Degree Name

Master of Creative Arts


Schol of Art and Design


This study examines the impact of physicality on art practice, imagery and vision. The embodied experience of self and practice is examined through the art making processes of Rosalie Gascoigne and Aida Tomescu. The research investigates the physical relationship each artist has with their art form and the impact of this physicality on their oeuvre. It goes forward to reveal the links and relationships between each artist and myself and the ways in which this study has impacted on my own work and practice.

The study considers the embodied practice of Rosalie Gascoigne whose work reveals essential characteristics of place; beginning with the site specific then shifting to encompass a poetic narrative of region. Similarly, Aida Tomescu’s practice is an intensely physical one, which encompasses an exploration of energy and immediacy through process. The thesis asks how did Gascoigne’s and Tomescu’s physical relationship to their art form impact on their evolving practice and vision?

This research explores both what it meant for Gascoigne to experience landscape; and her physical relationship to the material world. It also considers the significance of the impact of physicality on her oeuvre, arguing that this was a determining factor in Gascoigne’s art making and breadth and scope as an artist whose practice evolved to establish an inextricable relationship to media and place. Gascoigne’s practice and work is examined within the framework of modernism and reveals parallels with contemporary painter Aida Tomescu in terms of modernist influences and an embodied approach to art making.

In contrast to Gascoigne, Tomescu works within the confines of the studio. The research establishes a link between Gascoigne and Tomescu in terms of an experimental, modernist approach to practice and imagery which is imbued with an intense physicality. Gascoigne’s and Tomescu’s work is explored in relation to the body of work completed for the creative component of this degree and is discussed as a reference for my own work in terms of approaches to practice and vision.

Following the discussion of Gascoigne and Tomescu, a chapter titled Poetry in Habitat outlines the theoretical and conceptual orientation of my work and explores the approaches to research-based experimentation I have undertaken through this study. Links are revealed between the work of Gascoigne, Tomescu and my own work in relation to an embodied practice.