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1981
Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2055-2823
  • E-ISSN: 2055-2831

Abstract

In this investigation to the author’s own artistic practice, cultural theory and ontology are applied to the notion of ‘wildness’ and ‘safari’ to establish a paradox between what we know and simultaneously will never know about the wild within dominant Western paradigms of thinking. Through her analysis of these contemporary philosophies, the foundation of Halsted’s artwork is explained as a culmination of both performative controlled movements and uncontrolled action. This is achieved through the medium of watercolour that allows for the pigment and representative objects of the non-Western wild to break through oppressive borders and colonial gazes.

With the help of the wind, the scent of prey carries across the savannah. As it reaches the predator’s senses, deep feelings in the form of instincts create sudden and necessary action and the hunt begins. Although instincts are embedded within a predator, it has taken much time to develop the skills needed to ensure a successful hunt and there is still no guarantee for victory. Triumph is determined by constant trial and error, a never-ending journey of learning and the lesson always in motion. But who or what is the predator and who or what is the prey? Perhaps this behaviour is literal and confined to the animal hunt; or perhaps extends to human relations and power over others, whether it be other humans, non-humans and environment; perhaps it is about control and freedom; perhaps it can expand to how I feel about myself as being both the victim and perpetrator; or perhaps it is about all I have mentioned. As a Western assumption, the notion of wildness is acknowledged through ongoing interpretation, as a critical concept that points to the limit of our understanding by reminding us that there is something other. That is to say, knowing wildness suggests that there is an unknowing that is wild.

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2020-09-01
2024-06-13
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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): colonization; other; philosophy; safari; watercolour; wildness
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