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Graduate research

The School of Arts and Social Sciences offers research degrees in creative practice at both Masters and PhD levels. The research undertaken by candidates is often multi-disciplinary and ground-breaking. Here is a selection of interviews conducted with some of the School's graduates (alumni).

Selection of Graduate Interviews

Kellie O'Dempsey (Masters)

Performance drawing

The development of the Masters program significantly introduced me to electronic projections as a part of my performance drawing work. Through performance as enquiry via drawing, I identify and unravel notions of public and private space that reflect aspects of my identity. This investigation discusses the interconnected experience of human engagement through performance drawing as an immediate means of response, the aleatoric processes of collaboration and improvisation, the contemporary definition of site-specific practice, the artist as social leveller, the potential for apolitical social interconnectedness through performance, and the possibilities of transformation through art-making.

Masters title - The spectacle of performance drawing
Video transcript

Maria Simms (PhD)

Writing historical fiction

Writing a novel for my PhD gave me faith in my ability to handle the scope and development required in a novel. Published in 2008 by New Holland Publishing after winning the New Holland Publishing award for genre fiction, The Dead House is set in Sydney in the nineteenth century, when Henry Parkes asked Florence Nightingale for trained nurses to reform the previously turgid and oppressive hospital system in the fledgling colony. The dramas that came with it were a gift, a gift to a writer, including the nurses who came with her who were absolutely outrageous. Electra Flynn faces murder, exploitation and mystery as women disappear and relationships struggle under an oppressive regime.

PhD title - The Dead House (novel)
Video transcript

Fiona Fell (Masters; PhD candidate)

Figurative ceramics

What happens to meaning when the body is fragmented or modified by architectural elements and structural devices? How is the fictive body formed through fragmentation? The creative outcome was a solo exhibition consisting of an installation of 50 figurative sculptures that explored structural devices of space and the body investigating the nature of the figurine from votive figures through to figurines of sentimentality. EVENTual BodieSpaces examined the use of 3D computer design as the formative process in the construction of a figure and the spaces they occupy. Doing the Masters course gave me more inquiry because of research, and it made me explore the sensory field of clay.

Masters title - Eventual BodieSpaces
Video transcript

David Weir (PhD)

Electronic music mash-ups

My creative practice is placed within historical traditions of musical protest and cultural activism. Through a recounting of political developments and the mass media's role in representing them in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on America, I elaborate the personal political/philosophical perspective in the creative process. This perspective is fashioned through the application of a variety of theoretical tools that I applied within a broader critical methodological framework. In this respect the project crosses disciplinary boundaries - creative arts practice is informed by cultural studies and political theory. My supervisors introduced me to the notion of paradigms of knowledge and ways of knowing and helped me understand I could place my particular knowledge within this broad paradigm of creative arts practice.

PhD title - Mashing power: musical re-imaginings of post 9/11 political rhetoric
Video transcript

Dr Barry Hill (PhD)

Music and new media performance

My PhD examined the emergence of the musical genre of live electronica and reflects upon the creative processes used by Australian musicians seeking to recreate compositions using contemporary computer software within a "live" music ensemble context. I examined the relationships between musicians, place and practice and tested theoretical assertions by Attali (1985) and Huq (2006) that creative practices and socio-economic contexts are inextricably linked. My performance included a group of live electronica musicians interacting with a VJ onstage to create a multiscreen musical concept, which was streamed to the internet. I used SCU's Studio One29, which has a fantastic multimedia capability and is a great studio space wired into the internet with incredibly fast connections.

PhD title - Human Machine Music: models of creative practice within an Australian Contemporary Music Community
Video transcript