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Laura Mansfield

Laura Mansfield
The Geographical Island

The geographical island is a recurring setting for narrative fictions. Within a number of literary narratives the island presents a space at a remove from the behaviour, landscape and culture of the central character’s homeland where familiar structures are readily heightened, critiqued or subverted. Embodying a space of removal the island becomes a site of projection in which a blurring between the real and the fantastical occurs. Through a consideration of journeys to, thresholds of and encounters upon the literary and geographical island, the research project outlines a structure of the island as a distinct conceptual model that facilitates processes of imaginary distancing. As such, islands can be perceived to be located within, yet always at the slightest remove from, the everyday itself – spaces that disrupt the familiar to facilitate fantastical or subversive alternative to the status quo. Along these lines the proposed island model will be considered in relation to site based exhibitions of contemporary art. Instigating momentary experiences of the unexpected and uncertain site based works facilitate staged encounters at a remove from the status quo, igniting playful, subversive and alternative perspectives on one’s familiar surroundings.


Conferred 2017