University of Newcastle Research Higher Degree Thesis
Exploring the concepts of discontinuity of culture, familial connection and emotional relationships to country, this exegesis examines the role of landscape painting to act as conduit to a felt connection to place that no longer exists in the present day. When the landscape has been reduced to memory is an artist able to understand more closely a spiritualistic part of an internal landscape?
Landscape paintings can be representational of an essence of experience, a psychic sense of belonging, an expression of loneliness for family or a sense of solitude. Placing these investigations within the context of Aboriginal culture and connection to the Australian landscape, and through the lens of other contemporary artists from both urban and remote communities this paper demonstrates that a genuine expression of Aboriginal spirituality can be achieved through non-traditional, naturalistic modes of the depiction of the land.
In this exegesis I have examined my work within a conceptual framework for cultural productions and the prism of works produced by other tertiary educated Aboriginal artists working within an urban studio practice, investigating cross cultural exchange of visual tropes, bi-cultural identity and the changing notions of contemporary Aboriginality. Through my artistic practice I am able to explore and express my own thoughts and emotions generated by personal family history, feelings of connection to country and personal experience of my own Aboriginality.