Darcy Arnold-Jones

"The Theatre of my Entrapment"

Section MS8, Tania Lopez Winkler

Keywords: objects, model-making, domestic space, photography, body

1.0 The Starting Point

The project began with a visual investigation into the states of fulfilment and unfulfillment, with the aim of dissecting particular triggers and patterns in the spaces connected to my personal moods.

Key Words: Obstructions, Sheltered, Entrapment

2.0 The Idea

Through this process, a yearning for the external was exposed. Concerning the United Kingdom in particular, concepts of shelter are arguably consumed with protection, to the extent that any inhabitation of the ā€˜edgeā€™ has vanished. The consequences of this are demonstrated in the Prospect and Refuge theory, developed by the British Geographer Jay Appleton in 1996. He suggested that homo-sapiens have evolved to become an ā€˜edgeā€™ species inferring we prefer to situate ourselves at the periphery of an open plain. Although Appleton allows that ā€œpeople have an innate preference for certain protective or sheltering settingsā€, he clearly infers that our psyche is imbedded with a preference for the boundary position of partial concealment which still facilitates a diligent viewpoint. He believes that we have altered our environment so drastically in the urbanised Western World, that we no longer ā€œrecognise those sign-stimuli to which (we) naturally reactā€.1 I propose that the shelters initially designed for protection have now become devices of entrapment and that, combined with modern distractions, our ability to abscond from our walls is inhibited. If our relationship with the external environment reverts to an intuitive state, then battling challenges such as the current climate crisis would become second nature.

3.0 The Mediation

The project mediates these ideas of obstruction and longing for the external by framing the documentation sketches within a theatre set. The form will be simple and effective, enhancing the viewers perspective and highlighting key aspects of the sketches. The perspectives will be organised from the least to most ā€˜externalā€™, with the latter being positioned centrally, at the furthest point. The observers eyes will be drawn to this piece, yet the distance will seem much greater, as if unobtainable.

Certain triggers and themes, many unsurprising, became clear upon second observation of the sketches. Elements, such as personal possessions, gadgets and vegetation, were drawn in particular detail and with more pressure. Therefore, I cut out the surrounding space to create the Theatre of my Entrapment, setting the stage for a story of my recurring distractions.

4.0 References:

  • Joan Jonas, American visual artist, My New Theatre 1 , 1997

  • Thomas Demand, German sculptor and photographer (specifically his work with paper)


  • J. Appelton, The Experience of Landscape, (England: John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 1996)

  1. J. Appelton, The Experience of Landscape, (England: John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 1996), p.152