Painting - perception & process, identity & ideology

  • Russell John Lilford

    Student thesis: Masters by Research - CDU


    In an effort to understand the relations between existential, theoretical and practical aspects of the painting process and visual art production, this paper examines ideas concerning the relation between perception, cognition and ideology.

    To do this I have conveniently distinguished between two interrelated modes of perception; one being the mental, cognitive (internal) form, the other being a physical, tactile interactive (external) form. I further explore, how through the differential links between these perceptual processes, at the interface between lived experience and cognitive reason, ideology is synthesised.

    Having aligned the process of art production with the formation of ideology I include a brief examination of semiotics to show how perception is stratified by reading and relating to objects as signs. Our interaction and identification with objects in our physical and social environment, thereby also contributes to the existential and the ideological formation of identity. I suppose that the provisional evolution of (my) identity in the world of objects/signs becomes a source of (my) Identity in painting. A semiotic interpretation of art as a form of text leaves a meta narrative as a residue or excess to the manifest text or narrative of (my) art.

    In formulating and executing my work in the exhibition "Domains in Perception" the following operations were undertaken (in order of application):
    1) Rectangular grid format.
    2) Simplified heraldic image (geometric colour domains) within each rectangle. This structure allows a solid foundation to paint on, as well as having its own underlying historical meaning, as an abstraction of heraldry.
    3) Depiction of domestic objects in expressionistic manner via varied mark making, in size, shape and tonal gradation; marks both surrounding and defining the objects.

    Whether or not from a post modem point of view, a significant aspect of this work is that it considers modernist conventions in painting. (including Cubism, Fauvism and Expressionism). The process of my paintings is a transitory linkage of perceptions, ideas and actions; the internal dialogue of thought and perception both forming, and set in motion by the action of language (objects/ signs/ painting).
    Date of AwardDec 1997
    Original languageEnglish

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