I came here a Stranger, as a Stranger I Depart: an Investigation into the Relationship between Drawing and Narrative of Place

Fisher, James (2009) I came here a Stranger, as a Stranger I Depart: an Investigation into the Relationship between Drawing and Narrative of Place. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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This practice-based research investigates the relationship between the process of making layered images and narratives of walked journeys. Two such journeys – Franz Schubert’s song cycle, Winterreise, and the autobiographical account of John Clare’s escape from an asylum, Reccolections &c Of Journey From Essex – were examined and compared through a body of drawings, prints and paintings. A study of the construction of the two narratives highlighted their layered composition: Winterreise is experienced as a synthesis of Wilhelm Müller’s poems and Schubert’s musical setting; whilst the full impact of Clare’s account is appreciated in the context of his poetry and biography. The research began with a bookwork, a visual response to the layering of information observed in the song cycle of Winterreise, and led to the formulation of a method of interpreting narratives using Thomas De Quincey’s model of The Palimpsest. De Quincey identified the effacements, amendments and aggregation of material in a palimpsest manuscript with the absorption of experience. In paintings made to interpret the experience of Winterreise, abrading layers of a picture surface elicited the compound characteristics of the narrative: allowing one idea to be seen through another. The fictive identity of the song cycle emerged in a suite of monoprints, through their assembly of layered imagery. Conversely, John Clare’s account is that of an actual journey, physically walked. The research culminated in a focus on the terrain of the two narratives. The metaphorical landscape of Winterreise is contrasted with Clare’s more visceral relationship with earth and trees through a series of paintings based on Journey From Essex. The research discovered new possibilities in the narratives’ meaning through the invention of a visual language to describe both physical nature of walking and a distinctive sense of place.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Rosenbloom, Paulprosenbloom@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Stonyer, Andrewastonyer@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Uncontrolled Keywords: Art, narrative art, visual language, walking, practice based research
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
N Fine Arts > ND Painting
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2015 10:50
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 21:29
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/1242

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