Monash University
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The novel encounter : visualising memories of home

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posted on 2017-02-23, 04:19 authored by Salen, Pamela
The Novel Encounter: Visualising Memories of Home is a personal examination of both the absence and presence of home. I explore the concept of home through the lens of memory as well as a representation of mundane space. I approach these concepts from the perspective that home is not necessarily a fixed or ideal place, but rather an on-going pursuit underpinned by the tension between preservation and transformation. Within these parameters, I define home as a self-referential process whereby memory and autobiography are integral. Home and memory are reconceptualised through visual language as a hybrid of image and narrative. Central to my research is how visual communicators can engage with and articulate home and memory as a portable artefact and a core subject for storytelling, which embraces ambiguity and the potential for loss through the abstract and poetic language of the photogram and the fragility of paper. Building on the work of philosophers and theorists, I examine how psychological, phenomenological, autobiographical, and practical contributions about home and memory inform my studio investigation. Artists and designers who have framed home and memory as a subject, with a particular focus on empty interiors, absence and the repetitiveness of the ordinary, are explored. I outline where these concepts and practices intersect with the language of visual communication and examine how an autobiographical investigation of home through memory can enter into this domain. To address these questions, my studio work aims through a combination of photograms, cut-paper typography, illustrations, and paper sculpture to develop a method of recording, cataloguing and reconceptualising memory set within the rooms where personal life is lived. My research seeks to contribute to new knowledge in the practice and education of visual communication, which combines visualisation, narrative, experiential and material aspects of domestic space with the ephemeral qualities of memory. I argue that home, memory and autobiography as a genre of visual communication support opportunities for authorship and in doing so it enrich methodologies of storytelling.


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Principal supervisor

Melissa Miles

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Communication Design


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

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