University Of Tasmania
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Mixed Messages

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posted on 2023-05-25, 09:13 authored by Steven CarsonSteven Carson

“The Everyday” has been explored by artists across Surrealism, Pop-Art and Minimalism, yet remains a compelling area of investigation in current art practice. Mixed Messages is part of The Ordinary Everyday project that seeks new ways of articulating the complexity of daily life. The work determined how “The Everyday” could be envisioned as a site of uncertainty in abstract sculpture. It was undertaken through a series of creative experiments with ordinary materials to determine how affective prompts could be activated within abstract forms.

“Tinkering” was used as a creative, experimental methodology to determine how to activate and amplify latent properties of a range of salvaged and reclaimed materials via simple making processes. This approach revealed ways to emphasise materiality and process as key prompts for evoking emotional responses to abstract forms. Familiar reclaimed post-use plastics, salvaged cardboard, ropes, synthetic air-fresheners and other found objects were chosen to establish connections to daily life. Simple yet intense processes such as binding, stacking, balancing and bundling were tested as strategies for expressing ideas as affective sensations. The research concluded that through extreme manipulation of familiar, mundane materials it was possible to activate latent agency within abstract sculptural forms, aligning concepts of tension, unease and trauma with daily life, thereby offering alternative depictions of “The Everyday”.



solo exhibition


School of Creative Arts and Media


Sawtooth ARI

Event Venue

Launceston, Tasmania

Rights statement

Copyright 2017 the creators

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

The creative arts

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    Non-traditional research outputs