This project involves 11 researchers working at Queen's University Belfast (Dr Maruska Svasek, Dr Amit Desai and Prof. Fiona Magowan); Free University Amsterdam (Prof. Birgit Meyer, Dr Rhoda Woets, Dr Joao Rickli); University of Oslo (Prof. Oivind Fuglerud, Prof. Arnd Schneider, Stine Bruland Sorensen); Manchester Metropolitan University (Dr Leon Wainwright) and Museum fur Volkerkunde, Vienna (Dr Barbara Plankensteiner).
Dr. Maruska Svasek (Project Leader for the overall project and Principal Investigator for the Belfast team) started working on the project in July 2010 along with Prof. Fiona Magowan as Senior Researcher, and Dr. Amit Desai was appointed Research Fellow (two-year post). He started on 1 September 2010.
1. Edited volume 'Creativity and Improvisation in Transnational Contexts'.
2. One or two special Issues.
3. Articles (singe or co-authored) in peer reviewed journals such as Social Anthropology, Journal of Material Culture, Art History, and The Art Bulletin.
4. Workshop in Belfast, session at conference, end conference in Amsterdam (all participants present papers).
5. CIM website - all participants send in a number of visual case studies (images and brief analysis).
6. Postgraduate Research Forum ROIE: Researching Objects-Images-Emotions.
Moving aesthetics: Translocal and transnational spiritualities in Australian Aboriginal Art
Professor Fiona Magowan
Funded as part of the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) project
Duration: 2010 – 2012
This project explores how aesthetic and spiritual values/meanings are interpreted in the delineation of the categories ‘ancestral’ and ‘Christian Aboriginal art’, as Australian Aboriginal artists move within and between different communities. It examines how translocal and transnational networks, mission histories and noumenal beliefs of artists have impacted upon expressions of emotion, spirituality and aesthetics in different regional contexts. Based upon ethnographic research in South Australia, New South Wales and the Northern Territory, a comparative analysis of disparate ontological bases of spirituality will reveal highly complex ways in which spiritual values are negotiated, articulated and evaluated, as Aboriginal artists variously produce contemporary aesthetic and religious identities through ancestral and Christian arts for local markets and national/international exhibitions.
1. Indigenous perceptions and negotiations of creativity, aesthetic value and Christian/ancestral spirituality.
2. The expression and evocation of religiosity through Australian Aboriginal Catholic and Protestant images.
3. How transit and transition influence artists’ aesthetic and religious narratives of their works in secular, Catholic and Protestant imagery as expressed within overlapping religious and art world settings.
4. Processes of creative improvisation as the makers of the art works reflect upon their roles as participants in transnational artistic and religious events.
5. Processes of creative improvisation as curators and leaders of cultural/religious/ Aboriginal organisations and communities recontextualise the art works, intending to push agendas of interculturalism and transnational cooperation.