Vegan artist: exploring the ethical use of animals in contemporary art through a reconsideration of the vegan philosophy

Doctorate other than PhD


Coleman, Ellie Elizabeth. 2021. Vegan artist: exploring the ethical use of animals in contemporary art through a reconsideration of the vegan philosophy. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Creative Arts. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/q6v67
Title

Vegan artist: exploring the ethical use of animals in contemporary art through a reconsideration of the vegan philosophy

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
Authors
AuthorColeman, Ellie Elizabeth
Supervisor
1. FirstA/Pr Beata Batorowicz
2. SecondDr David Akenson
2. SecondA/Pr Rebecca Scollen
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Creative Arts
Number of Pages145
Year2021
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/q6v67
Abstract

In response to the limited discourses on vegan practices in art, this practice-led study explores the ethical dilemma for vegan artists who intentionally use animals in their art practice in order to reconsider hierarchal human-animal relationships. The study explores the scope of ethical issues for vegan artists as a way of reconsidering the vegan philosophy to accommodate the use of animals in art as a form of activism (Baker 2013). That is, the very use of animals in a vegan artist’s practice can be a tacit means of critically engaging in animal ethics (Singer 2018). Through this approach, not only will the research directly impact vegan artists, but will also emphasise the role of ethical treatment of animals and the broader social implications of such treatment (Cancian 1993). Central to this research is my own positioning as a vegan artist who uses ethically sourced animals in my practice as a method to create understanding of human-animal relationships in response to human-animal power imbalances (Wrenn 2015). These power imbalances are underpinned by the evolutionary models within the field of natural sciences, such as Aristotle’s ‘Scala Naturae’ (Deane-Drummond 2019), which I argue have greatly influenced contemporary thinking on human-animal relationships (Rigato & Minelli 2013).

Deploying a practice-led methodology via my developed Vegan Artist Cyclic Web Inquiry, this research results in sculptural installations that expand on the understanding of ethical uses of animals in contemporary art (Sullivan 2005). I draw on other contemporary artists such as Australian Julia deVille, British/New Zealand-based Angela Singer and British Krysten Newby who employ animals in their practice to address human-animal relationships, yet do not reconsider veganism in the way this research does (Johnson 2014). My practice comprises 70% weighting of the doctoral study and employs a ritualised process-driven approach involving collecting, recycling and creating artwork from animal remains to stimulate a personal and broader critical agency through modelling alternative non-hierarchal human animal relationships. The exegesis, comprising 30% weighting, provides theoretical discussions on the use of animals in art to reconsider the vegan philosophy. In turn, the overall study contributes to the discourses of contemporary art, vegan philosophy and animal ethics by including ethically sourced animals as alternative materials in art practice.

Keywordsanimal ethics, visual art, creative arts, veganism, contemporary art, animal rights
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360602. Fine arts
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Creative Arts
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Coleman, Ellie and Clark, Linda. 2023. "Becoming - Visual Art." NiTRO: Creative Matters. August 2023 (48).
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