• Room after Woolf: Juxtaposing words, space and feminist thought

Blightman, Juliette, 2024, Thesis, Room after Woolf: Juxtaposing words, space and feminist thought PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

This practice-based research juxtaposes my own artistic practice with ten other artists in different rooms in the home. It examines the different approaches to making work, considering what materialises when art is made in a domestic environment, where other factors filter in. My method of juxtaposition provides a new feminist lens with which to examine artworks and demonstrates that one can make a significant contribution to knowledge when making artworks in this way.

The artists were selected for the ways in which their practices resonated with mine; and because I saw in each a working through of significant moments in feminist art history, often at times of political and social upheaval. In each chapter I juxtapose two artists and align them with a medium (journal writing, durational film, artist book/publication, painting and assemblage), and a creative strategy. Further still I situate them in a specific room of a home, in order to unpack how the
different processes and activities of each room facilitates art production. The artists I discuss are Anne Truitt, Frances Stark, Chantal Akerman, Andy Warhol, Laura Owens, Dorothy Iannone, Lee Lozano, Florine Stettheimer, Julie Becker and Sadie Benning. The research re-examines and juxtaposes numerous feminist readings in writing and making, drawing on the work of Virginia Woolf, Lucy Lippard, Helen Molesworth, Catherine Grant and Sara Ahmed, to name a few. I re-evaluate artworks made from the early twentieth century to the present day.

In my own artworks, made throughout the period of research, I selected the media most appropriate at the time to examine the contradictions of my own circumstances and domestic responsibilities, this has also been influenced by my readings of the artists within this thesis. Juxtaposition is a consistent and important method in my own work. I am always conscious of the previous image, sound, silence or edit and how it can live alongside the next and I view these works through a feminist framing which allows different life experiences to coexist next to each other. It is often hard to respond immediately to the moment one lives through, but with my method of juxtaposition: my own practice, with that of the other artists and the different strategies for each chapter, it is possible to examine the depth of an artistic practice that is situated in a domestic environment.

I demonstrate with this research that domesticity remains an important area of interest for creative production: this is a critical sphere that should continue to be considered as such, as each generation faces different obstacles that continue to redefine creative production. This research gives a voice to art production in a domestic environment and can be used as a tool for other artists to include different experiences, both personal and professional, and for them to think seriously about the work they make in the home. The strategies offer alternative systems, outside of the commercial art world, that fit around duXes of care, whilst also enabling artists who might face financial struggles and cannot afford a separate studio or a room of their own.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Funders: AHRC (techne) [2049030]
Uncontrolled Keywords: Feminist strategies; juxtaposition; domestic; artist; contemporary art
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2024 15:57
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2024 15:57
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5788
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