Summary / Abstract

The combined creative and exegetical components of ‘The Universal Embrace’ tease out philosophies in regard to human nature and experiences, not only unique to a same sex embrace but an overall essential expression of love and triumph. This exegesis utilises a living arts based inquiry to explore the relationship with the self, the relationship with another, and a relationship to not only spirituality but greater society and the universe. This is the essence of this study whilst contrasting and comparing concepts such as science and the soul. The creative component consists of a complex online interactive design of two men embracing that examines the metaphysical complexities of a singular moment in time, that engages with the experiencer allowing them to explore the design and consider their own complex ontologies in terms of physical, emotional, spiritual and politicised lenses. The exegesis also asks the participant to reflect on these themes under an A/r/tographical methodology. The theoretical framework draws upon metaphysics and reconciliation with the self. The essence of this project is rooted in qualitative research under the methodological auspice of A/r/tography and considering queer theory as the two people in this artistic embrace, incidentally, are men. The project combines digital and traditional means of making art in an artistic statement contributing to the common good, and also contributes to Arts/ Education frameworks and pushes the limits of an artistic online web based study. Under an A/r/tographical model, it exists in terms of practice-based research and draws from personal narrative and lived experience, acting in congruency with an equal written component that is expressed in this exegesis. The overall design aims to consider historical and present artistic statements of embraces from across cultures and time and re-contextualise a modern embrace in a contemporary format that politicizes the event, drawing from personal lived experience and narrative, and is expressed through current web-based state of the art technologies.

Designing the interactive layout of 'The Universal Embrace' as applies to a golden rectangle. (Ink drawing, 2013).

Below - A slide from 'The Universal Embrace', following on from initial sketches.