Variations on a theme by John Herschel

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Langerman, Fritha en_ZA
dc.contributor.advisor Saptouw, Fabian en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Groenewald, Madeline en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-06-29T07:52:30Z
dc.date.available 2015-06-29T07:52:30Z
dc.date.issued 2014 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Groenewald, M. 2014. Variations on a theme by John Herschel. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/13166
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Herschel resided in Cape Town until 1838. He set up a telescope in the orchard of their estate, Feldhausen, in Wynberg, and worked towards completing a systematic survey of the southern hemisphere for stars, nebulae and other celestial objects (Warner, 1996:55 & Buttmann, 1974:104). Herschel’s observations in the Cape were not only focused on astronomy. His scientific contributions included work in the fields of geology, meteorology and botany and this scope of diversity extended beyond the disciplines of science since he also pursued his interests in poetry, music and visual art (Buttmann, 1974:112 & Schaaf, 1989:10). Herschel played the flute and was also an avid draughtsman, evident in the extensive collection of sketches that he made of Cape botanicals and landscapes (Schaaf, 1989:10). In addition to these sketches, his diary entries from his stay in Cape Town, published in “Herschel at the Cape: diaries and correspondence of Sir John Herschel, 1834 to 1838” provide another affirmation of his variety of skills, since poetic descriptions and multi-sensory observations can be found amongst scientific and analytical inquiries. For example, in his diary entry March 1836 he commented on a nightjar’s song and included a music staff with an accurate notation of the bird’s melody. In a letter to William Henry Harvey in 1837 Herschel wrote about the scents of Cape flowers, applying perceptive metaphors for each flower species, such as cinnamon, pepper and ginger (Warner, 2011:34-35). He often created links between his observations from these different fields, such as applying his study of botany to that of photography by using Cape flower juices for photographic colour filters (Schaaf, 1992:98). The title of my MFA project references John Herschel as well as the Theme and Variation form in music in which a single musical theme, often written by a different composer, is followed by a series of developments of this theme through the employment of a range of compositional techniques (Lindsay, n.d.). The body of work that I created is structured according to this musical form. I used Herschel’s representations from and of the Cape as the basic theme which I then developed through a series of variations, employing media and methods across disciplines, time periods and sense modalities. By way of this process of mediation, the resulting art works become parallel records of my own specific experience of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Fine Art en_ZA
dc.title Variations on a theme by John Herschel en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Michaelis School of Fine Art en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname MFA en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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