Aesthetic Systems of Participatory Painting: communicating in Third Space and mental wellbeing in Tonga
AffiliationCentre for Cultural Partnerships
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2017 Adam Douglass
This thesis builds upon Homi Bhabha’s concept of Third Space to frame social connection and self-determination in a socially-engaged collaborative painting practice. Developed in the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga with On the Spot Arts Initiative (OTS) and involving diverse groups including patients from the Vaiola Hospital Psychiatric Ward, this research offers a new approach to collaborative painting and provides a framework to support mental health and wellbeing. I have theorised this methodology and titled it the Aesthetic System of Participatory Painting (ASOPP). Integrating mental health and contemporary art frameworks, this hybrid model promotes individual autonomy and critical thinking by supporting both harmony and difference, creating a generative space. This research argues that by expanding modernist, individualised aesthetic systems to accommodate a social application, ASOPP projects provide opportunities for local communities to critique social structures and self-represent. This can assist in empowering participants and destabilising pre-established cultural hierarchies that hold power and often determine cultural standards. ASOPP has also informed the accompanying documentary video used to account for the research, providing an accessible research outcome and an opportunity to self-represent for collaborative partners and participants.
Keywordsparticipatory painting; socially engaged painting; immersive art; Vaiola Hospital; Vaiola Hospital Psychiatric Ward; art therapy; collaborative painting; collaboration; painting; participatory art; art; participation; socially engaged art; Tongan art; On the Spot Arts Initiative; Seleka; Adam Douglass; mental health; wellbeing; third space; third space art; Homi Bhabha; spatial aesthetics; aesthetic systems; aesthetic system of participatory painting; Grant Kester; Claire Bishop; Group Art Therapy
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