Landscape and desire

THE ALGARVE Archaeological Association is holding a talk by Dr. Cathy Tuck, entitled ‘Landscape and desire: revealing the sexually inspired sites of Britain and Ireland’, on December 6 at Loulé’s municipal library at 2.30pm and later at Lagoa’s Convento de São José at 6.30pm.

Compared to their Mediterranean neighbours, the British, certainly in the past, have been regarded as somewhat prudish when it comes to sex. As the playwright George Mikes wrote in 1946, “Continental people have sex lives, the British have hot water bottles.” But it seems that Mikes was wrong. The British landscape is, in fact, loaded with sexual metaphor and monuments to fertility, from prehistoric mounds to the hollows and hideaways in the gardens of 18th century playboys.

Through the stunning photography of Alun Bull, these sensual man-made places are revealed, painted like classical nudes, on the rich tapestry of the natural landscapes.

After Dr. Tuck received her degree in archaeology in 1992, she worked with the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. From this base, she was commissioned by the National Trust to undertake her work on ‘Landscape and desire’, initially at West Wycombe Park in Buckinghamshire, the family seat of Sir Frances Dashwood, founder of the ‘Hellfire Club’. She undertook this work throughout Ireland and the British Isles in collaboration with Alun Bull, who has produced some outstanding photographic work.

• Non members are welcome for a fee of five euros. For more information, Tel 289 992 466.