint pictures of Island History. I made it known to the family that I desired a kit of paints. M y Art had grown rusty from lack of practising it, but with a little experimenting I might come up with some commendable pictures. M y thoughts centered on the Bible. The artists who painted those pictures in the Bible were not around when the incidents and events took place. They read the words and let the picture form in their minds, then projected the picture onto the canvas. They are actually mind pictures. I shall do likewise with Island History providing I can make my hands work. ("What I have done with my life," ca. 1986) His sense of attachment to the traditional rural landscape and farming lifestyle was based in terms of the continuity and security it represented; it was to be a place to which future generations could return. He observed the loss of family farms and was 163 forced to leave his own homestead in 1961 due to his physical condition. Leaving the farm was a difficult decision, not simply because of the roots the family had established in the area, but also because the broader meaning it had. Based on his own experience of coming home to the Island and all that the Island had provided, it was. as much about losing that security, and disrupting a thread of continuity. This experience reinforced his perception of deterioration of the Island's traditional ways and strengthened his commitment to wrestling with the "vertical integration" that was changing the Island landscape, prompting the separation of agriculture from the family farm and the changing social and economic world that entailed. His tool in this struggle would be his painting. Landscapes of memory In Morrison's work a certain representation of the landscape can be seen, one constructed from recollection. Morrison has called his paintings "memory art." Personal experience and memory infuse many of his historical images, serving as a form of visual memoir. Pleasant Grove Tunnel (undated), for example, recalls the effect of the trees he noted upon his return to his parents' new home in Pleasant Grove, Prince Edward Island, in 1929. On the back of the painting he writes: In 1929, I was "homeward bound." This was my first arrival to Pleasant Grove from Syracuse, N e w York, by way of Boston; and to the home I had never seen. The trees arched across the road forming a pretty tunnel in front of our home: Morrison's Birches on one side, Hooper's Beeches on the other. Time, fall. Uncle Leo and me in the buggy. " Y e l l a B i rch" trees grew on Doyle's farm. 164 Fig. 5.1 Pleasant Grove Tunnel undated, oil on canvas panel, 3 5 . 5 x 5 4 . 7 cm. Collection of Mary Morrison. Memory is a significant influence in his work (Fig. 5.1). As we have come to realise from recent literature, there can be no "clear" memory - it is thoroughly social and cultural. In memory, the past takes on a narrative genre in both image and word, where facts are lost quickly and the past is, to a large extent, interpreted: "To be remembered and transmitted at all, the facts must be transformed into images, arranged in stories" (Fentress and Wickham 1992, 73). Memory and imagination blend in giving back images and stories which pertain to our lives. Where original meaning has disintegrated, the past persists in the artistic act o f reinvention and reconstruction. A s Bachelard writes, ...imagination and memory appear in an indissoluble complex. If they are attached to perception, they are being badly analyzed. The remembered past is not simply a past of perception. Since one is remembering, the past is already being designated in a reverie as an image value. From their very origin, the imagination colors the paintings it w i l l want to see again. For facts to go as far as the archives of the memory, values must be rediscovered beyond the facts. (1969, 105) 165 Throughout, his own archaeological impulse to delve into his own past paralleled his historical and artistic endeavors to recover and convey elements of the traditional identity of Island. Morrison continued to write and paint into the late 1980s, reinforcing a body of work that reflects the development of a philosophy of history, education, and art practice. Correspondence, genealogical records, community histories, historical descriptions, letters, essays—all offer the interpretation of experience and memory. His images and words show a keen attention to the difference time makes. This infuses his archival impulse, his interest in compiling records and chronologies, in communicating traces of the past, and in bringing them to bear on the present. In his carefully researched painted reconstructions of Prince Edward Island's past, Morrison weaves personal experience into public memory, conveying the meaning of events and sites for the collective community. The written histories he produced range from the microcosm of his own life, his family, local Prince Edward Island communities, to Prince Edward Island more generally, and the world, prehistoric to modern. A t the centre of this activity, there was a committed purpose, clearly articulated. A s he writes, The key to studying history is to read about the events recorded by the author then try to apply them to the present. One does not always know when one is passing through a period of history but one can discover this by studying the history literally and with a definite motive in mind for applying what one analyzes from reading it. ("Notes" n.d.) In Morrison's work, history has a certain substance, one made up of generations, and one that emphasizes continuity and successive communication from one to the next. Maintaining this thread of relationships is important to him and has shaped his sense of responsibility. Responding to a perceived general disregard for history within contemporary society, for Morrison it was teaching younger generations about the value 166 of the landscape and history of the Island that inspired his work. A s Davis has written, " in large part it is because human consciousness can forge 'generations' from the raw materials of history that the generations come to speak to each other, as it were, each reminding the other of 'precious things' about to be lost or forgotten" (Davis 1979, 115). He seems intent on passing the memory of events and their consequences on to succeeding generations. Underlying his work, history is seen not as a series of discrete events, but rather as the interrelationships over time of individuals and groups. For Morrison, history does not exist apart from lived experience; it is each person's story, every "small history." He explores his own evolving relationship with Prince Edward Island in an autobiographical essay, "What I have done with my life," (ca. 1986) which provides his own life story. Written at the age of 76 and revised over the next 10 years, he offers a narrative of his past: he traces his childhood, the journeys that brought him home, first as a child, then as an adult, and what his life on the Island and away has consisted of. Morrison's intent was to record historical detail, but also to show "what I have done with my life." The self-conscious reflection on the shape of his l i fe— the choices involved in its plot, the substance of his history—is a recurring theme in both his art and writing. " M y autobiography is compiled as a source of information," Morrison writes, "to show the many different directions a life can take, and to illustrate some reactionary measures that can be taken in different circumstances" (ca. 1986). His sense of the accessibility of history and opportunity to intervene and play a role in it laid the ground for what he has called his "campaign." He began a "one-man attempt" to invent a visual Island culture and history—making a body of memory available to give others a shared sense of cultural and historical identity. "From knowledge of the past we can best learn how to deal with the present, and, with limits, the 167 future," he said. "I have commenced with scenes associated with family history first, then formal history, and some miscellaneous scenes depicting Island beauty" ("Notes" n.d.). Paintings in the collection including, amongst others, Birth of the Island (1967), Discovery (1964), Catastrophe (1971), The Lottery (1980), The Fare-well Whistle (1989), DeRoma Settlement - Brudenell, P.E.I. (1982), Proclamation of Confederation (1979), Sunday Outing (undated), Making Island Roads 1920 (1975), establish historical moments and practices in the narrative of Prince Edward Island. In this regard, the work enters the range of cultural practices dispersed across the heritage landscape. Morrison's art and its evocation of a collective memory parallels the invention of tradition associated with representations of past and of place. His paintings of his personal past and the Island's history are as selective and as subjective as all historical fabrications. Autobiography and heritage intersect strikingly on this point. The act of writing a memoir—sifting through memory and emotion to tell a story—reflects a certain attitude: " A l l of us live with a life history in our mind, and very few of us subject it to critical analysis. But we are storytelling creatures," notes writer J i l l Ker Conway (1998, 55). Representations of the past are inherently fictional, invented traditions. A s recent commentary on memory and history has made abundantly clear, heritage is inevitably selective: "it is futile to vilify heritage as biased. Prejudiced pride in the past is not worth the sorry upshot of heritage but its essential aim. Heritage attests our identity and affirms our worth" (Lowenthal 1995, 2). Reshaping the past in his paintings and writings creates a palpable reservoir of cultural images and symbols from which Prince Edward Island's story may be built, for "social memory is not stable as information; it is stable, rather, at the level of shared meanings and remembered images." (Fentress and Wickham 1992, 57). His histories 168 compile an iconography of landscape history, establishing a memory that is external. Memory, as Maurice Halbwachs (1980) argues, is socially constructed, and its base is much more in the present than in the past. Morrison's landscapes offer a narrative, bridging memory, myth, and history that deal with personal and collective experiences and interpretations of past events. In his art, the past does not survive, of course, with nuances intact. Memory inevitably involves interpretation and imagination, blurring historical fact. There is an emphasis on detail, but the images are thoroughly narrative landscapes, often accompanied by notes describing the scene depicted. Scotchfort 1772 (1968), for example, is intended to be symbolic of the overall pioneer program, during the early period of Island settlement. "The arrival at Scotchfort o f the settlers sent out by Captain John MacDonald from Scotland in 1772 has been written by most Island historians," writes Morrison. "Although there were other important pioneer migrations to the Island about this time, this one provided the best description for a painting." A detail is added: "There has just been a spring rain shower, hence the rainbow." Captain Holland, Surveyor (1981) shows Samuel Holland, the individual responsible for mapping the Island landscape, "readying for some surveying, with his wife watching in the background. She's holding their baby, the first born under British rule in the Island." This storied approach is evident in his writing as well . In his description of the arrival of his ancestor, Ronald Roderick Morrison, for example, he writes: N o w with high hopes and a fair wind Ronald launched his boat. After putting aboard the various utensils and appurtenances that he had acquired during the winter months, M r . and Mrs . Ronald Roderick Morrison set sail for Darnley. The sea was calm, their spirits lofty and bright as the world about them was clean and fresh in the spring awakening. This was their honeymoon. The many tasks to be performed and the hardships that lay ahead were of little consequence. Love knows no barriers. 169 ("Notes" n.d.) Morrison was quite conscious of his invention; his interest was in making an accessible, textured history. A s he notes, The reader w i l l observe the fact that, despite the difficulty in obtaining an adequate supply of authenticated logs or records, an honest but humble attempt has been made to portray an accurate chronology of the origin of the descendants of Ronald Roderick Morrison. In the performance of this task, some historical events have been injected for the purpose of showing the general state of l iving and how these events influenced and helped shape the destinies of the several generations. ("Notes" n.d.) Fig. 5.2 Pleasant Grove Farm 1962, oil on canvas panel, 40.3x50.5 cm. Collection of Mary Morrison, The "home place" and family are key themes that lie at the core of his historical project. Morrison placed a high value on the traditional Prince Edward Island landscape, 170 where family histories and names are connected deeply to the lay of the land established in the original survey of 1764 by Samuel Holland. The physical structure of home was the clearest concrete expression of this connection (Fig 5.2). This is where family history and landscape history fuse. J .B. Jackson has suggested the house is the most reliable indicator of essential identity: "House is much more than shelter. It implies a territory, a small sovereignty with its own laws and customs, its own history, its own jealously guarded boundaries. House stands for family, for dynasty" (1994, 189). Morrison identified powerfully with the Morrison homesteads established in Darnley, Lot 18, six generations previous, and later in Pleasant Grove, in Lot 34. In the painting Ancestral Homestead (1960), for example, Morrison records three homes: "The old Morrison place in Darnley is representative of most Island homesteads in the late 1700s and on into the 1900s. It is the ancestral home of Ronald Morrison, who is listed at this place in the first British census of 1798. The purpose of this picture is to illustrate the three successive types of housing which were typical of most Island family homes of this period." The range of painted renderings of dwellings, such as Country Estate of Ken Morrison and Family (1968), Morrison's at Darnley (undated), Pleasant Grove Farm (1962), Aerial View of Aunt Etta's (1969), Brennan's Cross (1961), and Wee Barra (1968), all markers of the intimate relationship between land and family, give evidence of where Morrison perceived authenticity in the landscape. This body is an important and telling core of his collection of work. A l l are filtered through personal experience and personal memory, indicating the house as a '"psychic state, and even when reproduced as it appears from the outside, it bespeaks intimacy" (Bachelard 1964, 72). The one interior of a house is also an image of the heart of the home: Grandma's Island Kitchen (1964) 171 represents the core of historical Island experience and identity—its traditional personal and social centre. The images also show Morrison's mapping impulse. His translation and organization of geographical reality into symbols is closer to direct resemblance, however, than conventional maps, displaying the perspective shared with "bird's-eye" and panoramic views. In the paintings' selective content, juxtapositions, and distortion of perspective, they approach memory maps or mental maps of experience and of sites associated with historical events and memories. The ordering of perceptual space from above is shared by many in the folk art tradition. So is the infusion of subjective and sensory detail, a challenge to both conventional representational painting and maps. He recovers detail in his paintings that is surrendered within a set of codes that are historically and culturally determined both in their nature and presentation. A s a result, the knowledge gained from his paintings is different from that offered by conventional maps, but also from that learned from just looking at the landscape. Morrison reintroduces the human and emotional response to the landscape. Prioritizing elements of imagination and intimacy, Morrison maps sites and landscape elements that are vestiges of tradition and culture, elements in retreat from modernization. Morrison's mappings that fuse real and imagined space, blending memory, myth and history, in effect allow new and different perception. Making the detail o f the landscapes visible is the goal. These are clearly narrative landscapes, whether manifest as the three stages of historical homes and footworn paths through the grass in Ancestral Homestead (1960), or the labels identifying the residents of homes and changing perspective in Morrison's at Darnley (undated) to the point that houses lie on their side so the front is visible (Fig. 5.3). A legend is offered on the back of the painting to identify 172 the home owners and order of origin. He is articulating different kinds of spaces and histories, enriching experience, knowledge, and understanding, and offering maps that, as Corner has suggested more generally: ...discover new worlds within past and present ones; they inaugurate new grounds upon the hidden traces of a living context. The capacity to reformulate what already exists is the important step. A n d what already exists is more than just the physical attributes of terrain (topography, rivers, roads, buildings) but includes also the various hidden forces that underlie the workings of a given place. These include natural processes, such as wind and sun; historical events and local stories... (Corner 1999,214) Fig. 5.3 Morrison's at Darnley undated, oil on canvas panel, 35.5 x 45.7 cm. Collection of Alfred Morrison. Moving beyond dwellings, he visually maps other locations, creating a vernacular landscape of sites within personal and collective memory. Paintings such as Corran Ban (1969), Corran Ban (White Sickle) (1968), Little Bethany (1968), Darnley Lighthouses (1972), The First Road (Covehead 1772) (undated), Tracadie Harbour 1930 (undated), 173 St. Martin's 1868 (1979), First St. Peter's Road (undated), Port La Joie 1723 (1970), Scotchfort 1772 (1968), and Tryon Woolen Mill (1977) visually chart locations in Prince Edward Island's historical geography. Each is recorded because of a particular significance and resonance they hold, for personal memory, culture, history, and memory. Paths and roads were also important elements of the developing Island landscape for Morrison, and a link with tradition. Worn paths between buildings and other sites, showing how people used and moved around the landscape, recur throughout the paintings, as in A Wilderness Farm 1832 (1977), Before the Church Came (1965), An Island Blacksmith Shop 1920 (1975), Pleasant Grove Farm (1962), and Ancestral Homestead (1960). The Island's red clay roads are a theme as well , leading to homesteads such as the one that brought him home in Pleasant Grove Tunnel (undated), or to Brennan's Cross (1961), and to the shore, as in Darnley Lighthouses (1972). In paintings such as Making Island Roads 1920 (1975), and The First Road (Covehead 1772) (1968), the road does not lead to place; it is the place—a space associated with historical events and experiences. Making Island Roads 1920 (1975) "illustrates the method by which Island roads were made and maintained during the early 1900s. The project provided great excitement for the young people, and often kept them late coming home from school. A horse would sometimes break loose from its harness and run away." Again, there is a personal relevance: "The operator of the road machine in this painting was my uncle Linus Brennan." A n emphasis on continuity of tradition in the landscape also seems clear in the various documents in which he studies the establishment of the Morrison family on Prince Edward Island and the movement of the lineage from Darnley to Pleasant Grove. 174 such as his essays, "Reading for the Occasion—Family Gathering" (1964) and "In the Niche of Time": From: a father of the sixth generation of Ronald Morrison To: the present and future generations of the same man It might be considered imprudent, for this the sixth generation of Ronald in Prince Edward Island to ignore the heraldic responsibility which rests with them to keep alive the virtuous qualities of the good name Morrison; responsibility, because this is the age of change, and in such an age many good names become obscure because the bearers fall victim to the forces of adversity, and rapid progressive trends caused by change. Prince Edward Island, and the world, is now caught in the grip of change. The task of adjusting to change fell to this generation of Morrison.... This record is meant to act as a "confidence booster" to the descendants of Ronald in this age of change; to provide you with the grassroots lineage of your background so as to bolster courage in whatever endeavours you aspire to; it is your Heritage! It is built on the hard-spent anxieties, sweat, toil , tears, and close observance of Religion and Law of the land by your ancestors as they pushed back the wilderness to make it better for you. Y o u must guard it in your time. It gives you a special right to make your voices heard in matters of Government as well as c iv i l and Church affairs in righteous indignation, but not arrogance. Bui ld upon their foundation! ("In the niche of time" n.d.) "The past is a foreign country," author Leslie Hartley has written, "They do things differently there" (1953). The past that becomes an imagined landscape and Morrison's "foreign country," is frequently the period of the 1920s and 1930s on Prince Edward Island. In the images, as in his memoir, he returns again and again to scenes and elements of his experience of that time, memories of his childhood visits and his return to the Island as a young man. Describing Tracadie Harbour 1930 (undated), he writes, "I saw this operation in 1930, but older fishermen told me that this was the way it was done during the 1800s and early 1900s. A l l the boats in Tracadie Harbour were powered by 175 gasoline engines except two, which still used sails. I was at Tracadie Harbour for two years, then went to Boston, Massachusetts, U . S . A . " (Fig. 5.4) Fig. 5.4 Tracadie Harbour 1930 undated, oil on canvas panel, 35.5x45.7 cm. Collection of Alfred Morrison. A series of paintings attempt to recover and make visible elements of Prince Edward Island tradition o f this era, such as An Island Blacksmith Shop 1920 (1975), An Island Cheese Factory1920 (1977) Darnley Lighthouses (1972), and A Barrack of Grain and a Wind-Powered Water Pump (1978). "Things of by-gone days on Prince Edward Island. 1920s and 1930s," he inscribes on the back of the latter painting, "During these days of change in Prince Edward Island, many objects once in everyday use on the farm are now rarely seen. Two such items are shown in this painting." In it, the visual presentation of the images are not realistic; the perspective is shaped to show elements, opened up so they can be seen clearly. An Island Blacksmith Shop 1920 (1975) captures another historical element. "The painting is intended to preserve another very old 176 institution in our Island heritage, the community blacksmith. Soon many w i l l have forgotten the interesting sights and activities which were presented in and about his busy shop." The recollection of the past is his primary impulse. Whereas conventional maps tend to "desocialise" the territory they represent, fostering a sense of space that is socially empty and static (Corner 1999, 214), Alfred Morrison, through his art, generates a living landscape and encourages an understanding of one's role in shaping it, in making it " ful l" . For as J .B. Jackson writes, "it is when we recognize the role we have played and continue to play whenever we plow a field, put in a garden...or build a road that we learn a greater awareness of our relationship to the...environment" (Jackson 1994, 196). Morrison's work offers a place that has acquired its shape and layers through generations of interaction between land and the people who have left their mark on its surface. His images are infused with this keen sense of observation as well as a compelling play of artistic imagination. The result are landscapes that are "recognisable fictions," performing as narratives and fables, telling Prince Edward Island. Throughout his work, Morrison is strikingly conscious of the power of expression. Images and words do things. They simultaneously invent truth and legitimate experience. They give presence and shape to landscape. They make things real. Perception and experience are moulded by the way places are expressed, in the way imagination is made concrete and tangible. A s systems of communication, Tuan has suggested, places can direct attention, organize insignificant entities into significant composite wholes, and in so doing, make things formerly overlooked - and hence invisible and non-existent -visible and real" (Tuan 1991, 684-5). One cannot miss the self-consciousness in Morrison's own work. There is an awareness that creative expression offers powerful raw 177 materials from which a sense of identity and authenticity of experience may be built. The artist has found material in and all around him, drawing upon his own memory, his family's history, as well as from Island landscape and history, giving it concrete shape in paintings and print. He has transformed his own experience, creating an imaginative geography of Prince Edward Island: Whatever else I do in the pursuit of Art, my fondest subject is that of making pictures of Prince Edward Island with the numerous picturesque settings of its towns and hamlets, and of its buildings which dot the countryside everywhere one looks; of its landscapes and seascapes, its gentle rolling countryside and red roads, its beautiful coastal scenery of sandy beaches and high red banks, its complete show of fertility in richly coloured growth in crops-meadows—and varying species of trees. One could make pictures here for a lifetime in one's own back yard; no need for fringe dressing—the simple reality of it all provides full beauty and colour. ("Art notes" n.d.) Ultimately, he offers images of place that may be used. Morrison's intent was that his images would be used to educate and in 1980 the publication of his images in the form of My Island Pictures was distributed to each school in Prince Edward Island and placed in Grade Six classrooms to supplement the study of Prince Edward Island history. In the recent exhibition of his work at the Confederation Centre Ar t Gallery & Museum, the Provincial Department of Education coordinated school tours. Over an eight month period, 54 groups of Island students saw the exhibition, comprising the largest audience for the work. The paintings have also introduced those from away to Morrison's construction of the Island's history. In 1981, in conjunction with the earlier exhibition of a portion of his work, a film, God's Island, was produced about the artist and his work by Doomsday Studios of Halifax and broadcast by the B B C . Individual works have also been featured in 178 several books about Prince Edward Island and review articles. The recent exhibition of his work at the Confederation Centre was pinpointed by institution's marketing programme as a key promotional opportunity in their aim to move beyond the musical production of Anne of Green Gables in encouraging tourism managers and operators to incorporate the institution in their packages and planning. The exhibition opened in conjunction with the national conference of the Canadian Museum Association in Charlottetown in May 2000, and several other national conferences held receptions in the gallery space. A s an outcome of the general publicity the images received during their showing from May to December 2000, a painting was requested to serve as the image on the menu for a banquet in association with the Royal Vis i t to Charlottetown in July 2000, which had an international attendance. Morrison's artistic representation is part of the creation of a collective memory of sites and events, adding to the inventory of icons, and the chain of metaphors and myths that he records in An Island Collage (undated): the Island Hymn, the provincial crest, a lady's slipper, a potato, a blue jay, a lobster, and an oak tree. Morrison's images of place are powerful. They have not simply emerged from Prince Edward Island, but the history they hold within them plays a role in the ongoing construction of its imaginative geography. These stories, it is clear, are not single tellings; they are about continually reinventing, retelling—and reminding. A s such, Morrison's images and the writings that support them provide a gateway into the certain version of history and construction of "tradition" that permeate this intervention. David Lowenthal writes, "The locus of memory lies more readily in place than in time...landscape seems the seat of collective memory, rooted as it is in specific sites and suffused with the quotidian and the communal. Landscapes have become one of the most popular aspects of our diverse 179 heritage. They are treasured ...as familiar loci of daily life, precious for the personal and tribal memories they contain"(1997, 180). A s they circulate in the social world, they become part of the communication of what is important to remember and therefore part of the wider contestation over place and Islandness. They convey a certain version of history, adding to the social construction of traditions and memories. A s imaginative texts, the paintings create rather than reflect the world of experience and are part of the struggle, as Said has argued, over the collective imagination (1993). Landscapes of modernity Morrison's dedication to communicating the Island's history and the importance of "home place" set the stage for his unhappiness with the transforming landscape. In changes associated with modernization, he saw an increasing sense of crisis of historical continuity. His paintings show his regret at changes in traditional ways of living, such as fishing and farming, and a critique of the results of modernization, such as the loss of family farms and rural communities and outmigration. His intent, however, was not record the changes taking place, but to make the past meaningful to the present and future, as in A Hard Challenge 1969 (undated) (Fig. 5.5): The time of this scene was the period of Island history from 1969 up to and after 1980. The theme of the picture is the attitude of the horse farmer. He is locked into a pensive mood about the revolution that is taking place in Island agriculture: the invasion of the tractor and mechanized equipment, and he is pondering over the thoughts of joining the revolution or rejecting it. 180 The movement was called "vertical integration," a title which indicated that everything that applied to agriculture must become bigger than at present. Horses must be replaced by tractors, more storage buildings erected, and, in most cases, three times as much land must be acquired; more must be grown in larger fields and more products sold... The horse farmer fears debt. He sees that in the event he joins this movement, he wi l l be obliged to fall deeply into debt in order to support it. O n the other hand, i f he rejects the tractor program, he would be compelled to give up his present way of life and probably be forced into early retirement. A "hard challenge faces him," and so he ponders over what he sees across the fence. ("Notes" n.d.) Fig. 5.5 A Hard Challenge 1969, undated, oil on canvas panel, 35.5x45.8 cm. Collection of Charles Morrison. A Hard Challenge 1969 (undated) was painted in response to the ambitious economic and social development plan initiated by the Federal Government in 1969. The Comprehensive Development Plan would be implemented over a fifteen year period at a cost of $725 million. Its aim was to "create conditions in which the people of Prince Edward Island can create viable economic enterprises for themselves" (Department of 181 Regional Economic Expansion 1969). Seeking to adapt the Island economy to a larger economy, it introduced a new industrial model of development to Prince Edward Island. Confronting a rural, traditional society, its vision was very different. Flying in the face of the Island's long and proud tradition of family farming, the Plan asserted that "The historical pattern of land ownership in Prince Edward Island is badly adapted to the needs of modern technology for agricultural, forestry, and tourist development." One of the objectives of the Plan was to reduce the number of farms by half, leading to the creation of 2,500 farm units. Similar "rationalizations" would take place in the fishing industry, with port and harbour facilities consolidated and upgraded, disrupting generations-old fishing patterns. (MacKinnon 1998, 184) The look of the land would also change: the province's 380 one-room schools, often centres of community in rural areas, were to be consolidated. The economy would be diversified through tourism, and manufacturing and processing would be encouraged and supported. There would be investment in housing, health, and welfare services. Morrison applied his history in response to economic, social, and cultural upheaval. In his personal experience of returning to the Island, home and the traditional Island landscape represented security and continuity, qualities that were now under threat. His response was not nostalgic, but came out of his concern with the implications for young people. His internal struggle was reflected in a letter he wrote in 1964: I feel a permanent inner disturbance which could probably be described as slight but nevertheless a state of uneasiness which is more permanent in springtime than any other time of year that we (or I), whether it's singular or plural or just something caused by circumstance, that tradition is being broken with the past Island way of life as it concerns our people. That we are gradually switching from the rustic way of the agronomist with its accompanying virtues of freedom and independence, to the urban way of servitude and dependence upon others for a wage. I am convinced that we are taking a step forward and upward within the structure of society, but the doubt seems to rest in posterity, the question "can our youth maintain the pace of present day trends of education to achieve 182 fulfillment of purpose, and, i f not, into what channels do we guide them which w i l l provide for them a way of life conducive to happiness and salvation of soul?" The old farm homestead automatically took care of all these perplexities. I saw in the farm homestead a secure harbour out of which each and all youthful members could venture into the world to test their own wings and, in the process of so doing, those who could fly strongly the first time could continue on their chosen course, and those who were less fortunate could return to it, rest a while and try again. His Catholicism and strong religious beliefs influenced how he saw the use of his history stressing moral instruction as well as commitment and devotion to loved ones, community, and God. His religious commitment shaped his overarching sense of purpose and dedication to one's chosen task: I am not of the Pepsi generation. I am of the generation that believed in heroes and manly courage, in love of God and country, in respect for old people and tenderness for the young, in model T-Fords and two-toned saddle sport shoes and knickers, in nickel candy and Larry Semon and Charlie Chaplin comedy. I am so old and corny I still believe in God. M y thing is writing, but I am trying to figure a way to swing it into Catholicism because Christ established the Catholic Church. ("Notes," n.d.) His historical project had a didactic edge, transmitting information down "the line," applying ambition and dedication to one's chosen task. Throughout his historical images and writings, he is attempting to remedy the loss of a traditional moral centre of home and traditional landscape. This critical view shapes his vision and recommendations for contemporary directions in an essay titled "the modern generation": This was another era of changing methods in the field of agriculture on Prince Edward Island... The change in value was sudden and absolute.... The tractor placed the farms on a more commercial basis and replaced much labour. It provided a release for many of the younger members of these family home farms to allow them to further their years in school and thus become recipients of a broader education.... 183 This domestic eruption caused many of the farms to become vacated in that the people were unable to cope with the change, and a shifting population resulted.... Many of the Island youth migrated to more distant parts of Canada to seek out a livelihood.... The Morrisons at Pleasant Grove were making vigorous efforts to keep pace with these changing conditions.... Ronald would have been proud of this modern generation of Morrisons for, like himself, they championed the cause of Religion and held strong preference to the virtuous way of life. Each in their turn was athletically and intellectually inclined and possessed qualities of leadership and good character. ("The modern generation" n.d.) Around him was a period of change and integration. The G D P contribution from farming was decreasing, a trend that has continued. While agriculture is still the primary Island industry, fewer people are actually farming. Between 1981 and 1996, the number of Prince Edward Island farms decreased by 937 to 2217, an astonishing 30 percent decline. While the number of farms has fallen, the average size of each farm has grown to 296 acres, and at the same time, the value of farm cash receipts has continued to increase. A s the Report of the Prince Edward Island Population Strategy indicates: Across the continent, the twentieth century has seen a very steep decline in the proportion of population living and working on farms, and a major population shift from rural areas to urban centres. The former trend has certainly not passed Prince Edward Island by; however, the shift to urban areas is much less pronounced here than in many other jurisdictions, with strong growth in rural non-farm populations until the early 1980s. (Institute of Island Studies 2000, 123) A s a result, the "land" has meaning and persists in the imagination beyond its practical use for agriculture. Today, although individuals who farm make up less than 10 per cent of Prince Edward Island's rural population, the natural resource of land, like the sea, is still important symbolically and physically defines the landscape. Morrison's consistent detailing of the traditional character of Islandness, the challenges Islanders have experienced, and transitions the landscape has undergone is not romantic nostalgia. It was this transformation from farming to non-farming population 184 and associated values over the twentieth century that Morrison was responding to, using his images to call for the maintenance of rural communities and small-scale family farms. "It is now the time to take a second look at the overall picture and make new and drastic adjustments to reverse the force of the impetus that surrounds us," he writes in an essay addressing the Development Plan: "The number of farms have been reduced from 13,000 to 3000. A great many of the people from the abandoned farms made their way into the towns, villages, and cities, which accounts for the unemployment today. The Island is not an industrial centre, but an agricultural environment, also fishing, as well as tourism." In this, he locates change from the "way of life" system to a "commercial system": The comprehensive development plan caused a great upheaval: an upheaval to the "way of life system" from which the uprooted people came, and establishing of the "commercial system". The way of life system was formed over a long period of years by trial and error, and then by habit and tradition. The woods were cleared and farms of one hundred acres more or less were formed, and routines of livelihood were established as homesteaders. He speaks to a "break," intimately concerned with forces that threaten the traditional landscape, with the transformation of small, face-to-face communities: The operations of the homesteads were powered by horses, horse drawn machinery and horse-drawn wheeled vehicles. They were managed by the man who was the head of the family. They were institutions of a virtuous way of life, each morally independent of the other. ... The overall way of life under the popular system of the time was serene and peaceful as no great changes took place to upset the tranquillity of the overall pastoral setting; but on the horizon there was a dangerous cloud which threatened to bring about unmanageable change. ("Notes" n.d.) 185 Fig. 5.6 Cars Scared Horses 1913, 1982, oil on hardboard, 35.6x50.8 cm. Collection of Melody Morrison. " A l l events," Kirby has suggested, "however large in a global sense, are ultimately transformed into a local issue" (1989, 216). Tangible in this art work is one response to modernisation and industrialisation. This conceptualisation of transformation informs his artwork, and his sense of what is needed. In response to social and economic shifts, Morrison engages in an invention and reconstruction of tradition. Morrison compiles his history and directs his artistic project to aid a critical view of the present and shape the future study of history. A vision of the past is needed in order to see a form of the future. Imaginatively offering cultural and psychological identification, these images were created to offer cultural and historical identity, offsetting outmigration and declining economic and political influence: I then became interested in a problem of much concern to Island government authorities: our young people were leaving in great numbers to seek their livelihood in other places. I decided that a partial solution lay in Island history.... If the young were taught Island history in school, they would 186 acquire a sense of appreciation, and affection for their Homeland, and want to remain and make it a better place to live. (Morrison 1980, vi) F i g . 5.7 The Fare-well Whistle, 1 9 8 9 , o i l o n c a n v a s p a n e l , 3 0 . 5 x 4 0 . 6 c m . C o l l e c t i o n o f N o r m a F i s h e r . Modem P.E.I. (1986) is the one painting in the collection that is not based on the depiction of a real locale; it is a fictional composite. He is quite realistic, however, about what the landscape has become: "Just off the busy highway, modern methods of farming are carried on.... A s well as a display of mobile units there is an artificial ice rink, apartment block with an elevator and T V dish, a church, some houses, and a consolidated school to which the children are bussed. There is not enough room to include all of the modern facilities which have come to Prince Edward Island during the past twenty years.... Planes fly regularly, and fishing boats are ultra-sophisticated." (Fig. 5.8) In his writings, Morrison deals with similar themes, addressing transformations in agriculture in " A Second Look," and the changing, modernizing landscape in "The Fixed Link ." 187 Fig. 5.8 Modern P.E.I., 1986, oil on canvas panel, 35.5x45.7 cm. Collection of Charles Morrison Morrison's homeland is not a rustic Utopia cut off from the modern world. As Erik Kristiansen notes in respect to Maritime writers Ernest Buckler and Charles Bruce, "while this perspective is conservative, it is not naive... They have witnessed modernity's intrusions and lamented its effects" (1994, 225). Throughout his art and writing, Morrison is constantly teaching. His commitment to education is apparent in his histories in word and image, and his goal, ultimately, is communication. His work falls somewhere between performance and record, an effort "to 'represent' a past for the future" (Schechner 1985, 51). A n interesting paradox results. In Morrison's particular envisioning of what Islandness is and his emphasis on the past and the rural as essential elements of that definition, a rural "renaissance" implies that in becoming modern the Island should become more like itself. In that sense, Morrison's images and their self-consciousness are extremely postmodern. MacCannell 's suggestion that there is a 188 temptation to read such forms as bearing "traditional and therefore sacred values, and being capable of giving form to a new morality" (1992) is insightful. A s the images are applied and circulated in such contexts as tourism and education they are presented as what is the "best" of Prince Edward Island. The moral premises they convey are held up as goals to be attained in the design of Prince Edward Island's authenticity, aspirations shared by the cultural middle class and manifest across a range of preservation efforts. I have argued it is more accurate to read such forms not as bearing traditional values but rather in terms of the construction of that past. A s they are legitimated as ideals, they erase other definitions of Islandness. The paintings reflect an uneasiness and questioning of the changing landscape. Like Montgomery's representations, Morrison's images present a landscape of Prince Edward Island based on home place, defining the Island in terms of its history and the centrality of the traditional landscape, agricultural heritage, and homesteads. In contrast, however, his intent is much different, more self-conscious and consciously critically nostalgic for a lost world. Turning to a revised sense o f nostalgia, Morrison's work can be argued to represent a critical, applied antimodernism. Though the past may be romanticised in recollection, reconstructions do not purport a return to the past, but represent an incorporation of the past into current realities and reconstitution of that reality. "Yearning for yesterday" is part of constant re-writing and re-articulation of the present: it should be kept in mind that nostalgic sentiment dwells at the very heart of a generation's identity; that without it, it is unlikely that a "generation" could come to conceive of itself as such or that "generations in advance or arrears of it would accede to the distinctive historical identity it claims for itself...Thus, the dialogue of history is itself enriched and given dramatic form far beyond that which could be evoked from a mere chronology of places, persons, and events. (Davis 1979, 115) 189 Morrison's "pedigree" is more in line with Andrew Macphail, Ernest Buckler and Charles Bruce, and the American antimodernist movement noted by Lears in their genuine aim of opposition (1981). Lears suggests that yearnings for the authentic may preserve an important dimension of social protest, "but only i f the seeker preserves some larger framework of meaning outside the self. To put it another way, the quest for authenticity was most successful as dissent when it was most genuinely antimodern" (1981, 305). In Morrison's work, awareness of the breakdown of community is blended with the strong desire to validate the powers of communal life. Through this imagery, Morrison offers a critique of globalising forces that were changing the landscape, the deterioration of family farms, rural culture, outmigration and changing values. His art is an effort to reinforce the Island's cultural and historical identity in face of loss and decline. The effect is to show the persistence of history and its lessons in the everyday landscape—in homesteads, roads, lighthouses, fields, and place names. The identity tangible in his work is one based on the land, reflecting an understanding that experiences of space cannot be separated from the events that happen in it or representations of it. The effect is to reinforce space as constructed, situated, and contingent, for space is "remade continuously every time it is encountered by different people, every time it is represented in a different medium every time its surroundings change, every time new affiliations are forged" (Corner 1999, 227). Recognising the inherently rhetorical and constitutive nature of constructions, as well as issues of personal authorship and intent, Morrison's paintings are clearly not reflections of modernisation. To represent the "lay of the land" is not simply to give i