Degree Name

Doctor of Creative Arts


Faculty of Creative Arts


The thesis Migration as Art: Longitude–Latitude examines an archive of three series of works:
“The Migration Series” (1992-2002)
“Raft-The Drifting Border” (2004-2012)
“Transit” (2007-2013)

The archive represents two decades of visual art interpreting themes of migration: migration for family reunion, the migration of asylum seekers and a personal migration for work as a single continuous body of work. The focus of the thesis is revealing how artists can contribute to the ongoing debate around migration through art. I will trace the renewed and expanding field of migration theory in conjunction with questions that have resulted in social scientists calling for an interdisciplinary approach. The dynamic research into the “new” migration as a result of globalisation provides the theoretical aspect of the thesis by investigating visual artists contributions to the symbolic and subjective aspects of identities in transit.

The visual arts and the work of social scientists have parallel and complementary research bases, one text-based, the other visual, one data-based, and the other sensebased. The visual opens up a window to the experience of the world using intuition, emotion, sensation and reason. Globalisation and the new migration, by their very diverse nature, restructure notions of belonging, displacement and hybrid identities, all of which are at the forefront of artistic production in our contemporary world.

The research will demonstrate that visual art can contribute to and open a space for critical investigation and dialogue about the subject of migration. It suggests ways in which the social role of visual arts practice is incorporated into this discourse.