Stalking the Atmosphere
: Journeys into the Hoo Peninsula Through a Multi-Disciplinary Fine Art Practice

  • Anna Louise Falcini

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis argues for ways of experiencing the atmosphere of the Hoo Peninsula, developing methods to represent the tangibility of the phenomenon. Through a practice-based approach and research, I investigate the presence of an atmosphere and how it manifests itself in this particular landscape: a coastal area at the edge of the Thames estuary in North Kent. Using a means of site-analysis that locates my body at the centre of the research, I encounter atmosphere through a psychogeographic methodology, immersing my body in the field of study. Whilst atmospheres are airborne and hard to fathom, this research aims to make the phenomena tangible through a multi-disciplinary fine art practice.

The research draws upon a wider field of information reflecting upon evidence from or about the Hoo Peninsula which, when seen as a cumulative body of data and reflections, articulates how the atmosphere can be evidenced (historical
material and archaeological matter, as well as intangible, elusive and ephemeral materials such as the effects of weather, mists and memories on the atmosphere).

A psycho-geographic approach through walking is key to the research, a solitary pursuit that brings my position as a female figure in the landscape, into the frame of the research. On foot in the peninsula, my identity raises the question of how atmosphere may be activated and experienced through my gender and this is further implicated by walking in character, as the fictional Edwardian amateur archaeologist, Louisa Cornford. As a result of these journeys, a number of artistic works have emerged, primarily Louisa Cornford’s Archive of Atmosphere, an archive built upon a collection of found objects from the peninsula which have attributes of atmosphere.

The research also develops enquiries into mapping as a visual means of cognition to locate atmosphere; the post-phenomenology of the camera lens as a provocateur or fogging device that may reveal or obscure atmosphere; and how formative childhood experiences of atmospheres lay dormant and were re ignited by this landscape.

Ultimately, the research aims to make an original contribution to knowledge by identifying the particular and unique atmosphere of the Hoo Peninsula, by noting how atmospheres are important contributions to our understanding of landscapes and presenting the findings through a creative body of work that centres upon an Archive of Atmosphere, where the sensory and phenomenological aspects of atmosphere conceptually exist as tangible materials.
Date of AwardMar 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton
SupervisorTerry Perk (Supervisor), Andrew Kötting (Supervisor) & Mary-Lou Barratt (Supervisor)

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