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The invisible wall between private and public: an artistic exploration of liminality.

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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.


Masters Degree.University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.