The environment has always provided inspiration for all forms of the arts. Always has, always will.

Reading the Land is an opportunity for artists – at all levels – to examine a landscape, learn something of the values people who know the area well associate with that landscape – and then interpret it in their art.

Reading the Land is accessible to all forms of art; visual artists, poets and writers, performance artists.

The first Reading was held in June 2013, as part of a World Environment Day festival in Huskisson NSW. This is within the Shoalhaven Local Government Area, 190 kms south of Sydney.

During May and June 2014 three Readings have taken place in Shoalhaven. These are in Sanctuary Point, focusing on both built and natural environments, Bomaderry, focusing on natural bushland, and Huskisson, again as part of World Environment Day.


The theme for these Readings is SOLACE = Comfort

Australian environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht has developed 2 terms to describe human feelings about place:

Soliphilia: the love of and responsibility for a place, bioregion, planet and the unity of interrelated interests within it

Solastalgia: the pain experienced when there is recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault

An exhibition of art produced from these events will be held at the Nowra School of Arts building from Saturday 26 July to Friday 1 August. Two other Readings are planned.

Reading the Land at Berry on 9 August will follow a theme of Connections. This supports connections Berry Landcare are seeking to establish through a project re-establishing corridors between the coast and the escarpment. It also speaks to connections people feel to the place.

Reading the Land at Ulladulla will be part of the annual Escape ARTfest. The theme of the festival is EDGE and the Reading, taking place at Rennies beach, will have the theme Co-existing at the Edge: surfers, dolphins, dog-walkers and hooded plovers.

Exhibitions will follow both Berry and Ulladulla Readings.

Reading the Land is a project of Shoalhaven Landcare. In 2014 Shoalhaven Arts Board have provided assistance.


Reading the land can be readily adopted to many situations.

For more information contact Graeme Gibson: Ph: 02 4441 8885; 0408 676 550


More information about Reading the Land and Solastalgia/ Soliphilia

  • An essay, written after Reading the Land at Huskisson in 2013:

This also canvasses the possible future scope of Reading the Land

  • Background and underlying theory to Solastalgia/ Soliphilia on Glenn Albrecht’s blog:
  • A couple of articles on its application:

“The age of solastalgia” from The Conversation, independent Australian news & comment

“Is there an ecological unconscious?” from the New York Times
  • Listening on the subject

Graeme Gibson talking to Nick Rheinberger on ABC local radio

Glenn Albrecht talking to Nick Rheinberger on ABC local radio

  • Art and solastalgia

“Life in Your hands: Art from Solastalgia”

A number of artists were selected for this exhibition in 2012-13. An Internet search will find a number of these. The following link is to a downloadable essay about the exhibition:

“Solastalgia” by Illawarra artist Lizzie Buckmaster Dove:,28183
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