My life as sculpture
: visual arts unique autobiography

  • Tobias Joel Richardson

    Student thesis: Masters by Research - CDU


    My Life as Sculpture is an interdisciplinary research project incorporating both sculpture and drawing and is presented as an installation (Raft Artspace, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, March 2012). Developed over two years, the artworks explore themes of autobiography and the built environment. The research aimed to clarify and extend the relationship between the artist's twenty-year practice and the continuing themes of self and built environments. The juxtaposing of physical vernacular forms (built environments) with psychological and metaphysical elements creates the autobiographical framework. The artworks are presented in the context of abstractionist aesthetic theory and within contemporary Australian practice. The research method is primarily wood construction, combining found objects, developed through studio practice at Charles Darwin University, and drawings created whilst traveling in Australia and abroad. The research combines family history, artists' biographies, abstractionist aesthetics and contemporary practice. The discussion and analysis that accompanies the artworks are distilled into overlapping chapters covering theoretical perspectives, materials and processes, and results. The artworks reference several key visual artists, particularly Willem de K coning, Gerrit Rietveld and Carl Andre, as well as contemporary artists such as Peter Atkins and Phoebe Washburn. Strategies to reconcile the vast, interpretive and self-reflective nature of autobiography as a subject are tested. This project argues that as a practicing artist I see biography as theory and subject matter. The project's results include a substantial exhibition of artworks, but al so a broadening of my understanding of the potential autobiography has for the visual arts.
    Date of Award2012
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorAndrea Ash (Supervisor)

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