A thousand intertwinings: an exploration of embodied artistic processes made in collaboration with an estuarine landscape and its vibrant matter

Halcrow, L (2022) A thousand intertwinings: an exploration of embodied artistic processes made in collaboration with an estuarine landscape and its vibrant matter. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

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This doctoral research project is practice-based, artistic research. It proceeds through the development of a series of explorations of embodied, sensorial processes and emergent artworks made in collaboration with place, its materiality, entangled more-than-human and non-human worlds through the often-overlooked stuff of the everyday; from the earth underfoot, to human debris in the form of abandoned structures, daily washed-up plastic and discarded metal detritus. These artworks are thought of as "matter maps" with the embodied making as experimental re-mapping activities. The project asks the question: "How can slow and collaborative artistic mapping processes generate careful records through touch and a close engagement with the vibrant matter of 'place'?" The artistic work/processes as "matter maps" are framed through contextual writing that aims not to replace the work with words, but to offer insights through the lens of Karen Barad's 'agential realism', exploring entangled intra-actions with matter (2007); Donna Haraway's diffractive exploration of matter as a mode of 'making kin' (2016); and Jane Bennett's 'vibrant matter' and 'thing-power' (2010). Contemporary writers including David Abram, Edward Casey, Gilles Deleuze, Tim Ingold, Brian Massumi, Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, Isabelle Stengers, and Rebecca Solnit will provide additional contextual insights in relation to care, embodiment, slow attunement, repetition, horizontal ontologies and the anarchive. Writers exploring contemporary artists working with place, materiality, trace and mapping are highlighted to attend to current trans-disciplinary discourse and artistic research within this field. The project is the culmination of six years of frequent walks along the Taw Estuary in North Devon (UK), so this place in particular forms a case study. The emergent artworks are often fragile or in a state of flux, working with approaches to mapping human, non-human and more-than-human traces situated within a counter-cartographical framework (Stephanie Springgay and Sarah Truman, 2018). This approach aims to unsettle the embodied experience of walking in a place through the act of slowing down to form a close tuning into its matter, and to disrupt notions around what is mapped, how it is mapped, by whom and for what purpose. In this way the work and the contextual writing explores multiple strands that weave together and meander in forms that echo the experience of walking, the estuary itself and my childhood memories of this place. All are inextricably entangled with my experience of the Taw, the residue of the estuary on my walking body, and the trace of my body within the estuary.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: PhD by Practice, practice-based artistic research, contemporary mark-making, creative ecologies, critical place inquiry, landscape research, creative geographies, haptic geographies, environmental humanities, more-than-representational theory, new materialism, walking methodologies, agential realism, diffraction methodologies, counter-cartographies, climate crisis, the anarchive
Divisions: Bath School of Art, Film and Media
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.17870/bathspa.00014657
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2022 16:39
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2024 18:34
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/14657
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