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Masters Degrees (Fine Art)

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    Weaving together art and craft: a practice-based investigation into artists’ integrations of art and craft, with reference to the works of Corina Lemmer and Ngoneni Khumalo-Kubheka.
    (2023) Mahogo, Grace Kanyisa.; Arbuckle, Katherine Elizabeth.
    This study emerged from my creative practice, in which I used wool to knit, crochet, bind and combine with other objects and materials which in combination became art. This dissertation gives the context of my work, and explores the art and craft terminologies in detail, based on literature, investigating the origins of these concepts and how their meanings have altered across different periods and societies. To complement the practice side of the research, a case study documents a collaboration between Ngoneni Khumalo-Kubheka and Corina Lemmer, and their artworks made of repurposed clothing, fibre and beadwork. Gathering of data from multiple sources, such as interviews, the observation of craft processes, and documentation of my practices was appropriate for the qualitative method in the study. The findings of this dissertation were that art and craft methods and techniques keep evolving, including the type of materials being used and platforms to reach a wider audience. It was discovered that when people merge these techniques associated with art and craft through collaborations and their use of materials, to make rich and meaningful work across boundaries. My own work developed, from using the crafts learned in my family, and my previously separate art practices, to using unusual combinations to make new and unique pieces based on my intuition. This journey was finally combined into my exhibition which combined my works in a playful manner.
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    The South African voice in South African animation: a critical examination, via the case study approach, of the South African animation industry and its commitment to representing a local identity.
    (2023) Velaphi, Limo.; Stewart, Michelle.
    A critical analysis of the South African identity in South African animation, focusing on the representation of a South African identity within the animation. The study looks at contemporary South African animations, both, television series and feature films examining the visual language, narratives, themes, and use of language within the animations as well as the key developments within South African animation. The majority of the inquiry is seen through a qualitative collective case study approach looking primarily at the analysis of The Adventures of Noko Mashaba (2013) by Jonas Lekganyane Seal Team (2021) by Triggerfish, followed by a practice-led reflection analysis on the creation of Midnight Escapade. The study is guided by the social identity theory relative to animations’ ability to represent social and cultural identities. Through this analysis, an attempt will be made to assess the current state of representation within South African animation and whether it represents a uniquely South African Identity while attempting to answer the question; to what extent does South African animation explore cultural themes of identity and representation unique to South Africa?
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    Pedestrian speech act: filmed landscape explored through stalking.
    (2023) Croeser, Michael Alan Colvile.; Hall, Louise Gillian.
    This study proposes that a landscape recorded by video while walking into it, or what I call stalking into it, enables the creation of a more profound self-reflection than a single isolated picture of the same landscape. My stalking, whose primary process is based on Debord’s subject-object model, is derived from several fields including, but not limited to, psychogeographic fiction and psychogeographic research. Stalking is an intensely self-focused way of moving through the landscape while filming it, that draws on the unconscious walking practice of deambulation, and the notion of “the signifying body” in relation to hand-held camera filmmaking, which encourages a kind of sensory and bodily hyperawareness. Based on Elder’s conviction that this signifying body can be reflected in film by catching changes in perception, movement and the body’s location in the moving image, a similar hypothesis is explored through stalking movements reflected in a series of films called Paths. These path films created through stalking are perceived as a kind of “in-between” space, as underexposed videos positioned between my inner space and the outer space of the woodland zone. This research project explores my stalking reflected in these paths as visual autobiographical traces, as pedestrian acts of speech, and as creating a certain experience and form of time defined within the uniquely positioned environment of the woodland zone. Furthermore this study investigates my stalking and filming actions as disrupting pictorial space, and as creating video labyrinths connecting past and present walking experiences within suburban hinterlands, furthering aiming to implicate the viewer through my simultaneous absence and presence in the image.
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    Can’t you see it is mine? A consideration of the appropriation of space through the use of building materials (earth, clay and bricks) in art making.
    (2022) Gush, David Hofmeyr.; Hall, Louise Gillian.; Draper, Jessica Lindiwe.
    The purpose of this dissertation is to consider the extent to which the materiality of an artist’s art making materials can demonstrate an appropriation of the space in which the work is exhibited. The specific medium I have considered is the use of earth, clay and/or bricks. The dissertation concentrates on artworks that are exhibited as installations. The research into this question considers particularly in what ways might artists appropriate the space purely through the use of their choice of materials. Is the appropriation dependent only upon the nature of the work, or does the materiality of the medium constitute an overt appropriation of a gallery space in which the artwork is exhibited? The dissertation examines and explores these issues through the application of research-led methodology and the consequential influence and application of the results of the practice-led research on my own work. In the course of considering this influence, this dissertation explores specific works by Dineo Bopape, Antony Gormley’s Field Series, Walter de Maria’s New York Earth Room, Jorge Mendez Blake’s The Castle and Charles Simonds’ New York Dwellings, all of whom have used earth, clay and/or bricks in their work. The dissertation includes a series of photographs and a video of the installation entitled somewhere between heaven and hell which forms the practical offering of this project. I conclude that while the materials contribute to the environment, it is the overall effect (the environment and atmosphere) of the installation that creates an appropriation for the viewer.
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    The invisible wall between private and public: an artistic exploration of liminality.
    (2022) Kyungeun, Seo.; Drapper, Jessica Lindiwe.
    This study is a practice-led research project incorporating practical and theoretical components that investigate the invisible layers that exist between private and public spheres in physical and digital spaces. The creative practice of the researcher, Kyungeun Seo/Debbie Seo is located in Oriental and Western painting traditions and expresses conceptual themes of liminality, private and public, membranes and ‘here and there’. Practice-led research (PLR) provides both methodological and theoretical support that guides the direction of this project. The creative practice uncovered key themes, developing a theoretical framework that integrates theories of liminality, identity, social relationships and digital media, and locates the study. The practical studio-based component of silk painting plays a central role in uncovering these relationships and bolsters the theoretical interrogation. The researcher’s experience of sharing the creative practice through social media is additionally interrogated. The study of 'invisible layers' and liminal space between private and public, and the relationship between identity and social behaviour are considered in the fine art context of this degree. The practice of Sanja Iveković provides a framework for understanding the elision of private and public spheres through contemporary media. David Spriggs’ installations are referenced as works that make practical use of transparent materials and layering tactics. Buhlebezwe Siwani provides a South African context for understanding identity and social behaviour, while Do-ho Suh offers another perspective of living in a liminal space between South Korea and a new, foreign home. This research project emphasises the integral relationship between theory and practice. The creative practice is discussed using a reflective and reflexive approach that records and demonstrates the importance of the unfolding process of the practice, and the connections between practice, concept and personal experience. Photographs are included alongside the reflective writings to illustrate the process and findings made through practice. Technical and practical issues that emerged during the final exhibition installation, and documentation and submission of the practical component during the COVID-19 lockdown are additionally examined.
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    Clement Seneque: life and work including catalogue raisonne.
    (1988) Bell, Brendan.; Leeb-du Toit, Juliette Cecile.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    The necessary clown : an investigation into the symbolic role of the clown in visual imagery.
    Terrence, Oliver Patrick.; Schoonraad, Murray.
    The research opens with an introduction which develops and presents the argument that the clown is a necessary and suitable image of modern man- A general history is presented in which the evolution of the clown is traced within the society and culture. The symbol of the clown in art is traced from the etchings of Cal lot in; the 17th century to the work of Rouault and Picasso in the 20th century. The research concludes with a look at the candidate own work on the clown theme.
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    Contemplations in the natural landscape: Unearthing the surface in the ceramic vessels of Anda Dodo.
    (2019) Dodo, Anda.; Rall, Michelle Marie.
    This Practice-Based Masters research project comprises this written dissertation together with the creative studio practice of Anda Dodo. The focus of this qualitative research is nonutilitarian nature-inspired ceramic vessels. The theoretical framework of PBR and heuristic inquiry, which positions Dodo at the centre of her research and foreground her insights as a research practitioner, are used together with interrelated theories. An Art Historical approach is used in a survey of selected 20th C British studio potters which highlights influential potters and the shifts in emphasis in vessel making from utilitarian ‘pottery’ to ‘ceramics’. American studio potters Peter Voulkos, Wayne Higby, Paul Soldner and British potter Ewen Henderson are specifically discussed as to their philosophies and alternative approach to vessel making and non-utilitarian vessels have directly influenced the candidate’s studio practice. Metaphor in art is examined and universal and personal metaphors are used to embed meaning in the ceramic vessels. A discussion of materiality theory is also included to reflect on the chosen materials and studio practice. A chapter is devoted to technical aspects of ceramics about materials, techniques and experiments conducted. Discussion about how these informed decisions made about both expressive and technical aspects of vessel making and surface treatment is included. The reflective-reflexive chapter demonstrates how the candidate’s practical work and theory unfolded. A reflexive approach is used to discuss the studio practice which is underpinned by keys themes relating to the vessel, metaphor, landscape and memory. Journals are referred to, which together with personal reflection, explain insights into ongoing studio practice as well as the presentation of completed works. This includes the use of metaphor and vessels as carriers of meaning. The discussion of the exhibition deals with important aspects of display and use of gallery space.
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    Drawing from life: An autobiographical study in the creative work of Sheryl Thornton-Dibb le Tourneur with reference to selected female artists.
    (2019) Thornton-Dibb le Tourneur, Sheryl Leigh.; Rall, Michelle Marie.; Draper, Jessica Lindiwe.
    This practice-based research (PBR) project facilitates the use of creative studio practice as research together with theoretical research that culminate in an integrated exhibition and written dissertation for examination for the degree: Master of Art in Fine Art – Research (MAFA-R). This research adopts an heuristic approach to allow for flexibility, un pre-determined outcomes and tacit knowledge. Heuristics is suitable for autobiographical study as the subjective experience of the researcher is not only acknowledged but becomes the focus of the research. The phases and processes of heuristics become guides to the research process. The heuristic phases are also used in discussion of the processes and artworks of creative studio practice from a retrospective ‘bird’s eye’ view. The process becomes an immersive one in which the researcher embodies the research question and follows intuition, personal interest and emotion to engage with the materials of creative practice, to incubate inner knowledge and wait for emergent illumination. The theory of autobiography as influenced by feminism provides a theoretical framework that respects the influence of existential-phenomenological, psychoanalytic and spiritual frameworks and recognises the possibility of philosophical engagement. Autobiographical subjectivity, composed of experience, identity, memory, embodiment and agency, is implicitly and explicitly expressed in creative expression. Materiality and metaphor as embodied are also discussed as relating to autobiographical and creative expression in which varied themes emerge. The written and artistic work of Käthe Kollwitz and Wilma Cruise produced during midlife during which they experienced the loss of a loved one and psychological and/or spiritual existential crises is discussed in relation to the work and experience of personal loss and midlife of the author, Sheryl Thornton-Dibb le Tourneur. In this context the metaphors of birthing of self and creativity and nurturing creative seed within are discussed as is the equation of mother and artist. The use of figurative work and self-portraiture and the materials and processes of drawing and clay for artworks in 2D and 3D are considered in terms of their materiality and personal and implicit autobiographical expression in the quest for articulation of a personal and universal voice. Visual journaling of the process and curation of the artworks are recognised as significant in their contribution to the production and presentation of the creative studio practice and are unable to be reduced to or subsumed by the explication or exhibition.
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    Contemporary fine art and Islamic beliefs concerning representational imagery: a sample survey in Durban.
    (1998) Galdhari, Faiza.; Thathiah, Kirendra Vartharajloo.; Nadvi, Syed Salman.
    Abstract available in pdf.
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    Poised in space: between mark and maker, investigating the effects of unknowing on my artistic practice.
    (2018) Birch, Caroline Clare.; Hall, Louise Gillian.
    The focus of this research is to investigate the effects of unknowing on my artistic practice. This encompasses finding ways to access unknowing, and ways of remaining open to unknowing. Profound uncertainty, which disrupted my artmaking practice, was initially perceived as an artist’s block. When the approach to this uncertainty was changed to one of curious enquiry, the close relationship between instability, uncertainty and transformation was revealed. This investigation unexpectedly found that the solution to this prohibitive uncertainty was not provided by knowledge but by deliberately turning away from knowledge (Morgan 2014: 111). Discovering ways to repudiate understanding or knowledge as a goal, revealed the generative potency of unknowing. Unknowing appears to be a ubiquitous yet indefinable presence, whose influence was felt in this study as instability, uncertainty, or disorientation. Practice-led research (PLR) proved an invaluable means of embedding these experiences in artmaking methods. ‘In-the-dark’ artmaking methods were developed from PLR interweaving of artmaking practice and theory. This provided a means of moving away from understanding (Morgan 2014: 111) and of cultivating uncertainty and instability. From ‘in-the-dark’ methods a new understanding emerged that artist, materials and unfolding interaction (Carter in Barrett & Bolt 2007: 21) together constitute a single artmaking intelligence. Referred to as energy density, this concept is underpinned by extended mind theory (Clark & Chalmers 1998), material thinking (Barrett & Bolt 2007: 19-20,30), Hannula’s (2009: 4-5 of 20) “democracy of experience” and physics. Energy density embodies the spacious structure of atoms and all matter (Eddington 1948: 2; Niaz 1998: 534-537), indicating the lack of physical impediments hindering the transformative influence of ‘spacious unknowing’. Additionally, this research demonstrates that prior knowledge of an action was not required to be able to act or make art. Action embodies the transformative quantum of action (Bohr 1958: 17-18; Eddington 1948: 180,185; Hilgevoord & Uffink rev. 2016: 11-12 of 25) and enabled the implementation of destabilising ‘in-the-dark’ methods. Instability and transformation are closely allied in this study. ‘In-the-dark’ methods, applied using PLR and “postmodern emergence” methodologies, have triggered radical change at all levels of my artistic practice.
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    Waste as a resource: an exploration of sustainable processes in the Ceramics Studios of UKZN through the practice and creative production of Natasha Jane Hawley.
    (2018) Hawley, Natasha Jane.; Rall, Michelle Marie.
    The following study is a practice-based research project that incorporates theoretical and practical components in order to identify more sustainable systems in the Ceramics Studio of the CVA and to understand the relationship between, process, media and concept in the creative practice of the researcher, Natasha Hawley. The studio based practice focuses on a Zero Waste philosophy, altering existing studio practice and integrating waste as a medium. The main concepts of practice include experimentation, sustainable practice, waste as an aesthetic medium, visual art materiality theory and cultural materiality theory. The theoretical framework integrates sustainability and materiality. An in-depth examination of the effects of waste on the environment supports the context and relevance of a sustainable approach on which this study is based. An interrogation of materiality theory pertaining to the visual arts and social systems provides insight into the embodied meaning of the vessel in my work. This exploration is reinforced by the studio practice, which reflects on the physical qualities and processes of the media. The style of writing pertaining to creative practice in this research has been based on the reflection, reflexive style as prescribed by the practice-based research approach. This discussion focuses on the physical and historical materiality of my key media and the vessel form, and the contribution of process to embodied meaning. Images and journal references are accompanied by in-depth descriptions of the media and process in order to establish their fundamental connectedness. Additionally the modes of display and contribution by peer-review in the set up of the final exhibition illustrate the importance of appropriate display tactics.
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    Introducing advances in non-toxic intaglio printmaking at the Centre for Visual Arts UKZN through practice based research.
    (2018) Pretorius, Casparus Eloff.; Arbuckle, Katherine Elizabeth.
    This study investigated the reduction of hazards in intaglio printmaking through practicebased research of non-toxic etching and intaglio materials. Traditional etching techniques involve health, safety, and environmental hazards that can be minimised by using alternative non-toxic materials and processes. This study investigated the potential of using non-toxic intaglio printmaking methods in place of traditional methods at the Centre for Visual Arts (CVA) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). A review of literature on non-toxic intaglio printmaking revealed a gap in non-toxic research specific to the South African context. A case study of a Belgian non-toxic printmaking studio was conducted over a period of three months, which enabled practical non-toxic printmaking experience to be compared with traditional printmaking methods. Qualitative data was collected through artistic practice, observation, interview, and collection of artefacts. The non-toxic alternatives were found to be capable of achieving the visual effects generally associated with traditional etching methods and materials, while reducing the number and variety of hazardous materials present in the printmaking studio. General Systems Theory was used to analyse the ‘parts' which comprise the ‘whole’ etching system. The processes and materials used in etching were studied as parts with interrelations that are used as a means of artistic production. By isolating these parts and systematically testing alternatives, a non-toxic etching method was developed for the CVA. This practice-based research process resulted in a series of printed artworks. These works explored relevant themes including toxicity, disruption, the overview effect, and the impact of human activity on the earth system. The works incorporated traditional and high-altitude perspectives of mining waste sites which were identified as disrupted South African landscapes. In these landscapes, toxic chemical waste and extractive mining activities had changed the environment dramatically. The disruption of the landscapes depicted in the printed works is a thematic extension of the disruption of traditional printmaking methods through the introduction of non-toxic methods. This disruption improved safety by reducing chemical hazards in intaglio printmaking practice, and contributes to making this mode of artistic practice more sustainable.
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    Tableware for everyday food and feast: the ceramics of Fay Morris.
    (2018) Morris, Fay.; Rall, Michelle Marie.
    This practice-based MAFA-R consists of integrated theoretical and practical components. The theoretical component is divided into two volumes, with Volume I looking at the potential of commensality (eating together) to create a sense of community, whether tableware can enhance communal eating and a discussion of original tableware created by Fay Morris. Volume II, the Ceramics studio manual, documents technical knowledge gained through the research and studio practice of Fay Morris. This includes information such as ceramic raw materials, studio safety and other practical guidelines that would assist practitioners setting up a ceramics studio. An exhibition of selected tableware created by the researcher-practitioner forms the practical component. Several theories and philosophies underpin this research. Academic findings on commensality and its potential to create a sense of community are explored. The value of handmade utilitarian wares in our culture of mass production and convenience is discussed as well as the Japanese philosophy that ceramic wares have spiritual content. Furthermore, the Japanese method of kintsukuroi is found to be a personal metaphor for healing. The practical component involves the creation of original tableware for everyday use and festive occasions. Unique ceramic wares, some with glass components, are created using the methods of throwing, slip-casting and glass slumping. Details referencing rockpool life are incorporated into many festive wares, inviting close inspection. Both functional and aesthetic considerations for tableware are taken into account. Adopting a practice-based approach, studio practice is built on tacit knowledge and existing skills. New knowledge and additional skills are acquired through practice and discoveries direct further research. Thumbnail images in text illustrate these discoveries.
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    A critical survey of Ardmore ceramics: 1985-1996.
    (1997) Mentis, Glenda Ann.; Leeb-du Toit, Juliette Cecile.; Armstrong, Juliet Yvonne.
    The aim of this study is to trace the development of the ceramics produced at the Ardmore Studio, in the Champagne Valley, KwaZulu-Natal from its inception in 1985 to 1996. In tracing the expansion of the studio various issues became apparent which can be seen as relevant to the study of contemporary black art in South Africa. The Introduction puts Ardmore ceramics in the context of current trends in black art by presenting an historical overview of art centres in KwaZulu-Natal. The perceptions of the artist, the audience, and the role of the cultural broker are considered. Thus the circumstances which led to emergence of contemporary black art in its present form and the development of contemporary ceramics in South Africa are also examined. In Chapter One an historical outline of the origins of the studio is introduced. Fee HalstedBerning's involvement in the studio and her relationship with the artists, as well as her perceptions of art as related to her personal preferences, her training and current South African trends in ceramics are discussed. The forging of an Ardmore identity, the growth and expansion of the studio, the interrelation that exists between the artists and the audience are also considered. Chapters Two and Three deal with two specific artists, Bonnie Ntshalintshali and Josephine Ghesa. Issues related to the sources and origins of their imagery are examined in terms of their respective social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
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    Bronwen Findlay, Yinka Shonibare and Joanna Smart: Approaches to pattern and form in contemporary artists’ practice.
    (2017) Smart, Joanna.; Spencer, Faye Julia.; Hall, Louise Gillian.
    The purpose of this Master’s dissertation was to investigate the use of pattern and fabric in the artworks of contemporary artists Yinka Shonibare, Bronwen Findlay and the researcher, Joanna Smart. Through this enquiry the aim was to position her practice and approach with respect to pattern in the contemporary Fine Art context. This research intended to explore how pattern and textile is used to challenge the art and craft hierarchy within the art of a few contemporary artists. Further this research acknowledges a subjective element in these artists choice of pattern and fabric. The methodology used in this research is Practice-Based, which will reflect on how the researcher makes work through the painting process and the documentation of that process. The theoretical framework that underpinned the thesis is the art/craft debate. The researcher’s studio practice aimed to disrupt hierarchies of art and craft, and this dissertation explored how notions of art and craft have been interrogated in her painting. This dissertation discussed how the approaches of other artists has shifted the researcher’s work with regard to pattern and cloth. The researcher aimed to experiment with the different ways in which textiles and pattern can be used in the researcher’s paintings. Through a reflection of her painting practice and an examination of how other artists use pattern and cloth, the complexity of possible meaning inherent in pattern and fabric was explored. For example, the conceptual meaning of pattern and fabric in the researcher’s painting practice was encouraged by the research into other contemporary artists’ works. The researcher discovered a deeper appreciation for the way cloth and pattern challenges hierarchies within art and craft. Furthermore, the way in which pattern and cloth are often used as signifiers of culture and identity was explored. This dissertation explores how pattern and cloth reflects the researcher’s experiences. Importantly, the review of other artists’ work shifted how she uses fabric and pattern as a representation of culture and identity in her paintings. Additionally, her practice shifted visually with regards to diverse textures, colours and tones.
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    Eastern European experimental animation, fine art aesthetics and the digital age.
    (2016) Gouteva, Anelia Valentinova.; Stewart, Michelle.
    The study is an exploration of Eastern European animation as it relates to experimental animation practice – in particular as it relates to fine art aesthetics. The research further aims to investigate the validity of this tradition within the context of digital cinema technology. In this regard the investigation focuses on the experimental animated films of Eastern European animators Yuri Norstein and Aleksandr Petrov. The study will importantly also include an analysis of the candidate's practice-based research as it relates to the digital platform, fine art aesthetics and to the candidate's eastern European heritage. As this study is practice-based and comprises a textual and practice component, the research questions relate to both practice and theory. However as both components are related, the research questions relate to both areas of study: As the study considers how digital cinema technology and creative applications can emulate and facilitate the processes and aesthetics of traditional, hand-crafted animation, the research question which arises from the dominance of digital technology within the genre of animation, is whether traditional animation methods have become obsolete. The study aims to address this question through an in-depth exploration of the experimental, hand-crafted animation techniques of Norstein and Petrov. This research question is also a significant aim in the practice-based component of this study and is explored textually and in the candidate’s two film projects.
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    Multiple images and the construction of meaning : a study of multiple-image artworks, with reference to Daina Mabunda’s Twenty rings, Angela Buckland’s block A Jacobs men’s hostel and Ernestine White’s memory wall.
    (2013) Wang, Elizabeth.; Spencer, Faye Julia.
    This dissertation explores the significance of multiple-image artworks, in which a number of discrete images are presented to the viewer together as a single work. Daina Mabunda’s Twenty rings, Angela Buckland’s Block A Jacobs mens’ hostel, Ernestine White’s Memory wall and the candidate’s own work are explored as examples of this type of artwork. The concept of fragmentation in visual art (particularly as a feature of modernism) is looked at, including the development of installation art. Theory relating to installation art is explored, particularly the ideas put forward by Claire Bishop in Installation art and Graham Coulter-Smith in Deconstructing installation art. Bishop’s work on the role of the viewer in relation to the installation, particularly her concept of activation, is looked at. Coulter-Smith’s response to Bishop’s ideas and his work on deconstructive art as nonlinear narrative are examined. Concepts from literary theory dealing with fragmentation, and the role of the reader are also dealt with. Literary theory (particularly work by Bakhtin, Derrida, Kristeva and Barthes) provides different ways of responding to some of the questions at the heart of this research, namely: what constitutes reader/viewer engagement, what facilitates this type of engagement, and what is the significance of this type of engagement?
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    Narratives of departure : a body of art and literary work accompanied by a theoretical enquiry into the process and methodology of their production.
    (2017) Spencer, Faye Julia.; Stobie, Cheryl.; Wessels, Michael Anthony.
    This research undertaking comprises the dual submission of closely related practical and theoretical research. The thesis represents the theoretical component of a practice-based PhD research project. The practical component of the project is made up of original creative work drawn from three bodies of practice across the creative spheres of painting, creative writing and printmaking. My Office Politics Series, comprises an extended immersion in paintings and drawings that utilise dogs and canine behaviour as metaphors for the workplace specifically, and the present social climate more broadly. The second project, The Indian Yellow Project began in creative writing, and consists of both printmaking and creative writing. The story unfolding within the writing is one of familial loss and efforts at recovery. Through writing I was enabled to create visual imbrications on this theme in printmaking. The prints themselves and the images contained therein reference the story outlined in the novella but also serve to act independently of it. The third project, the Wish List Project began as a series of paintings by a single creator (myself) but over time transformed into a multiple participant print-based collaboration for a public space. A significant part of my research comprises a detailed enquiry into the manner in which each of the three projects engages with notions of departure and dislocation in various forms. In my thesis I consider the dialogue that each project establishes internally in relation to the theme of departure as well as the form that this dialogue assumed across all three projects, including the novella. I reflect on how this exploration of departure relates to the humanising functions that I believe art fulfils: catharsis, cohesion and community. In my thesis I refer to writing from a wide range of contemporary theorists. These include ideas on signification, visuality and narrative proposed by Mikhail Bakhtin, Roland Barthes, Hélène Cixous and Julia Kristeva, insofar as these relate to my philosophy and experience regarding the function and potential of creative practice. Also contributing to this research are Bakhtin’s notion of dialogism (1981, 1984) and what he terms the “eternal” (1984:202) mobility of signs. In my Indian Yellow Project specifically I consider numerous ways in which the text and images can be read. The cathartic function and the ‘call to’ or motive for writing (and other creative acts) form a central question in the thesis, and ideas proposed by Cixous on the relationship of writing to death and to catharsis are of particular relevance to this research enquiry. The reading and creative investigation for the project span philosophical, narrative, thematic and material (medium-related) concerns. I also reflect on the important role metaphor and story-telling play in each project; and I consider their use as mechanisms for dialogue. Through my practice I discover, as Hannah Arendt (1995:105) suggests, that in story-telling we make sense of experiences, we uncover meaning without cancelling out or defining it in a narrow ambit. Through my enquiry into each of the three projects I consider ways in which creative practice offers the creators, and those who view, read or interact with the works, opportunities to, as Cixous suggests, say the unsayable (1993:53). My thesis and my practice are driven by the conviction that art is a valuable site for healing and for dialogue which “avows the unavowable” (53). While the first of my projects analysed in this thesis specifically references ideas about power relations and feelings of disempowerment, on the whole the traumas I reflect on in these three bodies of practice are personal in nature. Nevertheless, I believe that their implications for creative practices as tools for catharsis and communication of the “unsayable” are particularly relevant to a society such as South Africa where there remains so much scope for repair. As a person involved in arts education I believe it is important to draw attention to my conviction that creative practice offers opportunities for dialogue and repair, and my engagement with this thesis is an effort to emphasise this conviction.