The Brisbane River : Art, Ecology and Perception - How Can Painting Communicate and Question the Course and Impact of Human Activity over Time on the Ecology and Perception of the Brisbane River?
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The ecology of the Brisbane River has been subject to damage caused by human activity from colonial times onwards. This damage has been studied scientifically, and is implicated in the Brisbane flood of 2011. I live and work in proximity to the Brisbane River, and it has been central to my practice as an artist. This close engagement with the river has led me to address the issue framed in the research question: how can painting communicate and question the course and impact of human activity over time on the ecology and perception of the Brisbane River? Investigation into Philip Rawson’s analysis of time in art, into the science of Brisbane River ecology, into a range of eco-philosophies – from James Lovelock’s Gaia, to the eco-feminism of Val Plumwood – and into contemporary artists whose work reflects an interest in time and ecology, has been supplemented by theoretical and literary research into the Romantic vision of landscape in colonial painting, and into depiction, representation and landscape, as discussed by Michael Podro, Ernst Gombrich and Simon Schama.
Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
Queensland College of Art
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Ecology, Brisbane River
Perception of the Brisbane River