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Festive Landscapes: The Contemporary Practice of Well-Dressing in Tissington

Shirley, RA (2017) Festive Landscapes: The Contemporary Practice of Well-Dressing in Tissington. Landscape Research, 42 (6). pp. 650-662. ISSN 0142-6397


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Well-dressing is a festive practice that takes place in many Derbyshire Villages. Each summer wooden boards are coated in clay and flower petals are pressed into them to make pictures, these are then used to adorn local wells and water sources. This article examines well-dressing in the village of Tissington in relation to different aspects of the Peak District Landscape. It argues that well-dressing is the product of specific geological characteristics of the landscape. It asserts that the practice produces new forms of affective landscape. These include readings of the botanical landscapes and the community landscapes that form around the event. It goes on to argue that well-dressing also makes visible a hegemonic landscape that structures village life. Detailed analysis of this event reveals connections between the local and the global and articulates a set of diverse landscapes which texture contemporary rural life.

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