Yvonne Salmon, A Market of the Senses

An increasing number of writers, artists and film-makers are re-investing the 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.

The Alchemical Landscape is an ongoing research project that uses seminars, symposia, public events, publications and artworks to explore the creative, aesthetic and political implications of this ‘geographic turn’. 

In particular, we see such work as expressive of an occultural context. In this respect we understand occulture by way of Simon Dwyer's definition in the journal Rapid Eye (1979-1997):

Occulture is not a secret culture as the word might suggest, but culture that is in some way hidden and ignored, or willfully marginalised to the extremities of our society. A culture of individuality and sub-cults, a culture of questions that have not been properly identified- let alone answered- and therefore, do not get fair representation in the mainstream media. It is a culture that has been misinterpreted. [...] It is a sub-culture that is forming a question that 'reality' alone cannot answer.


On 23rd March 2015 the project was launched with a special one-day symposium at the University of Cambridge, presented by Yvonne Salmon and James Riley of the Cambridge University Counterculture Research Group. 

We held our second symposium at Girton College in July 2016. Since then we have been an active research group at Cambridge University's Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH).  

We mount further events under these umbrellas and elsewhere. News and updates will be posted to this website. To be added to the project mailing list, to get in touch or to discuss possible lines of collaboration, please e-mail us at:

Project Director

Yvonne Salmon FRSA FRGS FRAI                     
Lecturer, University of Cambridge           

Project Coordinator
James Riley FRSA
Fellow of English Literature 
Girton College, University of Cambridge