Rooted in Uncertainty: Affective Ambiguity as Enrichment of Text and Image

Browne, Yvonne T. (2021) Rooted in Uncertainty: Affective Ambiguity as Enrichment of Text and Image. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/MZ87DE11

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This research project, presented in two volumes, is situated in the fields of experimental writing and fine art image making. Its overall context is the application of the imaginative faculty to factual research, showing how the two can interact creatively and productively. Affective ambiguity is defined within the project as the activation of that particular quality of uncertainty and inexactitude that causes an emotional response – surprise, delight or shock, for example – as a result of engagement with expressive written or visual material. The concept of ambiguity and in particular that of affective ambiguity is identified as an enriching element in writing and art making. Through a process of deconstructive engagement with the biographies of two Catholic saints, Teresa of Avila and Thérèse of Lisieux as vehicles for these ideas, it is demonstrated that ambiguity can be a positive factor in the making and breaking of conventional narrative structures, and that greater insight and truth may be gained from a multiplicity of perspectives. Being sui generis the whole body of research follows its own lines of research methodology, having invented its own unique format for expressing the notion of ambiguity as applied to biographical material. Micro-chapters feature selected moments in the biographies of the two women, each treated differently, new possible angles expressed in a variety of voices and registers, demonstrating the variations in approach that may be deployed. Although the two women are central to the whole, the work is not primarily ‘about’ them. Various connections can be made that spin the work off tangentially, broadening the context, ‘thickening’ the description, and increasing the range of relevant references. The intention is always to highlight ambiguity of point of view and uncertainty of conclusion by focusing on previously unseen, hidden or underplayed aspects of the material. This thesis, a critical commentary on the textual and visual work and its theoretical underpinning, is submitted in support of the whole research project, practical and theoretical, along with a final exhibition of the practical work mounted at the time of the viva.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fine art; Image making; Experimental writing
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR750 Prose
T Technology > TR Photography
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2022 14:31
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:22

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