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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor in Technological University Dublin, July 2012.


The research question - "What are the visible and invisible archaeologies of conflict in the Irish landscape of Donegal and how may these be contextualised and represented through arts practice?" has been addressed through textual and historical research and through arts practice, using lens-based media in the exploration of an historic series of military circumstances, in the contemporary Irish landscape of County Donegal. The research undertaken and the resulting outcomes are presented as a textual narrative and as visual arts practice. The thesis material is composed of five chapters, each of which discusses selected arguments in the fields of, respectively; the modification of human sight through opticality and the emergence of modern photography, origins of the geographical discipline and the visual influence on formations of cultural landscape, a contemporary archaeological approach to sites of conflict and examples of relevant artwork, and a characterisation and discussion of Ireland's position of neutrality during the Second World War, including a critical review of the images produced on this topic. This fourth chapter is intended to function as context and framework for the fifth chapter, the re-imagining of the landscape through the arts practice, shown in the Arc of Fire website, which is composed of selected visual material from the live research phase and the site-specific exhibition installed in Fort Dunree in the Inishowen peninsula. The conclusions form the final part of the thesis. Photography and lens based processes, explored as a critical history and employed as a working method of my professional arts practice, is fundamental to the research project.


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