NiTRO Creative Matters

Perspectives on creative arts in higher education

Monstrous Breaches – Visual Art

by Dr Jude Lovell with Kathleen Kemarre Wallace

Kathleen Wallace and Judith Lovell Monstrous Breaches, 2016 (2/6). Linocut limited edition monoprint (1.75m x 1.1m) Graphics Ink on Fabriano paper, roller and barren printing method.


The institution through which the research output was lodged did not ask for a research statement with regard to this work. Merely for a record that the work was exhibited in a public gallery and for the citation of the publication.


A transcultural creative research bid for bodies of knowledge to be understood and valued in the stakes for academic research communication.

Describing the making of Monstrous Breaches here gives us an opportunity to reveal some of the elements at work when our artistry, narrative and research occur in intercultural contexts that depend on our adoption of ethical processes as artist researchers who are communicating from very different cultures and heritages. Though they are so often left unspoken and remain unseen, it is important to uncover and explore these processes that underpin the concept of our ethic in this applied research and artistry – if we wish to engage well at this interface of cultures and styles and traditions with the wider global intercultural imagination. The creative provenances of Monstrous Breaches include the style of its representation as well as the sometimes-thorny issues of the references within it to Indigenous and other iconographies and narratives. We discuss our collaboration as a form of provenance that is dependent on an ethical engagement with practical wisdom and applied while drawing, carving and printing this image to its completion. We believe this provenance is essential to the imagery, designed to challenge and take away the power of today’s monsters through illuminating their contemporaneity and the monstrous breaches that affect our globally connected worlds.

As defined in ERA 2018 National Overview, Non-Traditional Research Outputs (NTROs)

do not take the form of published books, book chapters, journal articles or conference publications


the provision within the ERA framework for portfolios allows for related works that demonstrate coherent research content to be submitted and reviewed as a single output’.

Neither of these statements opens itself to the concept of bodies of knowledge that reside within cultural practices and contexts, and which may demonstrate the doing, becoming, and knowing of human relationships and transactions with the world. In a nutshell, while ERA concentrates on the concept of ‘form’ to determine academic categorisation and value, it totally misses the reality of cultural transmission. Cultural transmission is one descriptor for the maintenance system operating for tens of thousands of years, and representing research and knowledge that held in tangible and intangible ways, sometimes in material and multi-modal forms, but also including ephemeral constellations. 

In working closely with Arrernte cultural custodian and artist Kathleen Kemarre Wallace, the inadequacy of the presumption of western tradition as normative in any aspect claiming to perform as knowledge or knowledge making in many Arrernte contexts cannot be dismissed. Having performed within categories determined through comparison with the Western culture of tradition (sic), we decided to see what collaboration might look like and what knowledge it might carry, how it might inform if we made shared iconography to explore myriad insights and generative glimpses of the kinds of monstrous breaches that haunt and occupy ours and therefore our grandchildren’s worlds today. The result was this large lino print. The print was drawn carved and printed using a process of narrative drawing, yarning or conversational dialogue, through which we elicited and explored how forces we were familiar with in contexts which affected ours and our families’ lives might materialise, becoming available in a process including a printed form.

We then used the printed imagery in several different ways, including in eliciting stories that others made from their own reuse of parts of this bigger image, to express their experiences; and we wrote a research paper about the importance of discovering what an ethical collaboration could be in a transcultural creative research context:

We discuss our collaboration as a form of provenance that is dependent on an ethical engagement with practical wisdom and applied while drawing, carving and printing this image to its completion. We believe this provenance is essential to the imagery, designed to challenge and take away their power through illuminating the contemporaneity of today’s monsters and the monstrous breaches that effect our globally connected worlds.

(Lovell & Wallace, 2018. The making of Monstrous Breaches: An ethical global visual narrative. p116)

Jude Lovell is a creative and social scientist. By nature, this focus requires intra-disciplinary approaches to the issues and challenges facing us in the ecologies that we depend upon, and those in which we find ourselves. She is a member of the Australian Studies Centre at the University of Cologne, Germany where she continues to contribute to conversations about communication in health contexts. With a role in the Graduate School at Batchelor Institute, Australia’s only First Nations Higher Education Institute, and based for two decades in the Arrernte homelands she works in close partnership with people whose responsibilities include to community, kin, knowledge and the more than human elements upon which we all rely.

Kathleen Kemarre Wallace is an Eastern Arrente woman from Ltyentye Apurte or more commonly referred to as Santa Teresa Community approximately 1 hour from Alice Springs in Central Australia. She is a highly regarded artist, community elder and custodian. Kathleen is internationally regarded and her artworks can be found in many major Australian Collections. Her paintings are highly sought after in the primary and second market. The intricate fine details found in her paintings have become renowned as the Keringke Style. Kathleen has participated in multiple exhibitions around Australia and in 2001 she was a finalist in Australia’s most prestigious art prize the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.

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