PhEminist Skins of Resistance: Decolonising the female nude through practiceresearch with young women artists

Stanhope, Clare. 2022. PhEminist Skins of Resistance: Decolonising the female nude through practiceresearch with young women artists. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The objectification of women’s bodies through the Western art trope of the female nude debilitates and restricts young women’s becomings in the contemporary art classroom. I critically explore the relationship between the colonial ideals of the art historical trope of the female nude and UK secondary arts education. This entanglement restricts their understanding of the creative process. In response to this context, this practiceresearch is a collaboration with six young women artists (the YWAs), aged 13-14, and emerges from a project conducted in my place of work.

Through a critical engagement with the materiality of learning, the life drawing process was activated to diffract heteronormative and raced colonial imaginings of the female body. Theoretically informed by phEmaterialism and specifically the work of Braidotti, Barad, and
Deleuze and Guattari, a decolonising hooksian inspired pedagogy of hope was activated. By embracing material agency as vital to an embodied learning experience, this practiceresearch explored how the intra-action of bodies, both human and non-human, ignites spaces for intra-activism.

(Re)viewing the skin as a post human assemblage that grows, scars, wrinkles and sheds continuously through and with the world, supported a diffraction of the traditional constraints of the patriarchal and colonised lines of historical female imagery. By enabling young women artists to explore and question often difficult life experiences through creative explorations, the life drawing process was reimagined as a performative, collaborative and shared act of decolonisation. This practiceresearch aims to contribute to the emerging field of phEmaterialism, which blurs the boundaries between alternative embodied forms of critical engagement with creative pedagogical practice, education and the wider field of cultural studies.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00032555

Keywords:

practice research, art education, decolonisation, phEmaterialism, new materialism, post humanism, female nude, art history, art activism

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies

Date:

31 October 2022

Item ID:

32555

Date Deposited:

21 Nov 2022 14:39

Last Modified:

21 Nov 2022 18:00

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/32555

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