Degree Name

Master of Philosophy


Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts


Literary narratologists have long argued that narrative is not as present in the visual arts as in literary texts due to the lack of perceived linear sequencing and temporal movement. Such research has primarily focussed on pictorial narratives prior to modernism, leaving a notable absence of narrative theory surrounding a broader sphere of art forms from modernism to the present day. In this thesis, I propose that narratives within visual arts should be analysed from a new perspective that focuses on the spatial essence of visual arts practice. I examine diverse art-forms such as film, painting, installation and sculpture, from several art periods and, using a combination of methodologies and concepts developed by Mieke Bal, Michael Fried, Lev Manovich and Roland Barthes, offer an alternative framework with which to view narrative in visual art: spatial narrative.



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.