University of Tasmania

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Vestigial (40), in Contemporary Encounters

posted on 2023-05-25, 07:51 authored by Neil HaddonNeil Haddon
Research Backgound Experience as a migrant to Tasmania can include dislocation, dissonance with endemic narratives and a lack of deep connection. This research utilises a tactic of infiltration and re-deployment of imagery derived from print media narratives to produce a large body of new paintings that convey the emotional complexities and difficulties of depicting meaningful narratives connected to place. Research Contribution The research methodology is to redistribute images taken from minor stories in local newspapers using the ambiguous language of painting. It locates their underlying structures but empties them of their plausible content. This leads to reimaging via painting as new, melodramatic departures from the original stories. The aim is to avoid detail that inhibits the process of imaginative engagement with story and consequently to perpetuate a state of continual re-reading. Research Significance A major focus of this work is to ‘misread’ an already marginalised Tasmanian content, promoting it via the painted equivalent of operatic aggrandisement to a place of ‘big’ stories A major new initiative in the production of this body of work has been to substantially advance the explicit use of dominant, traditional, painting media in combination with less common materials and methods including enamel and polyester paints sprayed onto composite aluminium panels. The resulting dynamic interplay between different materials suggests new ways to insinuate into paintings content that also deals with opposing or dialectical values. This painting was included in the exhibition ‘Contemporary Encounters’ at the National Gallery of Victoria and ‘Stranded’ at Criterion Gallery, Hobart. It was acquired by the NGV in 2008. It was included as an exemplar in a successful Australia Council Grant application in 2011.



enamel paint on aluminium


School of Creative Arts and Media


National Gallery of Victoria


5 months

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Rights statement

Copyright 2010 Neil Haddon (creative image and text) and NGV (website image)

Socio-economic Objectives

130103 The creative arts

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