Travelling Edges: An Immersed Autoethnographic Exploration of The Australian Bush in Art

Doctorate other than PhD

Heywood, Neville. 2022. Travelling Edges: An Immersed Autoethnographic Exploration of The Australian Bush in Art. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Creative Arts. University of Southern Queensland.

Travelling Edges: An Immersed Autoethnographic Exploration of The Australian Bush in Art

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorsHeywood, Neville
1. FirstProf Margaret Baguley
2. SecondA/Pr Beata Batorowicz
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Creative Arts
Number of Pages264
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Travelling Edges: An Immersed Autoethnographic and Practice-led Exploration of the Australian Bush in Art explores the effects of deep immersion in the bush on the portrayal of rural and wilderness environments. Current research into immersion in natural environments demonstrates there is “a cognitive advantage” to being immersed in bush settings that includes enhanced “higher order cognitive skills” such as creative thinking (Atchley et al., 2012, pp. 1-2). From the perspective of an artist, I argue immersed living in natural environments generates robust “emotional connections”, “higher intensity learning”, and “first hand” authentic experiences that enhance an artist’s creativity (Chaehan, n.p., 2020). Immersion in the bush is crucial to my art and provides an important reference point for this practice-led and autoethnographic research contextualised against the “societal phenomenon” shaping Australian culture (Wall, 2006, p. 1). The use of practice-led research relates to the development of my art practice which is reflective and “informed by theory” (Bolt, 2006, p. 4), thereby enabling a more intimate response to the bush as my primary art subject. To communicate the nature of this bush centred research, the title “Travelling Edges” has been used to evoke my isolation but sense of security in rural areas and the wariness I feel towards large urban centres. This project has been motivated by my lifelong connection with the bush, traceable to a mnemonic of family origins interrelated with life in and near Australian First Nations communities, with each shaping my understanding and experience as a non-Indigenous artist and informing my artistic practice.

KeywordsAustralian Bush; Immersion; landscape; autoethnography; practice-lead-art
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020369999. Other creative arts and writing not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Humanities and Communication
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