Degree Name

Doctor of Creative Arts (PhD)


Faculty of Creative Arts


This study investigates imagery from twentieth century art presenting the fluctuation of the human psyche, and historical western imagery revealing the mortal condition of human corporeality. The exploration of the interdisciplinary historical aspect of Surrealism (Rubin: 1968, Alexandrian: 1970, Bigsby: 1972), womens art (Orenstein: 1973, Chadwick: 1985), anatomical illustration (Roberts: 1992, Cazort: 1996), and death-related photography (Sante: 1992, Burns: 1990, 1998, OConnor: 1999) is an attempt to attain a coherent sense of being a human in the natural world. The Solitary Notations explores the concept of unveiling what has been concealed. Examining what is hidden underneath the visible in both a cultural and metaphorical sense is investigated in both theoretical and creative research. This study includes Surrealist art that explored the unconscious realm of human personality. It also selects work of women artists influenced by Surrealism, such as Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo and Claude Cahun. The background to the representation of the female body in a dominantly male culture is researched through historical analysis, revealing womans unique psychic state and knowledge. The anatomists such as Andreas Vesalius, Bernhard Siegfried Albinus, and William Hunter explored human bodies to know the intricate structures underneath skin. Death-related photography from the mid nineteenth century to the twentieth century revealed the unfathomable nature of human existence in documentary images that extended scientific and psychological approaches to the body. My creative work has a focus on the imagery that evokes the message of decay, solitude, and metamorphosis. Ruminating about such imagery and creative process is an attempt to express artistically how human self-affirmation can be achieved, and how I can gain an identity of the solitude of self through my imaginative photography, tableaux and assemblage.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.