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Title: Aspirational beauty : backgrounds and backdrops the staging of class
Author: Taylor, Sarah
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2013
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The aim of my research is to investigate how my practice as a painter is situated within codes of class and gender as they relate to questions of aesthetics in painting. This has involved an interdisciplinary investigation into the significance drawn from the background of my own history in terms of the aesthetic decisions that have previously, and continue to inform my practice as an artist. Life writing at the intersection of class and feminist politics is the framework used to position my understanding of Aspirational Beauty. The concept of Aspirational Beauty is traced and articulated through a process of writing through multi disciplinary perspectives that incorporate and link painting, history, material culture, literature, sociology and fine art practice. The concept of Aspirational Beauty is to understand creative endeavors and practices that are outside of, or marginalized from, established theoretical conventions and definitions. Aspirational Beauty is, I argue, a creative resistance to conforming to socially inscribed ideals of respectability. My research considers Aspirational Beauty as an aesthetic resistance to class shame and a reaction to ascribed and legitimate routes of attaining cultural capital, personified by painting, the most aristocratic of art forms. My research has involved an extensive investigation of painting, by reviewing three decades of international painting survey exhibitions from 1980 to 2010. I have focused on national painting exhibitions in the 1980s to provide a perspective on the changing contexts of painting and subsequently, relations to and considerations of 'Britishness'. The choice of survey exhibitions and related exhibition catalogues as a process of review and analysis provide an extant proper record of painting; that have over time become a legitimized authoritative source of reference. I have considered my practice-as-research, exploring overt transformations of shame in relation to vulnerability and beautification within my practice as a painter. I unravel habitual acts of concealment and aesthetic cover-ups and how this functions as a veneer of respectability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available