The Alchemical Landscape

The Alchemical Landscape symposium was held at Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge on 23rd March 2015. Presented by the Cambridge University Counterculture Research Group, it was a special one-day symposium that focused on "Counterculture, Occulture and the Geographic Turn". 

Evie Salmon had previously outlined this area of interest in her work on Ben Wheatley's A Field in England and, more recently, her research into Derek Jarman's Journey to Avebury. The symposium aimed to develop this cartographic approach by gathering together a range of writers, artists, musicians, academics and practitioners working within the field. The original brief read:  

"An increasing number of writers, artists and film-makers are re-investing the British landscape with esoteric and mythic imagery. From the revival of 'Folk Horror' to the cross-over between magical and artistic practice, this 'enchanted' representation of the rural works as both a link to the past and an articulation of pressing contemporary concerns. This special one-day symposium at the University of Cambridge seeks to explore the creative, aesthetic and political implications of this 'geographic turn'."

The day featured 15 speakers:

Gyrus, Rob Irving, Nick Medford, Brian Baker, George Bickers, Mark Goodall, Dominic Shepherd, Phil Legard, Janet Banfield, Justin Hooper, Amy Cutler, Andy Sharp, Chris Lambert, Drew Mullholland, Sharron Kraus.  

There was a lot of interest generated by the event and futher projects are planed for the future. 

For updates and to join the mailing list, please visit:


  1. Thank you for the mention in the call out, the conference sounds like it will be exactly the kind of thing I would like to attend but I travel with a small child so didn't think I could submit anything this time. Look forward to more of this sort of thing in the future though as I don't doubt it will be a success!

    1. Hi there, thanks for your comment.

      We are hoping to hold more events over the course of the coming year. Will keep you informed!