Four Tor Panorama
To walk from tor to tor across Dartmoor National Park in England is to experience the same basic structure again and again, and this makes it a fascinating landscape for thinking about walking. Tors are granite outcrops - the highest elevations on the open moor and often the only landmarks. Because of this, many walkers on Dartmoor walk from one to the next, and on clear days climb up on to each one for a far reaching view. Landmark becomes viewpoint. Having made a series of photographs of this idea (looking out and looking at), I started thinking about how I might exhibit these photographs, to represent spatially the experience of the walk. The traditional panorama house was a starting point. To experience the illusion of being at the heart of a landscape, the viewer in a traditional panorama turns through 360° whilst looking perpendicularly to a cylindrical canvas painted with a scene. Initial study models revealed that the illusion also works using radial planes instead of a cylinder, making it possible to show the tor portraits (taken at equal intervals walking around each tor) on the backside. It also makes it possible to walk in and out of each panorama. The images of a 1:50 study model show how the four panoramas are positioned to scale relative to a floor map of a four tor walk. We'd like to develop this idea further, but first we need some more space!