Pomona's Beauty Spots

We are in a strange part of town; unknown space stretches ahead of us. In time we know a few landmarks and the routes connecting them. Eventually what was a strange town and unknown space becomes familiar place, Abstract space, becomes concrete place, filled with meaning.
— Tuan, 1977:51

How do we consciously interpret and navigate the city and what justifies the reasoning for public places of interest, sites and attractions, destinations and landmarks? If we start to question how we experience different situations and diverse environments should we look to how we understand the city in relationship with the countryside? Cities are places of ‘designed safety’ and prescribed or commercialised orientation - a place to shop, to socialise, to create connections (both real and superficial). Or do we aspire to explore the unknown? to discover ‘dangerous environments’ the unmediated landscapes of natural phenomena and untamed or unfiltered experience, encountering our own markers and fashioning our unique memories and markers of space.

Space may be marked physically, as with animals’ use of smells or human groups’ use of visual or auditory indicators; alternatively it may be marked abstractly, by means of signs. Space thus acquires symbolic value.
— Lefebvre, 1991:41

As we look at proposals for the regeneration of the ‘Cornbrook Hub’ and Pomona Island should we question whether we continue to plan lived experience around commercial centres and activities for facilitating ‘lifestyle’? Are we in danger of blinkering our understandings of our sense of place and our connections to others, community, objects, nature and the ecology of the environment that pulsates and renders our lived experience vivid. Are we aware of the filters through which we make sense of the everyday and define our relationship with the many encounters we make?

Place is whatever stable object catches our attention. As we look at a panoramic scene our eyes pause at points of rest. Each pause in time is enough to create an image of place that looms momentarily in our view. The pause may be of such short duration and the interest so fleeting that we may not be fully aware of having focused on any particular object; we believe we have simply been looking at a general scene. Nonetheless these pauses have occurred. It is not possible to look at a scene in general; our eyes keep searching for points of rest.
— Tuan, 1977:19

Such pauses acknowledge the presence of place and often brief experiences with places have more of an impact upon us and our memories than the places we encounter everyday. As a form of orientation we naturally associate things and points of reference with particular routes, pauses or location points between space and time, constantly experiencing whilst on the move. Through physical encounter and the identification of essential features/beauty spots of a landscape which become personally significant we begin to understand the significance of place and invest meaning into space which has over time become inherently forgotten, fragmented or marginalized.

If time is conceived as flow or movement then place is pause. In this view human time is marked by stages as human movement in space is moved by pauses.
— Tuan, 1977:14

Discovering the city often uses commercial psycho-spatial systems of reference that mediate our relationships with people, landmarks and architectural objects. Our connection with nature is negotiated through the exploration of natural spatial phenomena, sometimes shaped by humans, but when exploring un-chartered territories we encounter landscapes that are dependent on discovery. A passive experience of navigating the terrain has not been prescribed or facilitated, therefore we are free to create an un-regulated personal geography, establishing our own markers as points of reference, signposting memories through physical encounter, exploring freedom.

As you navigate Pomona Island identify and mark your own places of significance. Embellish the Goddess with a spot, emphasise her beauty, a humanistic cosmetic application to create a distinctive system of experience, a Mythical Aura of Connectedness to a Para-Normal place to be imagined and conquered, in-between worlds.




Tuan, Y. F. (1977) Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience, University of Minnesota Press.

Lefebvre, H. (1991) The Production of Space, Blackwell Publishers Limited.