Lesley Duxbury


Lesley Duxbury was born in the U.K. and lives in Melbourne. She uses analogue and digital printmedia to address issues concerning the atmosphere and its phenomena, which she explores through work that emulates and recreates our experiences and perceptions of it. Phenomenological experiences of extended walks in remote landscapes, during which she takes photographs and makes extensive notes, are the impetus for her investigations. Recent walks in the Canadian Arctic and Iceland have invigorated her concerns about the possible effects of Climate Change. Duxbury is Deputy Head, Research and Innovation in the School of Art, RMIT University. She has exhibited for over 25 years in solo and more than 50 curated exhibitions in Australia, including National Gallery of Australia and National Gallery of Victoria; Seoul; Vienna and Hong Kong. She was awarded the Australia Council Visual Arts Board New Work Grant (2011). Her work is held in all major public collections in Australia.


Exposition: A Place, Constructed (01/01/2011) by Laura F. Gibellini
Lesley Duxbury 21/11/2011 at 15:07

Laura Gibellini's exposition is undoubtedly of both artistic and intellectual interest. The author clearly articulates contemporary issues in defining place as personal (interior) and physical (exterior) location with a part to play in communicating issues in today’s increasingly globalised world.


Globalisation has necessitated, particularly in the West, that we retreat to internally constructed worlds for stability as outside of ourselves we are on shaky ground. Nothing is as it used to be or how we were taught that it was, which appeared to be as solid as rock. However the author uses fairly obvious imagery to articulate her ideas and sometimes for me it is a little too didactic – overlays of pattern and contours and nostalgic sounds of a musical box – certainly conjure up times when things appeared to be more simple. But is this a symptom of the age or our age?


While Gibellini writes extremely well and uses quite appropriate scholarly references for this exposition, such as José Luis Pardo, Martin Heidegger and Gilles Deleuze, I have a few concerns about the established nature of her references and therefore maintaining the status quo regarding the position of artistic research. Given that this project (Journal of Artistic Research) is about the articulation and presentation of artistic research, not as something separate from accepted notions of scholarly research but different yet equal to it, I would like to see more artists referenced in the text so that the text does not remain the ‘scholarly field’ and the visual/aural contribution remains ‘artistic’ - so that we acknowledge the research contributions of already existing artwork. To this end the work of an artist such as Roni Horn would appear to be an appropriate ‘scholarly’ reference in the way she defines place in both her work and texts and her use of ‘place’ as a verb – as in ‘to place’ – which would be entirely apt in the context of this exposition.


Gibellini clearly articulates what she is setting out to question and gives the parameters of her project. The exposition most certainly demonstrates innovation in the form of the presentation through which she takes the reader/viewer on a personal yet universal journey. The research issue is well-contextualized through theoretical and artistic issues, however I found lacking the thoughts and/or work of other artists and this gives rise to the perception of this exposition as one that is divided into text (theory) and visuals (art). The text of this exposition in the main does not provide new insights and in many ways neither do the visuals. However in combination, and either through good luck or judgement in the way this exposition is accessed online, the new insights and interpretation of existing knowledge is evoked in the viewer/reader. By bringing together selected texts and images the work evokes the global concerns of relationship to place and yet provides for individual interpretation. Overall I assess this as a thoroughly researched exposition.


The design and navigation of this exposition provide the means to access the research content. Initially I found the design an obstacle but by being forced to navigate the design, paradoxically the research became more accessible, which I believe was the intention of the author. The exposition is accessible, readable and engaging. It posits contemporary, apposite and universal issues that are relevant to artists and certain social scientists. Its strength is in the ways the ideas are articulated through a combination and accumulation of text and images, not in the individual components themselves. Some of the links appeared not to take me anywhere and I expected more of some of them but again, this could be the purpose of this exposition.

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