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A.R. (Anna-Rosja) Haveman

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Reimagining the Terraqueous in Ecocritical Art.

This PhD project foregrounds the ecocritical and creative engagement of contemporary artists with the tangible and imagined coastal landscapes of the Netherlands. A selection of artistic practices is taken as an incentive to consider how the relation between land (terra) and sea (aqua) is represented, question and reimagined as terraqueous. Art shapes and in shaped by societal ideas about nature, which are reflected upon throughout the dissertation. What happens when artists co-create with the tide? Make art in a nature reserve? Or beautifully represent the fraught extraction of natural resources? My research both reflects how artists operate in between extant scientific knowledge, environmentalism and their creative capacity to appeal to other registers of knowledge. The artworks probe a reflection on theoretical notions relevant to the intersection of art and nature, such as the concept of ecology, affordances of the landscape and hyperobjects. This project aims to highlight how artists navigate these topics, while still creating ambiguous artworks. The majority of case-studies are from the twenty-first century, but one case-study goes back to the 1970s. By comparing past and present practices this project shows the shifting notions of environmental issues in art and society. This comparative framework enables an analysis of artistic approaches and emphasizes how each artist sheds light in their own way on different aspects of the ‘terraqueous’ landscapes of the Netherlands. The result will not only provide insight into the myriad of idiosyncratic artistic practices, but also show how artists might foster awareness and develop new perspectives in the face of contemporary ecological crises.

Last modified:06 February 2024 3.18 p.m.