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The subtle edge of migration: a rocky shore


Haddon, N, The subtle edge of migration: a rocky shore, Falls Park Pavilion, Evandale, The Long Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, paranaple Arts Centre, Devonport (2018) [Published Creative Work]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Neil Haddon


This body of artwork takes Edward Casey’s philosophical formulation of a landscapes ‘subtle edge’ and applies it to the context of migrant experience. According to Casey the subtle edge is that part of a landscape of which it is difficult to determine its start and end. This ‘liminal’ zone is an area in which quantifiability and measurability are not easily achieved, and which is ambiguous in appearance. This research suggests that the intertidal zone of a rocky shoreline can be pictured as both an example of a subtle edge and as a metaphor for migrant experience. The rocky shore is an apt location with which to do this as it is an intermediate zone, neither fully land nor fully ocean, characterised by diversity and adaptability. It is two places at once and can be difficult terrain to traverse.

These paintings depict ambiguous locations. They situate the viewer as if standing in the shallows, with their back to the ocean, looking inland across the subtle edge of the rocky shore. The migrant’s encounter with a new environment is pictured as one of uncertain footing. The rocky terrain of these images is rendered in a complex array of painting styles and material applications which include, machine cut vinyl, drawing with marker pen, fine oil paint and loose and haphazard gestural mark making. The difficulty of comprehending this complex visual language alludes to a fraught and difficult to navigate terrain of migrant experience.

Research significance is demonstrated by the inclusion of paintings in: the Glover Prize Exhibition (a nationally significant survey of contemporary landscape painting), the Tidal 18 (exploring natural, cultural, personal and political concerns related to coastal regions) and Dear kunanyi at Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart. The paintings were selected for these exhibitions by industry experts including Dr Jane Deeth, Adam Harding, Director, Horsham Regional Art Gallery, and Ashleigh Whatling, Curator, Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery.

Item Details

Item Type:Published Creative Work
Keywords:subtle edge, migratory aesthetics, Tasmanian landscape painting,
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Visual arts
Research Field:Fine arts
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The creative arts
UTAS Author:Haddon, N (Dr Neil Haddon)
ID Code:128983
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Office of the School of Creative Arts and Media
Deposited On:2018-10-30
Last Modified:2021-11-11
Downloads:54 View Download Statistics

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