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PAD Edition 4 - Editorial Overview

The Northern School of Art


The fourth issue of PAD | Perspectives in Art and Design showcases research papers from undergraduate and postgraduate students across the Visual Arts Faculty and the Stage & Screen Faculty at The Northern School of Art. The research papers included in this edition reflect theoretical discourse in areas such as film and existentialism, abstract expressionism, nature therapies, material culture and popular culture. 


Oscar Fitchett’s article ‘How do themes of Existentialism and Identity link with the Auteur Theory and The French New Wave?’ discusses themes of existentialism explored in the French New Wave film movement, the relationship between the art and the artist, stories that depict a character’s journey in questioning their own identity, as well as key filmmakers who practice this artistic philosophy. This article is a companion piece that works in parlance with Fitchett’s short film ‘REFLECTION’.


In the article ‘Engrams: Abstract Art and Emotional Memories’, Nichola Stott examines a personal view of recollection and communication through her practice-based inquiry focused on abstract painting and the interplay between the senses, memory, and emotion. This article posits how sensory stimuli combine to create a total-emotional remembered experience. 


Harry Fraser’s article ‘Queering Climate Action’ aims to highlight the voices of minorities, including queer intersectional identities in the fight for climate justice. Focusing on contemporary queer climate movements, this article highlights the importance of queer people fighting the war on the planet.


The relationship between clothing, fashion, and the self has been an ongoing topic of debate within the fields of Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychology. Some scholars argue that clothing is a form of self-expression, whereas others argue that fashion and clothing are a form of social construct. In the paper ‘Threads of Identity’ Ada Malegowska examines both perspectives of the debate, utilising prominent theories that have been proposed to explain this relationship.


Olivia Askwith’s article ‘Assessing the Cultural Impact of Artemisia Gentileschi and her Synchronous Deviation from Artistic Norms and Expectations of Women Artists of the Baroque Period’ analyses Artemisia Gentileschi’s most significant works created during the Baroque period. Through a proto-feminist lens, this investigation discusses how Gentileschi’s practice deviated from artistic norms and expectations for women artists in the Baroque period, and in turn how this informed her contemporary legacy and her contribution to twentieth and twenty-first-century feminist thought. 


Conceived by horror writer Peter Volk originally as a six-part drama series, Ghostwatch (1992, Lesley Manning) has become notorious within horror circles; and is highly regarded as an inspiration for both the found footage sub-genre and reality television. Craig York explores the lasting impact and frightening legacy of the television show in their article ‘Ghostwatch: When Britain Saw Ghosts’.


MA Design History 2021 graduate, Anthea Lilley’s, research paper, ‘The Dead and the Dying: A Comparative Study of Class in Relation to the Design and Cultures surrounding Victorian Funeral Traditions’ (2021) explores the notion of working-class attitudes to death. Exploring the culture surrounding Victorian working-class funerals, this research paper utilises historiographical methodologies, exploring key literature including Lady Florence Bell’s, At the Works: Study of a Manufacturing Town, Middlesbrough (1907) and Maud Pember-Reeves, Round About a Pound a Week (1913).


Ellie Rodwell- Bullock’s article ‘Discerning the Domestic in Post-Modernist Painting’ discusses whether it is possible to discern and define a continuing concern with the representation of the domestic in the Postmodern era, drawing on activity within painting between 1950 and the early 2000s. 


Reflecting on Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP ten years on from its release, Sophie Coleman’s paper ‘Putting the Art on the Soup Can: Artistic Influences on Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP and its Impact on Pop Culture’ discusses Lady Gaga’s seminal album within the context of an art history perspective, placing its roots within the Pop Art scene of the 1970s-80s and how it has gone on to influence popular culture.


‘Nature Exposure’ is a project delving deep into Grace Ede’s memories of her childhood adventures in nature, using these experiences as a baseline souvenir to inform a body of photographic works exhibited as part of The Northern Arts Gala at Hartlepool Art Gallery in January 2023. The project aimed to reconnect the artist with the natural world and her memories again as an adult, using her time in nature as a form of self-care and positive mental health reinforcement inspired by art and nature therapy. The artist attempted this through the act of walking and exploring her childhood environments, inspiring her to create new souvenirs by experimenting with journaling, photography, and natural textile creations. 

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