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Imposition and disposition : paintings : M.F.A. submission


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Bennett, Anne 1986 , 'Imposition and disposition : paintings : M.F.A. submission', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The impetus of my work stems from ideas about the myths surrounding "witches"
and the phenomenon of "witch hunts" and the traditions of masks.
Shrouded in mystery, superstition and fear, some such people whose behaviour is
deemed 'different', and subsequently threatening have been seen as 'witches' - as
"Witch figures of various types, whatever their sex or function, share
characteristics which make them out not only as abnormal but also
frightening". (John Widdowson, The Witch Figure)
The fiction of 'witch', in which 'suspected' people are encased is fabricated.
Elements of empirical reality are interpreted, re-interpreted and mis-interpreted in
respect of the beholders own social, ideological and emotional needs, often in order
to validate a position of authority, invested with the 'moral', 'natural' right and
obligation to dominate, to implement punishment of and to irradicate such
'possessed' beings.
Repeatedly, throughout the course of civilization, masks have been attributed the
power to transform an individual into another being, personify the supernatural and
deities; in effect, to dissimilate and depersonify the person behind. I am interested
in the use of masks and masquerade; and the notion that not only can someone don a mask in order to disguise (protect) his/her identity, but that we can also
mask and transform the reality of a person in order to assuage our own needs.
The way in which we perceive things, I believe is largely predetermined by our
experiences, expectations and feelings.
I intend to produce a series of paintings (and drawings) which emanate from these
concepts. My images will be derived through a process of isolating and
exaggerating elements of figurative images, juxtaposing such segments with one
another, and, perhaps by also layering and uncovering areas in order to construct a
'new' whole. Reworking and reshaping representations of people, imposing a
different, distorted identity (an identity containing ambiguity, conflict and mystery). Abstraction or the eclipsing of extraneous visual information will be sought to give
a directness and potency to my images. I will endeavour to reach an equilibrium
between the vestigial suggestiveness of abstraction and the accessibility that literal
references provide. I feel the need to use paint and other materials, in affirmation
of the art making process and in self-acknowledgement of my own fabrications (i.e.
painted statements). Not wishing to either depict the 'visible' world or have my
work equated with what is 'real' life, I pay particular attention to painterly
My first theory paper looks at the feminist art movement since 1970, focusing on
the writing of Lucy Lippard. The issues raised move beyond my immediate
preoccupations into a more general theoretical arena. In the second paper, I would
like to deal with issues more central to my work (possibly based on the social
theory of magic, witches and witch-hunts).

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Bennett, Anne
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1986 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).

Additional Information:

Art copy includes slides. Thesis (M.F.A.)--University of Tasmania, 1987. includes bibliographical references

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