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Sarah Foyster

Allegories of Encounter: Painting the Anxious Space

This practice-led research will investigate the anxiety of psychological ‘space’ in relation to painting that is envisaged, in itself, as an anxious space (Vidler, 2002). It will seek reference to visual allegory and psychological dislocation within traditional and contemporary art practice and to consider this in the context of psychoanalytical theories of the eye and the gaze (Lacan, 2016), the uncanny (Freud, 2003) and systems of power control within architecture (Foucault, 1975).

This research will identify and contribute to the ongoing discourse and argument of the role of contemporary painting in the 21st Century. By placing unease in the mind of the spectator and by mixing dualities – seen and hidden, real and imagined, past and future – critical dialogue will be identified between painter and painting. It will establish how the ‘painting’ itself is perceived by the spectator – not just as a space for the artist to convey liminal states, but as an ‘anxious object’ (Rosenberg, 1966).