Locating a Space of Exchange: re-imagining the liminal in contemporary painting practice

Bailey, Sally (2021) Locating a Space of Exchange: re-imagining the liminal in contemporary painting practice. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

Sally Bailey PhD Thesis published_Final version_Submitted Aug 2021.pdf - Accepted Version

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This thesis defines and locates a ‘space of exchange’ within the painting process and articulates the ways that this phenomenon plays a pivotal role in the often-backgrounded transformation of both process and painter.

I present a re-imagining of the concepts of liminality and alchemy in relation to the painting process, as underpinned by the interfaces existing and emerging between painting/painter/Painting (as process/subject/object). Through experimentation, intervention, collaboration, and performative iterations these concepts are shaped into a matrix that operates as a form of meaning-making in the enactment and encounter of painting.

The concept of liminality has been readily absorbed into numerous discourses across the arts – but notably, and most importantly, not in relation to the process of painting. This thesis examines how the painter can exploit the potentiality of this transformative space to develop experimental practice and push forward current thinking. It reframes the liminal as a conceptual space exiting between painter and painting, process and outcome. This thesis also considers how the structured paradigm and language of alchemy might be appropriated to further articulate the transubstantive happenings occurring within the painting process. I extend the concepts of Presencing (Heidegger) and Becoming (Deleuze) to articulate the seemingly invisible pathways bound up in the painting process that lead painter and painting to a point of being, a metaphysical plane where painting becomes.

A new lexicon of hybrid terms is proposed that I argue is necessary to reflect the continuing evolution of painting and painter, contributing to an expanded painterly language with which to better understand the relational integrity between practice, materiality, process, and outcome. By definition, the liminal is a transitional between-space that resists the grasp of language seeking to pin down such slippery movements and ephemeral materialities, thus necessitating this rethinking of terms applied. This thesis also contributes to expanding discourse on practice-led research whereby I offer the blueprint of a Liminal Methodology; an elastic and evolvable methodology that can better navigate the ‘between’ spaces of research, the slippery areas that are difficult to grasp, to better enable realisation of the vast potentials that reside therein.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
August 2021Submitted
Subjects: CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-01 - creative arts and design > CAH25-01-02 - art
Divisions: Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham School of Art
Depositing User: Jaycie Carter
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2022 14:58
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2022 14:58
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13667

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