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Title: While reason sleeps: a practical investigation into the multiple narrative of place, explored through a process of expanded, "self reflexive" documentary practice incorporating photographic and audio work, with reference to Victor Pasmore's Apollo Pavilion (Peterlee) and the broader artistic and historical context of Peterlee and County Durham (ref. Nichols, B. 1991)
Author: Allen, Michele
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2012
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The thesis provides an account of a series of artworks produced between November 2006 and February 2009 exploring 'sense of place' through photographic practice and sound work, responding to Victor Pasmore's Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee. The research process utilised action research and incorporated a range of formal and informal research methods including; photography, interviews, theoretical research, and the use of sketchbooks. Initially a broadly framed research question was posed in order to allow a degree of thematic fluidity and time to reflect on the artistic research. After working on a series of smaller artistic projects exploring sense of place, Victor Pasmore's involvement in the design of Peterlee emerged as the main focus for the research leading to the formulation of the following questions in relation to my artistic research. 1. Is it possible to articulate new artistic understandings of Peterlee New Town through the development of' new photographic work in combination with sound/audio? 2. What specific photographic and artistic strategies are appropriate to articulate this understanding and how might they operate aesthetically and conceptually? 3. What are the relevant theoretical, historical and artistic contexts for such practice and how do they inform the development of new work? 4. How might such work be appropriately disseminated and evaluated? Initially the consideration of these questions informed the development of a series of inter- related audio installations and photographic works titled 'An Exercise in Total Environment', which investigated the multiple narratives connected to the Apollo Pavilion by drawing on information from council planning documents, artistic surveys and interviews with long-term residents of Peterlee. A related photographic series 'While Reason Sleeps' then emerged reflecting on Pasmore's involvement in housing design around the Pavilion and relationships between photography and painting. This practical work makes a contribution to knowledge, providing a new approach to photographic representations of Peterlee, through the incorporation of audio work and the consideration of the relationships between Pas more's work on the Pavilion and the design of the surrounding houses. The discussion of these works in relation to the wider theoretical context forms the basis for the case study chapter. The development of this practice in Peterlee was also informed by my previous involvement in the revival of 8tuart Brisley's Peterlee project (2004), which is discussed in the literature review section. This chapter also examines key theoretical ideas relating to place, site specificity and the critique of documentary (in film and photography) which are relevant to my photographic practice. These ideas are then expanded into the discussion of artworks and other cultural outputs connected to Peterlee and the Durham Coalfields, in order to critically place my own practice and give an account of the working context and history of artworks made in connection to Peterlee.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available