Paint, prism and precarity:

Edge as mediator for connection making between people and place



Practice-based research, autoethnography, metaphor, urban exploration


This practice-based inquiry explores the qualities of ‘edge’ as a concept for fostering relational discourse between instances of situational precariousness and vulnerability. Drawing from Van Stralen’s doctoral research, the authorship team articulate a meaning making process from peripatetic speculation and autoethnographic movement between people and place. A process and practice for how edge is conceived to articulate modalities of thinking-through-painting, alongside the use of urban exploration as an intermediary space in which to test and enact ideas is presented. From this, meaning and metaphor are drawn from the act of painting and its available perspectives. It is through this that paint becomes a means to render precarious edge space between people and place, laden with relational possibility.

Through a series of meaning made between textual and pictorial transitions, the possibilities of edge as a mediator for connection-making are considered. In bringing painting, writing, and speculation into a place of urban exploration, new edges are made and exposed. The junkyard as context for practice-based urban exploration enables a relational process for connection making between people, place and precarity. This practice-based research offers inroads to meanings made from edge space between object, form, and place.  These painting-generated meanings can inform onto-poetic engagement with edge worlds and new renderings of contemporary precarious experiences. 

Author Biographies

Anna Van Stralen, University of Tasmania

PhD Candidate

University of Tasmania

College of Arts, Law and Education

School of Creative Arts and Media

Abbey MacDonald, University of Tasmania

Senior Lecturer - Arts Education

Graduate Research Coordinator (Education)

College of Arts, Law and Education

Troy Ruffels, University of Tasmania

Coordinator - Photo Media

College of Arts, Law and Education

School of Creative Arts and Media

Malcom Bywaters, University of Tasmania

Academic Division - Collections

Gallery Director - Academy Gallery