Distinctively visual related text
Gordon Bennett- The Outsider
How has the distinctively visual created meaning?
Explore the ways the images we see and or visualise in texts are created. Students consider how the forms and language of different texts create these images, affect interpretation and shape meaning. The Outsider focuses on issues of the increasing isolation indigenous Australians feel in their own country. Painted in 1988 in which the bicentennial anniversary of white settlement in Australia was being held. Dimensions of 290x180cm and painted on canvas using oil and acrylic paints. The Outsider depicts a decapitated aboriginal figure standing over Van Gogh’s bed with red paint streaming skywards to join with the cortex of Vincent’s starry night. Charged with feelings of the frustration and confusion of the aboriginal peoples, Bennett acquired inspiration from tragic things that occur between aboriginals and white settlers. Bennett re-contextualises two existing images to challenge the viewer to question and see-alternative perspectives. He makes reference to two paintings by Van Gogh, “Vincent’s bedroom in Arles” and “starry night”. He draws from Van Gogh to create a new language, as he has been interested in the way language and images construct identity and history and the way it controls and creates meaning. Bennett also identifies with Van Gogh’s metaphysical quest for meaning and identity, in such a way that the decapitated figure could be interpreted to be either Bennett or Van Gogh. There is clear reference to the energy and intensity associated with Van Gogh’s expressive brushstrokes and brilliant colour contrasts which create a powerful and explosive effect. Bennett has replicated Van Gogh’s unique painting style and use of texture throughout much of the painting. The texture is prevalent throughout the whole painting, and especially noticeable in the night sky section, although it is lacking in the area of the bed and especially in the...
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