Louise Ritchie

Hybrid States: A Practice-Led Enquiry Exploring The ‘Artificial’ Union Of Materials And Their Properties Within Contemporary Art Forms

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My research examines materiality within creative processes inherent in Contemporary Art forms. In this investigation the physical and non-physical properties of materials will reveal a dual nature, demonstrating the inherent capacities to work spatially in different ways, and to signify complexity.

Using organic and inorganic materials, I use creative practices to test thresholds between states of matter and their potential for transmutations, particularly when they are manipulated through artistic processes such as melting, welding, and casting.

metallic sheet

My research is conducted through studio practices with the aim of challenging traditional interpretations of materials, examining something new in hybrid, creative re-combinations and question:

What is the nature of ‘hybridity’ as it is applied to art, working in materials in unusual combinations by a philosophy attentive to the non-material (metaphysical) as well as material properties of matter?

How can artistic experimentation reveal inter-relationships between making with the material constrictions of properties, time, and energy in material transformation?

Transformed matter occupies space both in and out-with a physical presence; therefore, how do we apprehend the invisible but real non-material occupation of space?

These investigations test current understandings of what makes an artwork an artwork and its thingness as an object within an art context. Reflections on developing new concepts of 'beauty' will engage new technologies and thought-processes throughout.  These 'close-making' activities lead to parallel close-readings in philosophy, especially in aesthetics and metaphysics with  supplementary readings in material studies and material culture.


Names of Supervisors: Prof Graham Fagen, Prof Mary Modeen

Normal Location of PhD Candidate: DJCAD