UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Creating structure : the complexity of making, dwelling, and being Kirker, Lindsay


This supporting paper investigates subject matter that I have intuitively been drawn to paint. This painting method began after experiencing loss, and by reflecting on my response to trauma, I attempt to understand our attraction to structure and our collective response to climate change. I wish to find a connection between personal understanding and the broader collective experience. The cityscape acts as my primary case study. I question whether city planning reflects a subconscious need for stability, over function and economic gain. I begin by describing a seminar I attended at the Kluane Research Station in the Yukon to understand the cascading effects of climate change and the Earth as a complex system of exchange. I introduce contemporary artists who have influenced my work, who use similar approaches and methodologies. I outline a history of artistic inquiry, where the artist investigates their inner nature by looking outwards to the natural environment they are inherently connected to. I research plausible psychological reasons the city is laid out in an organized fashion, explaining the history of linear perspective and its influence over how we perceive our immediate surroundings. I investigate concrete, the foundations of the built environment and a reoccurring theme in my work. I examine the suggested renaming of our current epoch, the Anthropocene, to display the problem's complexity, where the naming alone demands critical engagement. My conclusion is that nothing could be considered in isolation. We must attempt to examine all internal and external interactions when attempting to understand any system's structure. Whether that be the individual, the city, or Earth, everything is connected.

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