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Alabaster Chambers – Sacred Folds


Slade, J, Alabaster Chambers - Sacred Folds, Tangible Means: Experiential Knowledge Through Materials (ESKIG 2015), 25-26 November, Design School Kolding, pp. 158-172. ISBN 978-87-90775-90-2 (2015) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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My paper is a discussion of how I have been developing a visual language to evoke the experience of the sacred expressed in the poetry of Emily Dickinson, particularly her poem Safe in their Alabaster Chambers. Experiential knowledge, through experimentation with materials has generated the project leading to at times unexpected and serendipitous outcomes. Using print processes of layering, words, images and folded textures, the poetry of Dickinson provides me with the "tacit" knowledge to make material the sacred "unknown" in her poetry. Printmaking, with its traditional links to religious texts and imagery, is a particularly appropriate medium to explore the sacred through the poem. I employ it to suggest a space, which hovers between the material and the sacred through enfolding multi-layered textures and spaces. Gilles Deleuze provides an allegory for this in his concept of the Baroque fold. The materiality of the fold allows it to be used as a visual tool denoting the fluidity of matter, and the ephemeral state of the ‘soul’. (Deleuze, 1995) Inspired by Dickinson, who found within her domestic interior the sacred space where she could retreat to write. I seek to recreate the experience of her poem The Alabaster Chamber through the tangible means of the art – making. Dickinson’s chamber can reference a space where earthly and sacred fold or co-exist in a state of suspension.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Visual arts
Research Field:Fine arts
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:Arts not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Slade, J (Mrs Jane Slade)
ID Code:105541
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:School of Creative Arts and Media
Deposited On:2016-01-07
Last Modified:2016-08-09

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