A space in-between: practicing surface by Yvette Dumergue

* Click on the red time-stamp to go directly to each segment in the video

00:10 Chair (Pia Ednie-Brown) Introducing Presentation and the Examiners (A/Prof Sarah Treadwell, Prof Rachel Neeson)

03:00 Presentation begins with Rachel reading an excerpt from a poem by Rupert Brook extolling the virtue of ordinary things. This introduction of the ‘everyday’ leads her to the main premise of her PhD.

04:55 Three themes: the everyday; analogue craft and making, and curatorial practice

06:30 ‘Teaching is the background of my practice’

06:50 Description of the exhibition (what’s on the walls and table)

10:00 Introduction of Rachel’s booklet: The Key Codex – which she calls the roadmap to her approach

11:30 Key intentions, Key methods, Key spatial moves

15:00 Collections as a kind of Cabinet of curiosities or wunderkammer

16:46 Explanation and physical examination of a table in her exhibition. It is, as Rachel puts it, ‘the anchor’ for most places of production and in her case a conscious mixing of the familiar and familial with the materials and instruments of her practice.

26:10 Major project: Times tables, tabulation

32:20 Description of a tablecloth (exhibited) which ‘knits the canonical and the personal’

36:00 Fabric sets: embroidered cloths: comparisons between the large city square and the square of an embroidered cloth: the robustness of built form as against the flimsy nature of the cloth.

39:40 Description of the curation of Manual: inscriptions of the everyday: Souvenir cloths

47:05 The Crate explained

49:00 The 'Goodbye Table' road trip

56:00 Contributions and conclusions

1:04:30 End of Presentation

1:05:00 (RN) Architectural exhibition or Art exhibition: how would you describe your (this PhD) exhibition?

1:09:20 (ST) Question that asks RW to talk about ‘a certain ambivalence between the modern(ist) and the everyday’ in the work

1:17:00 (RN) A comment on the tactility of the book supporting the sensory appreciation of the everyday

1:27:30 (ST) Where, in what we’ve seen today is there an example of ‘hybrid production’ (hybrid of analogue drawing and other forms of display

1:30:24 (ST) Discussion on the question of scale in the works. Is there a small thread of apprehension within the thesis that the author (who’s practice is generally concerned with the hand-sized and detailed) might have to enlarge?

1:34:30 (RN) Can you talk a little bit about comfort with imprecision?

1:37:10 (ST) Commenting on the mix, or segregation, in the works of finessed finish and an incomplete quality

1:40:30 (RN) About ‘making do with’ or elevating the everyday

1:45:10 (ST) What are the limits of the strategy to engage the personal, and family life, in a critique of the discipline

1:55:40 (ST) The recurrent icon of the little black cross in the word is discussed

1:59:00 (RN) A question asking Rachel to expand on the colours that she uses in her works

2:01:20 The End

View the complete dissertation


A Space In-Between: Practicing Surface investigates practice and making as an ongoing spatial process of becoming.

Inspired by the physical, intangible and esoteric qualities of surface sensibilities, I am intrigued with the notion of surface as a concealing utility, in continuous transformation and the potential for what may be revealed through the dynamic processes of making, how a concept emerges, how it becomes materialised, unstable and evolves in the beholders’ eye. The tactile activity that brings it into being, transforms it, undoing identities, and creating potential spaces in between or openings in which interspatial discourse and contemplation transpire.

This research is concerned with the making of objects that seek to challenge static design processes, disconnected from the process of making, by questioning the materiality and the act of making, rather than the objects made and their intended outcomes. I am interested in the emphasis placed on the moment with a need to re-present that moment suspended in either a state of dispersal or reconstruction, its silence as a still frozen moment, but its impermanence continuously in a state of flux.

Through the development of four projects, this research project ‘A Space In-Between: Practicing Surface’ examines the relationship between making surfaces and objects, presenting a ground for a practice of making, whereby in the process of making the designer may hesitate or pause, actively interrupting an expected outcome, offering up an openness in which further complexities transform and become.

Year: 2011
Examiners:  Dr Alex Selenitsch, Professor Nat Chard, Professor Marie Sierra  Supervisors: Professor SueAnne Ware, Dr Malte Wagenfeld


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