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Transgenerational dialogues with Jo Spence about class and gender in the mother-daughter sphere : drawing as the site of transformation from feminist generation to genealogy

Farrance, Paula Georgina (2011) Transgenerational dialogues with Jo Spence about class and gender in the mother-daughter sphere : drawing as the site of transformation from feminist generation to genealogy. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the possibility of inscriptions of the feminine by means of a historically situated and personal drawing practice in which gesture, mark, paper, scale and space are fundamental co-ordinates of the staging of passage through generation (mother-daughter relations) to genealogy (a claimed and remade connectivity under transformation). This thesis accompanies and critically reflects upon a practice in fine art that stages and works through two transgenerational dialogues. The first, an artistic dialogue that moves from reference to creative independence with acknowledged filiation takes place between myself and the influential artist-photographer Jo Spence. The complementary dialogue is a prolonged personal encounter through drawing with the mother, my mother, and the history of a troubled relationship which was staged and transformed by means of 'working through' (Sigmund Freud) that was effected by art- working (Bracha L. Ettinger). My work is also situated in relation to the writing on drawing by Serge Tisseron. The work starts from an historical engagement with and research into the working practices of Jo Spence, whose work offered resources for the exploration of a working-class subjectivity in relation to the complex relation between mother and daughter in terms of shared histories and their emotional residues. A drawing practice, distinct from Spence's staged photographic work of remembering, placed the drawing body of the daughter in proximity with the drawn body of the mother in both the real time and space of the making of the work and the virtual time and space of creating drawings from sketches and memory in the studio. Using, over the period of research, different papers (qualities and sizes), pastels, and studio spaces, the practice restages the encounters between the drawing body with its movements and visualisations, the drawn body progressively escaping from the delineating and containing line. The spectator encounters the trace and impressions of the former in the forms and spaces of the latter, created on paper by means of variations of scale, size and both modes of drawing and spaces of exhibition. The working process is the means by which psychic spaces of encounter, return and remembrance, and restoration within the post-Oedipal relation of two women could be constructed and, by the same token, opened out, to allow what is named an alternative inscription of the feminine to be disclosed by, and become visually accessible through graphic and spatial evocation of connectivity and what Bracha L. Ettinger names distance-in-proximity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.578615
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2016 13:52
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2016 13:52
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12919

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