Open Access Repository

Artists and the articulation of islandness, sense of place, and story in Newfoundland and Tasmania

Brinklow, LM 2015 , 'Artists and the articulation of islandness, sense of place, and story in Newfoundland and Tasmania', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

PDF (Whole thesis)
Brinklow_whole_...pdf | Download (4MB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

| Preview


This dissertation explores and argues for a psychology of 'islandness' that
sometimes imponderable feeling that comes from visiting or living on an island. It is
a pre-rational, primordial, deep-in-the-marrow embodiment that incites rootedness
and a seeming unparalleled yearning for home, though visitors may also be attuned
to this or a similar experience.
Case studies are presented of the islands of Newfoundland, situated off Canada's east coast in the North Atlantic Ocean and Tasmania, located off Australia's southern coast in the Great Southern Ocean. Though on opposite sides of the globe, these islands were chosen because they share many characteristics: roughly similar
size and distance from the mainland, population, settlement origins, constitutional
arrangements, and the fact that historically they have been the butt of mainland jokes.
Yet both are conducive to artistic activity that seems disproportionately out of scale
with the size of their populations. On these islands, artists-literary, visual, musical,
performance, cinematic-increasingly focus on their localized identities and cultures,
creating an attitude of cultural confidence that comes from maintaining cultural
distinctiveness, particularly where a shared and bounded identity is crucial to
creating community.
This study, then, argues that attachment to place, island identities, and the prevalence
and place-specific quality of stories influences how islanders see themselves. The
study draws on a range of theories and concepts that underpin the broader field of 'Island Studies' while remaining firmly rooted in phenomenology.
At their most basic, the dissertation's ten chapters explore boundedness and
connectedness: geographically, psychologically and socially, through the lens of
place and attachment to place, and Island Studies. Analysing artistic expression of
Newfoundland and Tasmanian culture and the words of their creators, the
dissertation explores the inspirations and stories behind the art, the extent to which
attachment to place, island identity, and the prevalence of story (the 'glue' that binds people to their place) play a role in islanders' perceptions of self, individually and collectively. In the face of globalization and cultural homogenization, it is possible to learn from Tasmanian and Newfoundland artists about living with particularity and maintaining distinctive cultures; about resilience and innovation; about living
mindfully; about attachment to place and home; and about the role of story in
creating and sustaining island identity.
The dissertation attempts to express the essence of islandness: to put words to the 'imponderables' and, in so doing, discover what islands can teach the rest of the world about how cultures change and adapt.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Brinklow, LM
Keywords: islands, islandness, identity, artists, Newfoundland, Tasmania, sense of place, island studies
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2015 the author

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page