Cutting up the landscape: the construction and deconstruction of Australia’s physical, cultural and economic identity.

Cotching, K 2006, Cutting up the landscape: the construction and deconstruction of Australia’s physical, cultural and economic identity., Masters by Research, Art, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Cotching.pdf Thesis application/pdf 3.17MB
Title Cutting up the landscape: the construction and deconstruction of Australia’s physical, cultural and economic identity.
Author(s) Cotching, K
Year 2006
Abstract The research project is an investigation of how paper-cutting techniques can be applied to depict the way in which people interact with their environment. This is achieved by looking at historical and contemporary ideas regarding the environment as a shared landscape. This investigation is a studio-based production of artwork that encompasses and explores the decorative and technical elements of paper cutting, together with ideas about the impact of human interventions on their surrounding environment. Ideas explored cover the changing characteristics of the Australian landscapes in a physical, cultural and an economic sense.

The major objective of the research project is to develop a body of visual art works that investigate the relationship between traditional paper-cutting techniques and the development of imagery that provides social commentary in a contemporary context. Traditionally Chinese paper cutting is used in daily life for purposes that are decorative, ceremonial and documentary. The objective of the project is to consider the possible applications of the paper-cut in a contemporary western context to create artwork that contributes to discussion about the impact economic, cultural and industrial changes have on the way we perceive and interact with our environment.

This project aims to investigate the use of decoration and ornament by artists that reference issues relevant to their contemporary climate, particularly the use of traditional craft techniques as a means for artists to discuss ideas that are relevant to the broader community. To investigate historical and contemporary ideas about the landscape as a malleable and ever changing resource, including ideas about shared public space, and the impact economic, cultural and industrial changes have on the way we perceive and interact with and within our environment. To utilise and expand on techniques used by folk artists in the creation of traditional paper-cuts by applying the basic principals of paper cutting in a contemporary context through the production of object and installation based work. And to create a body of work that entices the viewer through dichotomy between imagery attractive because of its decorative element whilst dealing directly with complex social concerns.

The use of the paper cut as the primary technique works in conjunction with the theoretical component of the work in numerous ways. Making many incisions in a piece of paper creates a paper cut. This can be construed as an invasive and destructive, even violent act; yet the creative potential of such actions cannot be over-looked. This method of production draws a parallel with the way many people view the ‘development’ of post-colonial Australia. The selective removal or inclusion of paper in order to create a bigger picture is similar to the way we selectively use spaces in the landscape, dividing it up for development, or reserving parts for ecological and recreational purposes. Like a large paper-cut, the landscape becomes subdivided and shaped into an entity that reflects our economic, cultural and industrial directions.

Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Art
Keyword(s) Paper cut
Landscape
contemporary art
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Created: Tue, 19 Nov 2013, 15:34:32 EST by Leona Campitelli
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