Year

2007

Degree Name

Master of Creative Arts - Research

Department

Faculty of Creative Arts

Abstract

By re-thinking Ihe epic slory of Caplain Robert Falcon Scott's tragic second journey to Antarctica in 1909-12, in the context of his relationship with close friend and mentor, the author Sir James Matthew Barrie, I can respond to the enduring allegorical aspects of the myth of Scott as an aspect of enlightenment. My examina tion of the journals and visual documentation from the time of Scott's last journey in tandem with Barrie's immensely popular story of the same time, Peter Pan, lets me critique this grandiose historical event as if it were an epic poem in Ihe slyle of Lord Alfred Tennyson. This re-examinalion of Ihe legend of Caplain Scoff wilh ils ideas in regard to martyrdom, myth, madness, and the sublime culminates in a major new artwork.

90 Degrees South AgaIn"

This 80 panel piece. is comprised of 38 delicalely handcoloured B/W silver gelalin fibre based pholographs and 42 heavily painled black on black text panels.

The work is presented over six walls and articulates a personal narrative response to the enduring aura of Scott's story. This body of work is the precursor to the Neverland Collection of photographs and serves as a memento mod and monumenllo Ihe slory of Caplain Rober! Falcon Scoff and his men on their ill-fated second trip to Antarctica. By looking at Scott 's journey as an epic poem in the tradition of Tennyson, then we can apply Walter Benjamin's philosophic ideas of the aura to it. Scott's story continues to bring people towards it and as such deserves its place in history as an event that has retained an authentic aura. Longinus, an ancient Greek philosopher who wrote on the sublime, tells us that our sense of the sublime is an illusion, and that the sublime entails a kind of mystery. He maintains that the sublime is that which defeats every effort of sense and imagination to picture it and that it is only possible to articulate a sense of the sublime through the metaphorical languages of poelry and art.

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