School of the Arts, English and Media


This practice–led research project examines contemporary thinking on and definitions of place and the phenomenon of globalisation as they pertain to my art practice. The dissertation presents an analysis of the temporal and spatial effects of nostalgia in a globalised world in which migrations and other movements disrupt familiar connections and collective identities. It focuses on the profound impact that globalisation is having on the basic ontological concepts of space and time by investigating ways in which the past is and has been recorded, mediated and re–experienced, particularly through the photograph.

The practical component of the research comprises four artworks: Taken on the same day as the other photo (an artist book and photographic series), Agency of Inanimate objects and Blue Distance – each explores ideas that are central to methods that engage in new possibilities for exploring the photograph as the form of an idea via an expanded photographic materiality. These artworks extract the subject (of whatever kind) from the place of origin and locate it through a universal orientation, free of specific geographical and temporal coordinates. Throughout the discussion of the artworks, I explore the misalignment between spatial and temporal experiences and how these differences manifest themselves both visually and psychologically by using key themes of the ruin and the concept of place.

Through a convergence of practice–led research and philosophical and theoretical discourse I reflect on the artworks and their relationship to how my methodology and specific approaches to art making function as a form of 'gleaning': a poetic scavenging that also resonates with the philosophical terrain of the relationships between place, nostalgia and diaspora.

The dissertation also constructs a set of insights and influences central to my art practice through an analysis of specific works by other artists and thinkers, selected for their potential to offer up visual, material and process based parallels between the methodologies inherent to practices of archaeology and expanded forms of materiality in photography as well as within contemporary art. I explore how a work of art might adopt a certain range of artistic strategies that describe and manifest what, in the present contemporary moment, it might mean to be from another place.