UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Art about life form encounters : making sense of place in the Okanagan region Yamamoto, Megumi


My research explores how creating art can be a method of connecting to an unfamiliar environment. Positioning myself as a newcomer to the Okanagan, I observe, document, and work with the various life forms I encounter in Kelowna over a two-year time period to demonstrate how through creating art, a sense of place and an appreciation for a place can arise over time in an individual’s mind. In the creative research, I ask the following questions: How can creating visual art about a local natural environment develop a newcomer’s sense of place? And how might creating art about the experience of a place enhance or facilitate the development of one’s connection to a place and sense of belonging? Informed by hermeneutic phenomenology and working in various mediums, I use observation and interaction as forms of lived experience and art making as a method of generating meaning and knowledge. My artwork isolates and seeks to identify the individual life forms I encounter in Kelowna in order to deconstructing the environment – a complex interconnected system – to acquaint myself with the land, resulting in a body of work presenting a construction of my perspectival experience. Giving significance to the commonplace and easily overlooked aspects of nature as important place-defining elements within the urban environment (my everyday-surroundings), I hope to encourage viewers to reflect on their own perceptions of place and to consider the significance that life forms have in shaping the way in which a place is perceived. My work engages with the ideas put forward by Jakob von Uexküll, Elen-Maarja Trell and Bettina van Hoven, Rachel D. Kroencke, Nina Katchadourian, Lynette Shultz, Megan K. Halpern and Hannah Star Rogers, Joseph Cornell, Walter Benjamin, and Giles Deleuze and Felix Guattari.

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