Scenographies of the Inner World

Prof Doc Thesis

Darke, A. 2021. Scenographies of the Inner World. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Arts and Digital Industries
AuthorsDarke, A.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

SCENOGRAPHIES OF THE INNER WORLD is a reflection on my progress as an artist through this focused time of my doctoral studies, documenting how art and research have become intricately woven. Through drawing, sculpture, installation and moving image, my practice has evolved responding to personal experience, memory and myth, and the evocative language of philosophy and psychoanalysis.

I have investigated a transitional space, mediated between internal and external perception - a hinterland between the mind and body where the unconscious leaves a trace. This residue of lived experience haunts the present and troubles the senses and through research in psychoanalytical theory, I have sought to deepen my understanding of these psychic processes.

I describe how ideas are generated from collecting discarded objects, and materials whose meanings are then transformed, elaborated or obscured by the creative process and mode of presentation. The object in psychoanalysis has revealed a matrix of inter-relationships between ourselves and others. The object’s presence in the work of contemporary artists has enriched and challenged my ideas.

While thinking and making can inspire, performative embodiment has connected me deeply to my past. In researching my family history and the legacies of displacement and exile, my work has explored ideas of ‘haunting’, revealing loss, trauma and abjection: evocations transmitted across generations. These themes, each evolving out from the other, evoke a journey from the surface to the depths, from thoughts to feelings.

Concepts of psychic fragmentation and splitting have been a starting point to express the pathology of trauma. Often, hybrid bodies are vibrantly present, while also evoking that which dwells beyond the body. Testing the unsettling tipping points of absurdity and abjection I have trusted a process of free association and serendipity to discover the unexpected and the uncannily familiar.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
File Access Level
Publication dates
Online04 Oct 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted01 Apr 2021
Deposited04 Oct 2021
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