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MA Fine Art 2020

Andrea Hilditch

Disruption and Containment: Theatre on the Canvas

These paintings are an inquiry into the notion of disruption and containment. Initially, this emerged from my practice-based research into an autoethnographic experience of persistent pain and expanded to explore dramatic global changes with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was synergy with my processes and the new reality I was navigating. I applied Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical theatrical ‘front’ or impression management. Lockdown encompassed a dualistic containment: managing constellatory persistent pain within another contained, safe stage (my home). For a time, I only saw the world through windows, and felt I was being moved like a character, in/ out of isolation, bubbles and social distancing.

My work questions what happens when we fail to contain the chaos, when we don’t manage to keep up the impression management, both as an individual and as a society? Will the hidden always seep out? What happens if we drop the façade?