An attempt to mirror the painterly and stillness in autobiographical visual practice

  • Eava-Mari Haikala

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    An Attempt to Mirror the Painterly and Stillness in Autobiographical Visual Practice is a practice-as-research project consisting of a portfolio of videos, photographs, and the documentation of live performances, and a written thesis. The written part is intended to work as a supportive body of material for the portfolio – or ‘brackets’, as it will be referred in the text – revealing the creative process behind those artworks, and the central thinkers, writers and artists that are relevant to this study, as well as offering contextualisation through an exploration of the lineage of other artists and discussions within which my practice-as-research project resides. The writing is built around the idea of ‘attempts’, in a written interpretation of a method I have applied to many of the artworks. Another key word of the study, the aforementioned brackets, is inspired by Virginia Woolf’s use of brackets in her novel To The Lighthouse. In this thesis I will explain the way in which these brackets have inspired me in the creation of many of the artworks. This will also offer an insight into how I relate to the text from within a visual artistic practice generally, and how using the brackets as a concept has also become a tool for identifying relationships between the art pieces presented in the portfolio and the written thesis itself. The text also reveals the multifaceted role of the painterly within this study project. The painterly will be discussed as a poetic-atmospheric visual frame for the artworks, and will also be explored in terms of how it emerges if the movement or the moving image is slowed down, which in turn brings this painterly quality of the artwork into close parallel with the still life painting genre. Finally, I will demonstrate, through the exploration of three artists from the past – Gwen John, Helene Schjerfbeck, and Virginia Woolf – the complexity of the writings of art history, biographies, and autobiographies.
    Date of Award1 Jun 2016
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Roehampton

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