Skip to content

Alex Thomson - MFA Examination exhibition

Start Date

May 17, 2017 5:30 pm

End Date

May 28, 2017 5:00 pm


Plimsoll Gallery, Hunter Street

Vital Ground: A sculptural investigation of the perceptions of Rock Island Bend on the Franklin River, Tasmania.

Alex Thomson, Angles 17, Drawn digital image (dimensions variable), from Peter Dombrovskis (1979), Rock Island Bend, Franklin River, South West Tasmania

Image credit: Alex Thomson, Angles 17, 2017, Drawn digital image (dimensions variable), from Peter Dombrovskis (1979), Rock Island Bend, Franklin River, South West Tasmania


The research project presents an exploration of the multifarious ways in which we view a site, examining how the act of viewing a location is cognitively processed and hence, understood and appreciated, and how such comprehension can be affected when the view of the site is mitigated through the lens of an iconic photographic image.

The investigation follows two lines of enquiry. Firstly an initial, vicarious site experience via Peter Dombrovskis’ iconic photograph Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend, Franklin River, Tasmania, 1979. This second-hand understanding of Rock Island Bend was then recalibrated and expanded by my visit to the site. The second line of enquiry investigated how the concept of Scientific Cognitivism may be applied when viewing a site, and how that process of disassembly and reassembly may be advantageous in generating an enhanced understanding. As an artistic methodology of this concept, I applied my personal history and knowledge when viewing both the image and site by adopting diverse personas that result from my life experience.

In the exhibition I present a collection of sculptural works where individually each piece reflects or is inspired by the discrete lines of inquiry from my personas, but collectively the works present my broadened understanding of Rock Island Bend. The project affords viewers both an insight into the complex process that constitutes a personal experience of a site, and how the diverse methodologies employed can be transferred to other aesthetic experiences, either as framed through artistic practice, or when simply encountering the wider world.

Exhibition dates: Wed 17 - Sun 28 May

Gallery Hours: Wed - Mon 12pm - 5pm during exhibitions

Closed Tuesdays and Public holidays