Crisis of the soul
: a studio based enquiry in painting

  • Freya Ruth Tripp

    Student thesis: Masters by Research - CDU


    For this research project I sought to investigate ways in which to engage with the painted space, in order to explore relational aspects of my own human experience. I sought to attain visual evocations - thinking through painting - as a way of attending to anxieties that are symptomatic of ongoing processes of realignment. This body of visual research is aimed at contributing to the field of oil painting through an exploration of the painting process as it pertains to visual practice. Furthermore, the experience of that process for a range of artists who use oil painting as a means to express ideas related to both socio-political and personal experience.

    I ask “can painting, and in particular oil painting - as evidenced by historical and contemporary painters - be an effective method for exploring existential anxiety and relational aspects of ones own human experience? How might the work of other painters inform my approach to formulating my own visual language and theoretical concepts?

    The methodology I employed used oil painting techniques such as Alla Prima painting, glazing, Tenebrism and Chiaroscuro effects as the catalyst for producing a volume of paintings, before arriving at a select series for exhibition. The development of this body of work is supported through research and critical engagement with the historical and contemporary practices of Francisco de Goya, Albert Tucker, Odd Nerdrum, Ben Quilty and Billy Benn Perurrle. It has drawn on the writings of Mikhail Bakhtin and Alain de Botton as well as Kitsch painting, Grotesque aesthetics and the tradition of Vanitas and Still Life painting.

    A small number of paintings for exhibition, formed from a rigorous research process, comprise fully resolved artworks and demonstrate considerable conceptual and painterly skill. Painted in Arrernte country (Mbantua/Alice Springs) and exhibited an Nan Geise Gallery Darwin, the exhibition was thoughtfully curated and installed in a way that integrated seemingly disparate subject matter into a cohesive whole.
    Date of AwardOct 2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorWayne Cristaudo (Supervisor)

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