Reframing the Subject/Reframing the Self: Contextualising Lesbian Ontology in North of the Border: Stories from the “A Matter of Time” Project
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This doctoral submission is comprised of two parts: a studio research component in the form of North of the Border – a book of photographs and interview-based narratives – and an exegetical dissertation that speaks to the ethical, conceptual, methodological and practice frameworks informing the studio outcome. Both were made possible by the collaboration of eight lesbians, currently middle-aged, who lived in Queensland during the years of Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s government and who were willing to participate in a project in which they would be named and photographed in documentary and portrait modes; in which they would share their personal memories as well as their current feelings; and in which they would share photographs from their personal collections that refer to their histories and the histories of others. How I have drawn on and rethought theories of documentary photography, and thus how I have undertaken my photographic practice during the project, has been informed by a range of feminist and queer theory. My methodological choices have been reflexively shaped in response to the intersections between those theoretical terrains. A central aim of my documentary exploration of these eight situated histories has been to value and give agency to middle-aged lesbian women. I began this documentary research project in 2008. First I had to find a number of lesbian participants willing to go on the visual and narrative record about the question: “What was it like living in Queensland during the particularly conservative socio-political era of the mid to late twentieth century and how do you interpret that experience to have contributed to who you are today?”
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Queensland College of Art
In order to comply with copyright a number of images have been removed.