Loughborough University
Patrick Brandon thesis.pdf (118.9 MB)

Positive incapabilities: productive inefficiencies in painting and poetry practice dialogues

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posted on 2021-07-02, 07:44 authored by Patrick Brandon
How can painting and poetry practice enter into dialogue? What are the practice and theoretical conditions, process relationships for, and consequences of, such dialogue?
These are the questions this thesis sets out to answer through the interweaving of theory and practice, presented in the form of progressive hypotheses and practice examples with supporting commentary.

This research is centred within a contemporary painting practice that allows for dialogue with poetry. The methodology developed to undertake this research posits a productive relationship between the hands-on realities of painting and poetry practice. Their relationship through dialogue is examined in terms of diverse theory and material processes which are conditioned by the reflective and iterative nature of painting and poetry practice.

Practice and theoretical correspondences are identified through an initial exploration of metaphor in its linguistic and visual settings. This provides a spatial and object reading of painting/poem dialogue where exchange between word and image are framed in terms of elemental mobility. These conditions are tested in terms of conflict and fragmentation rather than simply supporting the proposition that dialogue is conditioned by a working towards agreement. The conditions and consequences of conflict and fragmentation are presented as evidence of essential and non-negating moments of error (deviation from intention) and malfunction (failure in functionality) and a necessary incompletion operating at the
heart of the painting/poem dialogue. These conditions are defined in terms of positive incapability and unfinished business, which are identified as underpinning painting/poem dialogue.

The contribution to knowledge lies in the extension and complication of such theory through practice. This is achieved through the establishing of a methodology that supports the production of paintings and poems in dialogue which are open to change rather than indicative of closure, and which are in
themselves, and in combination, expressions of new knowledge.


Loughborough University (Ph.D. studentship)



  • Design and Creative Arts


  • Creative Arts


Loughborough University

Rights holder

© Patrick Brandon

Publication date



A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


  • en


Ahren Warner ; Deborah Harty

Qualification name

  • PhD

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

This submission includes a signed certificate in addition to the thesis file(s)

  • I have submitted a signed certificate