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The event of painting

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posted on 01.03.2017, 00:53 by Eckersley, Andrea
Painting is customarily understood as a form of mark making that renders materials and arrangements of lines, or areas of colour, into compositions on surfaces. While a painting can be conceived of as more than a marked surface, it is primarily these surface features, and their particular qualities and arrangements, that are said to comprise the material aspects of a painting. My primary research aim is to investigate the intensive and affective qualities of painting through a series of studio explorations into the material aspects of painting informed by a conceptual framework derived from the writings of Gilles Deleuze. Together with an investigation into the work of artists such as Agnes Martin, Tomma Abts, Karin Sander and Joëlle Tuerlinckx, I argue that painting involves an activation of surfaces in an event felt as a difference in intensity. This argument has been developed through working with a range of surfaces, including painting and sculpture, and surface effects, such as those achieved with light, as well as paint on canvas and working directly with the surface of the wall. Throughout these practices, I have aimed to manipulate the affective force of painting by investigating the relationship between intensive and extensive space, colour and sensation, the surface and affect. Each of these dimensions contributes to the intensification of the encounter with painting; an encounter that involves a transmission or flow between bodies, which may each be understood as surfaces, such as the surfaces of painting and of the surface of the viewer. These encounters activate surfaces in an assemblage of affects. This is the event of painting. 

Awards: Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence in 2015.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Terri Bird

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Fine Art


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture