Scene in another way
Rosie Mathisen’s images of Dorset are of familiar places but rendered in a different way, as she explains
Published in March ’17
In her previous (working) lives, Rosie Mathisen has been a schoolteacher, nuclear industry connection and head of a body trying to bring high tech jobs to Cumbria, before she and her husband moved to Dorset.
Perhaps it is because of this variety of previous viewpoints to her life that she herself is quite keen to avoid what she calls the ‘honeypots’ of Dorset when taking images of the county. As well as having an original eye, she has also spent the last few years absorbing the lessons of other landscape photographers as her main hobby. The results show a Dorset that we can all recognise, but rarely from a photograph we may have seen before. Rather she has the ability to compare and contrast the landscapes of London, the Isles of north-west Scotland and the postage stamp fields of Dorset.
‘In complete contrast to the magnificent scale of the Lake District, I love the way the hills here fold in on themselves in a tumbled, jumbled line up of bumps and hollows’, she says. ‘It is also an ancient landscape obviously geologically, but it bears the marks of a being a “hand made” landscape going back thousands of years. The fieldscape appears “hand-stitched” and bears the stories of people working here over centuries.
‘I’m also interested in how new challenges will affect this very ancient pastoral land. Maize-growing, vineyards, solar farms, 400 Kv pylons all affect a precious Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) but paradoxically add to photographic interest and challenge. It is not enough to photograph a land caught in aspic, but one which is primarily subject to flux and change.
‘I love reading about the West Dorset landscape – whether poetry or narrative….. from Kenneth Allsop’s writing about the “tumbled anarchy” of locals hills and Anna Pavord’s Landskipping and am always inspired and intrigued by local artists’ interpretations of this gorgeous, accessible and humane landscape.