'AN EMPTINESS THAT LOOKED LIKE HUMAN FORM' Liverpool Street Gallery, Adelaide, 2016
This body of work was completed as part of a Master of Visual Art which was completed in June 2016 at the University of South Australia.
This thesis explored, considered and developed a discourse around the subject of duality in the visual arts via the concept of the human ‘shade’ within Dante Alighieri’s 13th century poem ‘Inferno; a being that is at once both physically present but also without substance.
My interest in Dante’s shades as a focus for the theme of duality was an extension of my own contradictory position on religion as an atheist and former Christian who is at once both repelled and fascinated by extreme viewpoints such as Hell in religious belief systems and the double inclination to inhabit multiple conflicting viewpoints toward one theme.
During the process of research, Inferno and the co-existing concepts of existence, non-existence, repellence and attraction continued throughout the process to provide the parameters through which I worked. This research refined my understanding and experience of western religion as an Atheist and former Christian; a strange mental dichotomy where I am repelled by the idea of Hell, but simultaneously aware that it also holds a strong fascination and pull that makes me want to understand it in detail.
The chosen methodologies of practice based research and philosophical hermeneutics supplied a framework by which I came to understand my changing interpretation and understandings of the texts dealing with this theme and to facilitate the evolution of ideas that were an outcome of these shifting views and how they manifest in creative practice.