Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - ECU Access Only


Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Arts and Humanities

First Supervisor

Dr Lyndall Adams

Second Supervisor

Dr Paul Uhlman


The aim of this research project was to consider the construction of meaning within visual arts, with a view to possible applications of the concept of the flâneur as method of research. My purpose was to open new insights into the experience of everyday life through a consideration of peripheral phenomena. I formulated this as a concept through my artwork and retraced a history of development via a background of artists who paradoxically create artworks from debris. I focused on the practice of a small group of French, German and Italian artists who called themselves the “Affichistes”, in referral to the torn and shredded posters (“affiche” is the French word for poster) they use to make their art work, in a process called décollage, meaning the reverse of collage. An element of absurdity, embedded in the concept of making art by bringing debris into the gallery and thereby proposing a re-examination of commonly accepted cultural values, refers to a critical evaluation of seemingly absurd socio-economic aspects of mainstream culture that were part of the impulse initiating the wide spread counter-cultural movement associated with the 1960s.

My art practice aims to bring attention to incidental photography, the principle of décollage, as well as the method of the flâneur. Using the methodology of practice-led research, I have enquired into visual aspects of public urban spaces and into the use of these spaces in contemporary visual art.

The studio practice was divided into three parts. Fieldwork was conducted in and around the Perth metropolitan area, as well as on various locations in Germany and France, during two short stays in February and November 2017. The printmaking practice was conducted in various studios in Perth, Western Australia. The project also extended to a four-week residency at the University of Western Australia’s ARTLAAB studio, including an exhibition during the month of June 2017. Arising from the ARTLAAB residency, a substantial body of work was developed and produced, including digital prints, a light box, as well as a sculptural installation. An exegesis and exhibition demonstrated the aesthetic as well the conceptual potential of décollage in conjunction with the concept of the flâneur used as a research method. The method of the flâneur was explored in terms of a perambulating manner of gathering data, in form of snap-shot photography as a way of sketching found images relating to the aesthetic of the “Affichistes”. The studio practice developed these images into the artworks exhibited in “Défence d’afficher”.

The perambulating manner also applied to the literature consulted for this research, encompassing, apart from academic texts, a wide variety of haphazardly gathered literary sources, such as novels, daily newspapers and magazines, rock-music lyrics and information gleaned from private conversations and personal observation.

Access Note

Access to this thesis is restricted to the exegesis.