Stephen Little

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Stephen Little's MPhil/PhD Art research project

Painting in transit: inter-domain transfer and material reformation

My research explores alternatives to traditional models commonly used to classify something as painting. It proposes that painting can exist not only as a materially disembodied conceptualisation (i.e. as conceptual matter) but that it can also be identified in a range of material exchanges and associations that accommodate inter-domain transfers between painting and non-painting contexts to take place.

This works by extending and conceptualising painting beyond its traditional, material definition of medium. I contend that this can lead to a re-reading of painting as an extended discipline whose classification as ‘painting’ is no longer wholly definable in relation to its former material tradition.I draw on Duchamp by way of example and argue that he did not abandon painting per se, but chose instead to work outside of painting’s material tradition.

Through written research and studio practice I explore an interest in transposing painterly concerns to unconventional supports: materially, conceptually, symbolically, metaphorically and linguistically, in a manner that alludes to more than just a physical transference of paint between objects and contexts. Instead of relying on pictorial traditions or painterly conventions to dictate an outcome I aim to highlight painting’s on-going potential by reworking it through other media.