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Title: An evaluation of the visitor responses to artwork in countryside settings
Author: Theaker, Kev
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2010
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The practice of placing artwork, and particular sculpture, in landscape settings is well established, yet rarely examined from the point of view of the observer who comes across the work in an unregulated, semi natural environment, quite often by accident. The research examines four case studies, in Scotland, which involve the siting of artwork in informal, unmediated countryside. The studies reflect a range of work, themed interpretive sculpture, conceptual contemporary sculpture, and sculpture sited in forest setting. The aims were to determine the attitudes and reactions of the visiting public to the work; the motives and intentions of the artists; and of the commissioners of the work. The methodology developed through the research using a combination of visitor observation, on site questionnaires, focus groups and interviews was used to develop a wide ranging set of both quantitative and qualitative data on the sites. Art viewing and landscape appreciation are both part of complex constructs and relationships. The audiences for public art in countryside, are of a similar demographic to that for gallery visiting, yet not necessarily with an interest in art. The case studies show that: Visitors engage with artworks in countryside at a first level of competence; Visitor attitudes indicate a willingness to look for explanations, despite professing no interest in art; Visitors indicate positive emotions to art and place; Cultural background and the gallery mindset affect the visitor perceptions and experience of art in countryside. The practice of using artwork in countryside settings provides a valuable experience, generating positive emotions, memorable places and enhances the countryside experience for a visiting public.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available