The Unknowability of Things
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My research explores ways in which the fragmentary aspects of memory, loss and uncertainty can be conveyed through representational painting. It began as an attempt to articulate visual memories of an old family home, damaged in the Christchurch earthquakes; I wanted to explore the fragile nature of these memories, and the nostalgia they evoked. This thesis therefore examines how techniques of representational painting can be used to convey the ambiguous and shifting nature of memory and perception. In parallel with my painting practice, I explore the theoretical contexts of ruins and New Romanticism, and these provide a framework within which to situate my work. Broader concerns that I had around climate change, and readings in literature also filtered into my painted work. My methodology is wholly practice-led: individual paintings spark conversations or open new territories that lead to the next aesthetic or philosophical idea. As I painted, my concerns broadened to encompass social questions of the relation between built structures, nature, and time.