Manifolds, patterns and transitions in a creative life

Manifolds, Patterns and Transitions in a Creative Life

Sharon Jewell

Queensland University of Technology

Faculty of Creative Industries: School of Visual Arts.

A Masters by Research thesis (2010)

Key Words:

Sculpture, drawing, creativity, process, joins, formalist, space, line, horizontal, manifolds, multiplicities, transitions, emergence, rhizome, lines of flight, folding.


Using sculpture and drawing as my primary methods of investigation, this research explores ways of shifting the emphasis of my creative visual arts practice from object to process whilst still maintaining a primacy of material outcomes. My motivation was to locate ways of developing a sustained practice shaped as much by new works, as by a creative flow between works. I imagined a practice where a logic of structure within discrete forms and a logic of the broader practice might be developed as mutually informed processes. Using basic structural components of multiple wooden curves and linear modes of deployment – in both sculptures and drawings – I have identified both emergence theory and the image of rhizomic growth (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987) as theoretically integral to this imagining of a creative practice, both in terms of critiquing and developing works.

Whilst I adopt a formalist approach for this exegesis, the emergence and rhizome models allow it to work as a critique of movement, of becoming and changing, rather than merely a formalism of static structure. In these models, therefore, I have identified a formal approach that can be applied not only to objects, but to practice over time. The thorough reading and application of these ontological models (emergence and rhizome) to visual arts practice, in terms of processes, objects and changes, is the primary contribution of this thesis. The works that form the major component of the research develop, reflect and embody these notions of movement and change.