Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School Of Communications And Contemporary Arts


Education And Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Crouch

Second Advisor

Dr. Dean Chan


This research argues the significance of the concept of the abyss as a means to understanding key contemporary ideas such as the self, identity, reflexivity, indeterminacy, ideology, radical doubt, lack, and xenophobia. Proposing the analysis of interpretations of the abyss as informative in developing an understanding of ourselves in terms of our cultural, geographical and historical contexts, I draw on a range of visual images, explorations of language use, research into cultural constructs, religious practices and historical events. The reflections on the abyss contained in this thesis contribute to broader research by connecting the developing concept of the abyss to aspects of the material and cultural contexts of the historical periods examined. Self-reflexive creative production is the modus operandi for my critical engagement with the subject matter. The claim that research and creative practice inform one another dialogically is exemplified by a discussion of the role of research as a tool for contextualising my own visual art practice, as well as for acknowledging both my intellectual and my emotional negotiation of the theory.

Included in

Psychology Commons