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Alison Thomson_Rosella Spider Orchid 2013 Cottlesbridge.jpg

Alison L. Thomson

Alison Thomson is an independent artist, researcher and writer. In 2013 she completed a Master of Fine Art by research at Monash University. This project explored the potential for art practices to transform 'subjectivity' (mind, will and emotion) in conjunction with philosopher Luce Irigaray's concept of the 'sensible transcendental'. (See PDF attached below or hardcopy at Monash University library.) Irigaray argues that males and females, and the categories of the masculine and feminine, are different and equally valuable. For Irigaray, 'sexual difference' is the first difference from which all other differences arise. Alison Thomson's artworks attempt to symbolise a 'sensible transcendental'  or intentional synergy of the masculine and feminine. Thomson's central idea is that the conventional 'masculine' and 'feminine' only become divine (the good) through a 'sensible transcendental' way of being. The 'sensible transcendental' entails synergy or effort, along with grace, to transform categories; the subject acts to bring categories into relationship without collapsing the parts into an undifferentiated whole. The 'sensible transcendental', in its ideal form, can be experienced as true 'subject-hood'. In the absence of such an approach, the conventional masculine and feminine are potentially destructive (uses power for self) and devouring (incorporates others and denies sovereignty). In the presence of a 'sensible transcendental' attitude and process, the masculine becomes compassion and the feminine transforms into wisdom. Thomson's art practice rests on the assumption that creative and visual art practices can be used to support these changes. In addition to philosophy, Thomson's current research draws on native orchid conservation, Orthodox Christian art and mindfulness techniques which align with the Christian wisdom tradition.


Image: Rosella Spider Orchid - rear view, by Alison Thomson 2014. The photograph shows the flower in first bloom. *Please note all artworks, images and text included on this site are subject to copyright laws.

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