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Drawing the betweenness of place


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Smith, NM 2014 , 'Drawing the betweenness of place', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This research explores the practice of creativity as a means to illuminating the significant yet under explored concept of betweenness. It consists of a theoretical interpretation of the concept and its intersection with related concepts, augmented by interview material drawn from participants experiencing the betweenness of everyday journeying. Research participants were drawn from the Tasmanian arts community and included practitioners of visual arts, music, dance, literature, architecture, poetry and film. Creative production itself involves crossings-over; attempts to transcend the mundane by entering emotional and intellectual terrain that is unfamiliar and of unknown status – between what is known and what is yet to be known. For this reason, art practitioners were deemed to be particularly suited to the research needs of the project.
The thesis explores participants’ descriptions of their everyday journeys between two places in order to answer the following questions. Is the inchoate experience, the numinous sensation that seems to characterise commonly undertaken journeys between two places, the emotional essence of betweenness? Given that the inchoate and numinous that qualify betweenness reside at the limits of representation, how might one represent these experiences? This might be described as ‘representing the unrepresentable – without representing it’. The device that I use is the practice of drawing. Rather than representing the betweenness, I use the practice of drawing as a device to ‘give presence’ to the betweenness.
The research uses a phenomenological approach to elucidate individuals’ perceptions of their journeys between two places, and then gathers observations into groups which, together with a review of the literature and autoethnographic explorations, reveal several of many possible components of betweenness. Taken together these comprise a drawing of the betweenness of place. The responses are visual and evocative while also affective in the more discursive sense of the term. Stress is on the process, then, and no ‘hard, definitive’ conclusion as to the nature of betweenness is reached.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Smith, NM
Keywords: Art, creativity, non-representation theory, journeying, drawing, place, betweenness, everyday cultural geography
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Copyright 2014 the author

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