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Seeing Beauty: A visual exploration of transformative experience.


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Simone, A 2011 , 'Seeing Beauty: A visual exploration of transformative experience.', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis is concerned with developing a visual language to explore the concept of
immaterial reality as encountered through transformative experience.
Many individuals have had unique, and often profound, transformative experiences
which have made them aware of a different order of reality. Following the experience,
there is a certainty within the individual that an intangible aspect of reality exists,
traditionally referred to as the immaterial or spiritual. The experiences are not
exclusive to, or necessarily associated with, traditional forms of institutionalised
religion and they are not automatically related to the occult. They can occur to any
individual, regardless of age, sex, race or their location in time and space. The
experiences are imbued with an archetypal form of beauty which permeates the
individual’s vision of existence. This deepened vision becomes part of their daily
experience of reality.
Utilising archetypal imagery, light, pattern, symmetry, and geometry, I visually
explore my transformative experiences. The exploration of the archetypal concepts of
transformation, duality and the immaterial, has resulted in a body of work comprised
of installations that incorporate video, photography and sound. Each of the seven
works draws from my own subjective experience of reality, creating a highly
personal, meditative, and immersive environment.
Personal transformative experience has prompted me to examine the metaphysical
questions surrounding the human condition. This has resulted in a multidisciplinary
theoretical framework for my art practise. I have engaged with writings from
psychology, philosophy, mythology, modern physics and comparative religion,
including the works of C.G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, Fritjof Capra and Paul Davies.
The same questions of existence stimulated by my transformative experiences have
inspired artists throughout recorded history. My research is contextualised by
contemporary artists who explore matters pertaining to the immaterial aspects of
reality. Video artists, Bill Viola and Jordan Belson, explore their own subjective transformative experiences, while others explore humanity’s spiritual connection with
nature, or imbue their work with an invisible presence through an engagement with
human perception.
I seek to contribute to my field through an examination of ancient archetypal symbols
and ideas using new technologies. Thus I have utilised, computer generated imagery
and digitally generated audio to represent the experience of revelation and create a
metaphor for spiritual transformation. Additionally, my work links the idea of
transformation and revelation to experiences of childhood; both through the recreation
of experiences from my childhood as well as drawing on more recent events with my
own children. These aspects combine to render an individual vision of a universal

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Simone, A
Keywords: transformative, beauty, transcendence, immaterial, metamorphosis, perception, sublime
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