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Repetition and difference : poetic invocations of nature in visual art

MacDermott, MT 2005 , 'Repetition and difference : poetic invocations of nature in visual art', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Repetition, particularly as employed in minimalist art, has been
contrasted to the poetic insofar as it is associated with notions such as
sameness and standardization, while the poetic is associated with
uniqueness and difference. In my work however, my aim is to express a
poetics of nature through the use of repetition.
Because of the centrality of repetition, minimal ism was the initial context
that informed the research. But while minimalists emphasized the
modular, which has connotations of standardization and mass production,
my interest resides in how repetition operates in nature where there is
never an exact replication.
The key artists within the research context are Carl Andre whose use of
the modular grid evokes a sense of environment; Claude Monet in
relation to his investigations of the nuance of changing light and
atmospheric conditions as manifested particularly in his water lily series;
Paul Klee's use of repetitive tree-like structures; Agnes Martin's
repetition of the horizon in her monochromatic paintings; Emily Kame
Kngwarreye's repetition of marks/gestures that draw on nature in her
paintings; and Vija Celmins' repetitions of marks and of oceanic and
inter-stellar motifs.
Correlations have been formed in the research between Gilles Deleuze's
understanding of repetition within Difference and Repetition and Gaston
Bache lard's definition of poetics within The Poetics of Space. I propose
that the similarity of the operations of repetition and poetics suggests they can be viewed as being related, and that the essential condition of the two
orders is mobility.
The three main aspects of nature that have been researched in relation to
mobility and repetition are: the wave and its dual characteristics within
water and light; growth, particularly leaf vein structures that appear
uniform but are unique; and time seen through cycles and evolutions in
My contribution to the field is in extending a dialogue in which repetition
is not mere replication of the same but arises out of the recognition of
difference within sameness.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:MacDermott, MT
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Copyright 2005 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

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