Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

Josh Parsons on Rita Angus


This is entry #35 in our 100 Philosophers, 100 Artworks, 100 Words Series.

Philosopher: Josh Parsons (Oxford)

Artwork: “Cass”, by Rita Angus, 1936, oil on canvas on board

Words: I’ve chosen a New Zealand artwork that expresses my feeling of relationship with the land. The sense of space and isolation in Cass reminds me of the empty piazzas of Giorgio de Chirico, another of my favorite artists, but this artwork tugs at my heartstrings like a dream of home. This is no picturesque wilderness – those distinctive sculpted hills have been stripped for sheep farming, then abandoned as uneconomical – the radiata pines are an invasive species. The land has made a deep impact on me, but not as deep the impact people have made on it.

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