Shedding Light for the Matter

Professor Barb Bolt

Monday 11 April 2022

This presentation offers a critique of enlightenment notions of representation and rehearses an alternative model of mapping that is grounded in performance. Working from her own practice as a landscape painter, Bolt argues that the particular experience of the “glare” of Australian light fractures the nexus between light, form, knowledge, and subjectivity. This rupture prompts a move from shedding light ON the matter to shedding light FOR the matter and suggests an emergent rather than a representational practice.

Professor Barbara Bolt is a Professorial Fellow at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. She is a practising artist and art theorist with special interests in new materialist theory, ethics and artistic research. Her research addresses the dialogue between theory and practice and between digital and analogue painting seen through the lens of New Materialisms. Her publications include two monographs Art Beyond Representation (2004) and Heidegger Reframed (2011) and five co-edited books, The Meeting of Aesthetics and Ethics in the Academy: Challenges for Creative Practice Researchers in Higher Education (2019), Material Inventions: Applying Creative Arts Research (2014), Carnal Knowledge: Towards a “New Materialism” through the Arts (2013), Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry (2007) and Sensorium: Aesthetics, Art, Life (2007). She has completed 29 graduate researchers engaged in Artist Research. Her artwork can be found on Instagram @barbara_bolt