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ArtsForum - Graduate Colloquium


MFA Candidates Peter Mattila, Patrick Sutczak and Richard J Hodgetts

Start Date

16 May 2013 12:30 pm

End Date

16 May 2013 1:30 pm


Tasmanian College of the Arts (Inveresk)

RSVP / Contact

ArtsForum is a series of free public lectures held at the Tasmanian College of the Arts (Inveresk). Students and members of the public are welcome to attend.

Peter Mattila | MFA Candidate
Making and living in a Post Industrial Landscape / Time-space

The project is a combination of practice as research based investigation, and material outcomes in the form of steel objects. The process of this research, which included travelling to the United States to interact with my contemporaries and the steel craft industry, highlighted for me the interconnectivity of three elements of making. These three elements articulate my experiences of practice as research, in a textual form, and add to the explanatory component of my project; they are:

Lineage: The passing on of knowledge and skills, the lineage from one maker to another. This is physically described in Dogon (Mali) mythology as passing a piece of iron from the blacksmith to the students hammer through the generations. It is alternatively articulated through the increasing transmission of skills via online forums, video demonstration and social media.

Material/medium and process: Form development specific to the material, composition, problem solving and intuitive interaction; the conception of tools to manipulate and transform steel. This is about what can actually be done, but also about perception of the material because with steel you are always working with the paradox of rigid and near fluid states.

The social implications of being a maker in the 21st century: In situating my work I am not set within a cottage industry, although the working of steel stems from a pre- industrial craft that developed into a large industry. The skills and techniques that I use are from both eras. Craft ideology and making are now a post-industrial endeavour. My practice is a hybrid, it embraces industrial skilling, yet is translated through a crafts and do-it-yourself approach.

The new work produced during this project is the research outcome, a physical interpretation of the knowledge and experience gained. It is also a continuation of the research through making, a thread in the larger fabric of practice. The objects made are complex compositions utilizing a number of forged and fabricated forms. The objects have a level of ambiguous utility, inviting the viewer with an aspect of familiarity, and the potential for possible human interaction, freeing the objects of specific classification.


Patrick Sutczak | MFA Candidate
Between the Lines: the reading and re-imagination of landscape as text

This practice-lead research project has been formulated out of an interest in ecological landscapes, how they are experienced and negotiated, and furthermore how they are interpreted by visual and written means. Within pictorial representations of landscape, visual likeness and composition are elements used to create an image or an evocation of place. In a literary sense, the means of descriptive, poetic, or theoretical writing can be used separately or collectively, to formulate a similar evocation of place yet by very different means.

This project aims is to explore the intersection between text and image within my practice and to create a work/s that is a creative likeness of site. My intimate engagement will take the form of ‘exploratory wandering’ (sometimes known as the Derive when applied to an urban environment). The purpose is to approach the site without agenda and traverse it completely on foot to experience a landscape often seen yet rarely experienced due to restriction of access and ownership.

By investigating aspects of expeditionary art, ephemerality, performance, documentation and landscape theory, Between the Lines will combine mediums, ideas and approaches to the way landscapes can be read, written and visualised.


Richard J Hodgetts | MFA Candidate

Pareidolia is a cognitive phenomenon where random stimuli are perceived as common shapes appearing in clouds and other everyday occurrences. My research will investigate how and why this phenomenon occurs and its application to the creative arts, particularly its historic use and its possible applications in contemporary painting.

My recent landscape paintings have gradually exhibited elements of pareidolia and my perception of this phenomenon has become more intrusive over time. My project seeks to explore this visual/cognitive conundrum through the media of painting by marrying scientific cognitive theories of perception to more ambiguous notions artistic reality.

Although the phenomenon has been known and acknowledged sporadically by artists throughout history, it remains largely ignored in scientific and artistic research fields despite its obvious links and potential applications to creative practices.

Pareidolia consists principally of elements of ambiguity and illusion and is a major component of art. Zeki claims ambiguity is also a protective characteristic of the brain to seek knowledge and understanding(Zeki 2009).  Sarcone states that optical illusion takes many forms, cognitive, physical, physiological and psychopathological, but the greatest illusion of all is to believe ‘that an image has only one interpretation’ (Sarcone 2009).