Elizabeth Gower

The research focus is the collection, appropriation and re-purpose of ephemera and urban detritus as a contemporary visual art strategy. The technological/industrialized cultures of the 21st century, which are predicated on built-in obsolescence and disposability, have led to a proliferation of urban detritus that has become operative in a range of cultural practices.

The study examines why contemporary artists appropriate discarded materials and how the material is utilized in their practice. In particular the research determines the degree to which studio location, chance, and nuances of prevailing material culture influence the content and format of contemporary practice.

To this end the study examines and contextualizes the strategies and methodologies inherent in my practice and those of relevant contemporary precedents who re-assign waste materials as a strategy to critique material culture and systems of value.

This exhibition comprises the practical component of Elizabeth Gower’s PhD research.