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The Sentient Body: An exploration of the body's intimate connection to the environment.

Morrison, A 1999 , 'The Sentient Body: An exploration of the body's intimate connection to the environment.', PhD thesis, University fo Tasmania.

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This project investigates methodologies within the practice of oil
painting in order to conceptualise perceptions about the intimate
connection between the body and the environment.
Today the notion of the integrity of the body as complete and
separate is actively fostered by the virtual, which delivers
knowledge without the smell and touch of realty. Increasingly
insulated from the actual experiences of nature, our biological
selves are nonetheless in a state of constant material exchange
with the environment. Beyond this functionality, there are those
who cultivate a deeper sensory connection with the land. They
regard themselves as being at one with the environment and
sense within their bodies the rhythms and pulse of the cosmos.
It is these internal indicators, felt rather than seen, which form
the subject of this project and the investigation has sought the
means through painting to successfully conceptualise these
feelings of connection.
The issue of visually representing sensory responses which do
not manifest themselves in pragmatic vision requires the
invention of new and effective signifiers. Various methods
based upon the fluid applications of oil on canvas have been
investigated. Of course visual language cannot be expected to
function completely outside the field of metaphor. Here the
segments of the process, the actions of painter and paint, form
the metaphors for flow and rhythm, and for the bindings which
wrap the body into its surroundings.
Throughout the project, the subjects of each painting have been
the feelings referenced within my own bodily experience. Every
work represents a new exploration of the metaphoric process
yet, in terms of the investigation, each is an echo of the last and a
foretaste of the next.
The specific thematic connection of the body and the
Environment lifts the project clear of the wider evocative intent
present in aspects of the Abstract Expressionist movement,
although both similarities and dissimilarities with painterly
processes employed by artists such as Helen Frankenthaler and
Morris Louis are recognised. The precursors within the thematic
of this project are particular works by the artists Helen
Chadwick, Ana Mendieta, Mona Hatoum, Terry Winters,
Georgia O'Keeffe, Moira Dryer and Ian McKeever.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Morrison, A
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