Towards a Peripatetic Practice: negotiating journey through painting

Date

2017

Authors

Glikson, Michal

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Abstract

Towards a peripatetic practice: negotiating journey through painting investigates painting as a way of comprehending lived experience of travel. The project develops from curiosity about journeys and their potential for bringing the artist into encounters with the world, and proximate to its issues and concerns. Aims of the project focused on peripatetic practice as a means of redirecting a personal experience of rootlessness towards connecting with others, and considering and communicating the complexity of cross-cultural experience through painting. Objectives as such were to investigate through practice the function and form of peripatetic painting, and to document this through film and writing. The study acknowledges travel as an ancient way of knowing the world and takes inspiration from the paradigm of the nomadic storyteller as exemplified in the Bengali tradition of Patuya Sangit (scroll performance). With a sense of the capacity for painting to provide spaces of connection and empathy, the study draws on the writing of John Berger and Suzi Gablik, exploring a confluence of ideas about the evolving social role of the artist. Key influences are historic and contemporary peripatetic creative practices, which include the writer Freya Stark, the colonial painter William Simpson, and the artists Phil Smith and John Wolseley. The project also incorporates methodological approaches which borrow from anthropology, situating the artist as observer, participant, and ultimately, agent. Practice in this context is immersive, and takes on social, interactive dimensions for which making paintings becomes a means of knowing and questioning the nature of cross-cultural experience. Explorations took the form of increasingly immersive journeys in Australia, India and Pakistan and a series of paintings utilising extended scroll formats with additional outcomes of documentary films. As the key research spaces for practice-led research, the scroll paintings employ pencil, collage, watercolour and oil, and a metaphoric fusion of styles and techniques of painting and drawing, notably Persian miniature and life portraiture as a means of accounting for and sharing the abiding experiences and encounters yielded through travel.

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Keywords

miniature, painting, peripatetic, practice-led research, India, Pakistan, Australia, contemporary painting, cross-border art practice, cross-cultural, ethnographic, life-drawing, in-situ, storytelling, empathy, imaginal world, Shanamah, Baroda, anthropology, William Simpson, Freya Stark, Moving Panorama, compound image, Patuya Sangit, Islam, pardakht, Bengal, National College of Art, Hindu, Santiniketan, Naya, participant observation, John Berger, Kolkata, Kanpur, Pakhtunkhua, Khyber, Punjabi, Phoolbagan, Baluchistan, Gurgaon, Anindita Bhattacharya, Nida Bangash, Freya Stark, Khadim Ali, Banksy, Phil Smith, Suzi Gablik, Ruth Waller, Jennifer Taylor, Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath, Orwell, Jack London, Modi Mill, Captain Cook, Stephen Graham, David Macauley, Agnes Varda Pellas, Vali Myers, siya qalam, Akbar, Tamasp, John Wolseley, Yirrkala, Howrah

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Thesis (PhD)

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DOI

10.25911/5d723f292d13c

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