Susan Ryland PhD thesis 2011
Resisting Metaphors: A Metonymic Approach to the Study of Creativity and Cognition in Art Analysis and Practice
A metonymic approach is a way of constructing meaning in creative thinking and art analysis. Little work has been done into how metonymy functions in an art work or how an understanding of metonymic thought processes might reveal new meanings in art analysis or offer new methods for artists.
We use metaphor to help us understand concepts. In fact 'our ordinary conceptual system is fundamentally metaphorical in nature,' Lakoff & Johnson (1980). However, metaphor can both highlight and hide meaning. For example, if we consider the metaphor 'argument is war', we attack the other person’s views and defend our own position, but we also hide the co-operative aspect of argument in which there is an effort to find mutual understanding, (Lakoff and Johnson, 1980).
Soundings: thought over time is a multidisciplinary collaborative exhibition and performance by Susan Ryland (visual artist) and Helen Thomas (oboist and composer). The work uses knowledge metaphors such as ‘In light of what you say’ or ‘I have unearthed new information’ as a starting point for a visual and sonic dialogue on how language and meaning change over time.