Picturing Familiar Ground

Ms. Ros Meeker – Post Graduate
2012 Conference

My developing thesis is titled Familiar Ground: Expressing Post-Diasporic Scottish Identity through Collage and Print. The primary aim of the research is the expression of my familial history and of my own Post-Diasporic cultural celebrations, and questionings, of a hand-me-down homeland and imagined place-based identity. The topic is one of nostalgia, reflecting on my grandparent’s arrival in Australia a century ago and the adherence to Scottish culture pursued in the following generations. The visual component of my thesis is pursued through the mediums of collage and print, often using the appropriation devices of remediation and détournement.

The paper will background a pictorial language as is understood by the Scottish Diaspora and view it as a closed set, having changed little since the 19th century. I will reconsider these images and symbols in Post-Modern and Post-Colonial times, outlining the role played by Romanticism and myth in the picturing of a Scottish homeland (‘imagineering’) by the descendants of immigrant Scots.

My adopted home of Tasmania is one of misty mountains and secluded valleys. It has been fashioned on British landscape ideals. It is overwritten by Scottish placenames, flora and manmade works reminiscent of those in Scotland. I, myself, have nostalgically planted Scottish cultivars and raised Scottish breed animals on my secluded remnant farm in Tasmania’s south. Therefore the opportunity for the Tasmanian landscape to be misread is cobbled into my work alongside Scottish artefact, painting and print, the photographic and hand drawn gesture.

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About the author

Ros Meeker resides on a secluded Tasmanian remnant farm, surrounded entirely by rainforest, with her husband, fellow printmaker Brett Meeker. Currently a Research Masters Candidate at the University of Tasmania School of Art, her exegesis is titled Familiar Ground: Expressing Post-Diasporic Scottish Identity through Collage and Print. The project continues an art practice that long term has engaged with contemplation of physical ground and the psychological landscape. In her art practice Meeker engages with modern and traditional forms of etching. Meeker has had a number of solo shows in Hobart and interstate and exhibits with the Osmosis group and Hunter Island Press. Her work is represented at the Henry Jones Art Hotel and held in various collections such as CSIRO, RACI and the Allport Library.