Are there any great female aquascapers?

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by George Farmer, 18 Sep 2008.

  1. Garuf

    Garuf Member

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  2. Joecoral

    Joecoral Member

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    That is indeed a nice pair
     
  3. Graeme Edwards

    Graeme Edwards Founder Staff Member

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    Heres my opinion.

    Speaking generally. Women are social creatures, they seem to get excited about seeing friends, catching up on the gossip or watching TV. Maybe it comes from childhood, where the girls are groomed into thinking, they must be pretty act nice and do house things,where as us boys run around shooting people with very branch looking Uzi 9mm's, building dens and rooting around for bugs, fish and other odd things. I think its nurture rather than nature. Im sure they are very capable of creating great scape's. But remember, this hobby is still relatively new to the west, so its perhaps just a case of them not knowing about it.

    To summarise, I think its nurture rather than nature,its possible its too time consuming given that women are more social animals than us men, its to practical at times for them, again this could be down to nurture, tom boys may not have any problems.
    I think hobbies in general are very male dominated. I think us men need things to do, its the hunter gatherer in us I think. We need to be creating, thinking, and using our hands.I don't know of many men who like to sit around in front of the box every night, where as I know plenty of women who do.

    Good debate, but I think unless we have access to social experiments and behavioral studies, we will only be guessing.

    Cheers.
     
  4. misscaretaker

    misscaretaker Member

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    Personally I think Graeme has a good point, most girls are assumed to want "girly" things and are led i that direction, whereas boys are assumed to want macho things and again, led in that direction. Like egmel, I've spent my working life in male dominated jobs, in fact while working in the maintenance dept of a hospital I was the only female amongst 84 men (wahay!)!
    However, I've always been a practical person (I get tools for xmas!) and many women are too reliant on men for practical things as that's how they've been taught to be. As a good planted tank can't survive for long (I may be a noob, but I've worked this much out!) without a fair amount of practicality I think many women who may take it up are frightened off. Also, many women are still "housewives" or have jobs and a house to run so the time isn't there either. There is still a large majority of men who leave most of the housework to the women and therefore have a nice amount of leisure time with which to indulge hobbies! I know this is very sweeping and does not intend to include all men or all women! All I know is that I work 37 hrs per week, look after 2 dogs and train them for agility twice a week (including competitions some weekends), look after the 2 tanks and the garden and do the majority of the housework and shopping. My husband is on long term sick and is at home all day except for the many hospital appointments, but can't walk far so it's all down to me. He could still put the dishwasher on occasionally though :rolleyes: ...
     
  5. Joecoral

    Joecoral Member

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    I just like playing with gadgets and other technical things!
     
  6. beeky

    beeky Member

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    IMO, girls are happy with what they like, but blokes are more competitive and are therefore always pushing themselves to be better. I don't necessarily mean competitive with other people, but with themselves aswell. That's why the top people in gardening (Titchmarsh, Donn, Beardshaw, Swift, Thrower, Hamilton etc), cooking (Ramsay, Turner, Oliver, Blumenthal etc) and other areas are blokes. You do get fantastic women doing stuff but they are in the minority and yet you'll probably find that overall the majority of people doing these pasttimes are women, they just haven't pushed themselves to the top because they don't feel the need.

    Have you seen Heston Blumenthal's creations? You wouldn't find a girl doing that! They've far more sense.....
     
  7. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

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    Hmm. If you look at the traditional perception of an "artist" most people will automatically think of Da Vinci, or Picasso, Monet, Degas etc. Where are the women there? I can't think of one great female artist. In fact, the only woman artist that springs to mind as I sit here is debatable (in my mind at least as I don't appreciate her work) - Tracy Emin.

    Does this mean that women aren't capable of being artistic? I don't know, although historically they may have struggled more than men to express their art or even receive any artistic training/encouragement because of their perceived role in many societies keeping them with babes in arms or busy keeping a home. Frankly, I don't see why a woman can have a natural artistic talent, so I think that there must be something in the nurture over nature argument, even if I don't agree with how Graeme has expressed it (I certainly am not a frilly creature who gets excited at the thought of socialising ;) )

    If you look at the opposite side of the coin, I firmly believe that to be a great aquascaper one must also understand the science of a tank. Time and again we are told that women aren't "naturally" good at sciences and this is where boys traditionally excel. So girls tend to veer away from science subjects and I hinestly think that this hinders th understanding of how to make plants grow and how to make them grow well.

    Perhaps I'm looking at it from my personal point of view since I struggle with the science aspect. Unfortunately, I also have little artistic talent and although I wasn't bad at art at school, I had no inspiration; I could only copy things (i.e. still life). It's probably this which has frustrated me to the point where I have pretty much given up on keeping anything other than a tank with fish and plants. I could never call it a 'scape.

    Still, it would be nice to have an inspirational female aquascaper out there. There must be tanks owned by women which I have admired without knowing that they have been created by a woman. Unfortunately, offhand I can only name Zoe's jungle tank as one which has inspired me.
     
  8. bugs

    bugs Member

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    Just another train of thought... Define "great aquascaper". I see many variations on what Amano has popularised. I'm not really in to studying his form but he seems to have something original and personal in many of his scapes which many tend to copy. There's nothing wrong with copying but it does beg the question re greatness in this respect?

    I'm not very good with names but I think it is Zig(?) that's seems to demonstrate something original - are we in the presence of greatness? I think Oliver Knott has something going on too.

    I'm not really a big fan of the overly manicured mini-world/"Bonsai"esque, "Mounains in the Mist" etc type scapes. A bit like magicians to me - "Wow! OK, I'm bored now..." Given that's what is currently in vogue, I'm perhaps wide of the mark with my examples above, but I think you get the picture.

    So... what is meant by "great"?
     
  9. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    Good question! Of course, individual interpretations of 'great' will vary according one's own taste.

    For me it is an aquascape that is appealing on many levels i.e. composition, pleasing textures, colours, hardscape selection (if used), fish choice, viability, sustainability, creativity, innovation etc.

    So a great aquascaper is one that demonstrates the highest levels of the above criteria in their aquascapes. The greatest demonstrate these qualities at the highest levels, time and again. Amano is the obvious, for me. Others off the top of my head, in no particular order - Sabat, Senske, Navarro, Chong, Cheng, Lo, Chow, Deki, Law, Hui, Lazaveric (one to watch out for), Shiga. There are plenty more, and plenty more developing into great aquascapers as we speak.

    And our very own Tom Messenger, Graeme Edwards, Dan Crawford and Peter Kirwan (zig) I would consider have produced great aquascapes - and will no doubt continue to do so. For instance - check out Graeme's latest thread about setting up a tank for Unipac. For an instant aquascape - that's pretty great!

    And in the context of the OP - all of the PFK Great Planted Tanks featured so far are quite unique and do not follow this 'Bonsai-esque' style that you mention. All of them have innovations and this combined with their aesthetic appeal, for me, makes them inspirational and great for the PFK readers.
     
  10. bugs

    bugs Member

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    I'll check out the PFK thing that you mention. Sounds like it could be interesting.
     
  11. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    Thats fair enough to have your opinion on it but in a "great" aquascape i find that being bored is the last sensation I feel. Staring at a decent 'scape keeps me and i'm sure many others captured for hours.
    With my own aquascapes i've found that people get transfixed by them and end up staring at the for quite some time and then going back for another look throughout the night or whatever. I had Graeme Edwards doing just that last weekend, with such varied textures and complexity it's hard to find boring, i'm not saying that my 'scapes are "great" but they certainly seem to draw in, and hold an audience for longer than the average "fish tank".
     
  12. Tom

    Tom Member

    No-one looks at mine Dan! lol they're far more interested in my pufferfish or boring old hermit crabs!!

    I get:
    "oh that tank (Iwagumi) only has one plant in it. It's a bit boring!"
    "Why have you got glass pipes? They look a bit silly!" :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :rolleyes:
     
  13. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    I've been following this thread with interest.

    I agree with all of George's comments on what makes a scape\scaper great. Yet at the end of the day I think it can all be encapsulated inside Dans comment...

    This is the mark of a great tank\scape for me and what I aim for on a personal level with my own tank.

    I am probably biased in that one of my hobbies is relaxation\meditation, of which there are many styles\definitions of. One definition is 'the ability to focus on one object singlemindedly for a period of time'. For me great scapes have this 'meditative quality' to them.
     
  14. Tom

    Tom Member

    :lol: Same here. Some people just call me lazy :rolleyes: No I know what you mean. When I first got Amano's books I sat and "read" them for hours. Still do sometimes, but now it's mainly CAU. Prefer the newer styles.

    Tom
     
  15. bugs

    bugs Member

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    LOL - We've moved from great aquascapers to great scapes... (For which I am partly to blame with my reference to scapes). There's a difference in my mind, despite both being valid.
     
  16. Tom

    Tom Member

    So what makes a great aquascaper as opposed to the great aquascape itself?

    Innovity? Creativity? Consistency? Experience? Photographic ability?
     
  17. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

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    all of them!
     
  18. bugs

    bugs Member

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    Someone could create one great scape and one hundred not to great scapes. Not a great aquascaper in my opinion...
     
  19. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

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    so if a musician writes one hit only, does that make him a bad musician? i think not. a bad scape might be good to someone else
     
  20. Tom

    Tom Member

    One hit wonders! In ten years time everyone laughs at them! Either that or its a classic :rolleyes: "if it haaadnt been for cotton eyed joeeee..." :?
     

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