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[Documentation of work for Master of Fine Arts course]

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Mudie, P 1985 , '[Documentation of work for Master of Fine Arts course]', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

Important to all of my work, is the created illusion of the two dimensional imagery existing in a controlled three dimensional environment; extending the perspective within the pictorial space by the inclusion of an external device. Initially, this is what confronts the viewer.
I have incorporated the negative space as a 'foreground' and my imagery, although attached to it, remains partially hidden by it. The gallery wall is used as a revealing device, formally incorporated into the work, that the viewer must 'look through'.
The actual 'grid' of the negative space, or gallery wall, is representative of the pre-conditions that exist within the character or persona of the viewer (as it does in the world generally), and, although the work is structured by that precondition to some degree, it is not dominated by it. The pattern formed is mechanical, fixed, symmetrical, and most importantly, 'real'; it exists as a concrete substance that envelops the imagery presented. It enhances the illusion I am presenting by extending it.
The pieces themselves are to be viewed as individual windows that are hidden or obscured to some degree by the structures that exist within the manner with which we approach the visual world (*See the theoretical paper of the film 'Blowup' for further elaboration).
The images are revealed rather than viewed, and there remains an amount of expectancy as to what part of the imagery has been obscured or hidden by the 'grid' structure. I find this useful in that the viewer of my work is forced into associating the segments into a whole, that the viewer is placed into the role of the revealer rather than merely seeking entry into the contextual substance of the art work, then accepting or rejecting it at whim. In other words, the viewer should be 'looking at' not 'being shown' this by me.

The common mortal, that manufacture of Nature which she produces by the thousand every day, is, as we have said, not capable, at least not continuously so, of observation that in every sense is wholly disinterested, as sensuous contemplation, strictly so called, is. He can turn his attention to things only so far as they have some relation to his will, however indirect it may be.
Since in this respect, which never demands anything but the knowledge of relations, the abstract conception of the thing is sufficient, and for the most part even better adapted for use; the ordinary man does not linger long over the mere perception, does not fix his attention long on one object, but in all that is presented to him hastily seeks merely the concept under which it is to be brought, as the lazy man seeks a chair, and then it interests him no further.
(Arthur Schopenhauer, 'The World as Will and Idea')

What should also be quite clear to the viewer of my work is my philosophy that art is fundamentally a visual medium, and not merely a communicative tool. I have refrained from the use of text within the composition themselves because of this, even at the risk of being misunderstood. My work is primarily visual in treatment and transmission, and should not be regarded as being presumptuous, moralistic or judgemental. I do not attempt to assume a dominant ideological position over the viewer by being the creator of this work. I feel that if the visual arts lose their depth in visual substance, to be replaced by communicative worth or value, then exposure to art works can be no more than an informative academic pursuit requiring little or no sensory response from the viewer; that art is not simply assessed by how 'successful' it communicates to the viewer. Paul Klee's statement that art is fundamentally 'taking the viewer's eye for a walk' still holds true with me.

For the Idea can only be known by perception; and knowledge of the idea is the end of art.
(Arthur Schopenhauer, 'The World as Will and Idea')

Although the eye is directly connected to the mind, it should not merely be a transmitter of data for the mind to savour. The eye is also connected to other senses and sensibilities. In many ways the eye can 'touch' so successfully as the hand or mind can, albeit in a different fashion.

The so-called 'materialisation' of a feeling in the conscious mind really means a materialisation of the reflection of that feeling through the medium of some realistic conception. Such a realistic conception is without value ... because the true value of a work of art (to whatever school it may belong) resides solely in the feeling expressed.
(Kasimir Malevich, 'Suprematism')

Over the past two years I have experienced a great deal of pleasure in being allowed the opportunity to indulge almost totally in the act of creativity, and I would hope that the viewer of my imagery can find, at the very least, a visual enjoyment of it; of seeing the work.

The artist ... like the thinker or the scientist, seeks the truth ... And art itself may be defined as a single-minded attempt to render the highest kind of justice to the visible universe ... It is an attempt to find in its forms, in its colours, in its light, in its shadows, in the aspects of matter and in the facts of life what of each is fundamentally what is enduring and essential ...
(Joseph Conrad, 'The Nigger of the Narcissus')

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Mudie, P
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1985 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:

Thesis (MFA)--University of Tasmania, 1986. Includes bibliographical references

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