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Spatial painting and the mutative perspective: how painting can breach spatial dimensions and transfer meaning through abstraction




Chaseling, Claudia

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My practice-led PhD research investigates the broadening of physical boundaries of the painting medium and inquires into the ways abstract, nonRrepresentational painting can communicate narratives that have a socioRpolitical meaning, namely, the radioactive contamination of depleted uranium munitions. It considers how painting can extend into space to affect the viewer's sense of two- and three-dimensional boundaries and convey specific socioRpolitical meaning as such. This inquiry has comprised two parts: firstly, I conducted research into the historical and contemporary use of perspective in painting from the Byzantine period to the contemporary day, exploring painting methods that have challenged conventional, rational notions of perspective. This laid the foundations for the second part, during which I developed a new perspective in painting that I have termed 'Mutative Perspective' and 'Spatial Painting'. I selected these phrases because they reflect the subject matter that my experimental approach investigates: radioactive contamination and its effect on living forms. My interest in this issue concerns the abuse of depleted uranium munitions in wars since the 1990s. Accordingly, I have developed a narrative that explores these events and uses abstract painting as a medium to transmit the meaning of contamination in visual terms. Over a four-year research period, I focused on interweaving these elements so that the materiality of abstract painting expresses a social narrative. Taking into account both historical and contemporary artistic approaches to perspective, my intention has been to alter today's conventional understanding of space to establish an ambiguous field, one hovering between the two- and three-dimensions. My painting method affects our perception of space and depth; these elements are an active part in the painting, visually adjusted to reflect the mutative affects of my subject matter. I also embed subtle elements such as familiar forms, symbols, and text to disrupt an abstracted painting method, keeping the space in flux. Once our perception adapts to this visual environment the information can be decoded. My process of Spatial Painting and the Mutative Perspective engages with our current time and offers a new pathway for navigating and connecting with abstract painting.






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