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Bridgette Minuzzo

Sch Art Arch & Design

Telephone: 0419650132

Email: bridgette.minuzzo@mymail.unisa.edu.au


About me


 The PhD research is supported through an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.

 Awards:National Postgraduate ACUADS conference presentation scholarship 2018. Inspiring South Australia, National Science Week 2018 Runner-Up Award, for Perform Your Science. University of South Australia AAD National Travel Grant, 2018.

Bridgette is a visual artist working with video, photography, painting, mosaics and installation. Experience in site specific commissions, public art, temporary art installations, digital projections, Arts-in-Health, artist-in-schools and community engagement. More recent skills include research, writing, qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, user-centred consultation design and project management.



Thesis


 Art and Attention Restoration Theory: How landscape-themed art may contribute to a restorative environment in windowless workplaces.

ABSTRACT

There are many things vying for our attention in contemporary urban lifestyles; work, study, caring for others, news feeds, advertising and social media to name a few. The exponential increase in the quantity of information we process daily and the disconnection of people in cities from the natural environment are contributing to mental health issues. In Australia over seventy percent of people live in urban areas. Australians in cities spend up to eighty three percent of their day indoors. Yet interior spaces in workplaces often lack window views to nature; to hills, sky or foliage.The presence of landscape art may improve mental wellbeing for people in windowless spaces.

The multidisciplinary project employed Attention Restoration Theory applied as a framework for the practice-based arts research. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to elicit insights from participants. The research involved three stages; art making, installing paintings in interior spaces and evaluating restorative effect for participants. Data collected included levels of fatigue, stress and viewers responses to the artwork. Research into Western landscape art and the Study findings influenced the conceptualisation of iterations of landscape paintings. Drawing on theories and preferences for landscape from environmental psychology and evolutionary biology was a novel way to explore the genre of landscape painting and to make artworks.

The research approach generated new insights into the significance of arts engagement for people spending long hours indoors. Apart from cultural and aesthetic values, art can be beneficial for attention restoration. A user-centred consultative tool from product design and urban planning, the Cultural Probe, was adapted for the two longer Studies. The Cultural Probe was a means to collect data and participant responses to the landscape artworks over a month. An online survey was devised for a third, shorter study. In total, over ninety participants were surveyed in windowless spaces at three university campuses and a hospital. The results demonstrate that a landscape painting can contribute to making a windowless room more conducive for work or study by allowing task-focused areas of the brain to rest.

Furthermore, the process of interpreting a visual artwork stimulates other cognitive processes responsible for creative and critical thinking. When engaging with semi-abstract landscape paintings,

many participants exhibited both a restorative effect and imaginative readings of the artwork. Enriching windowless offices and study spaces with nature-themed artworks is more than a decorative luxury. Art in the office allows workers to take a break, to contemplate landscape art and thus rejuvenate and refresh their thinking. Investigating the restorative effects of landscape art brings a new evidence base and another way to value and evaluate visual art and restorative potential.


Research publications


Inspiring South Australia, National Science Week 2018 Runner-Up Award, for Perform Your Science
video link: https://youtu.be/ZH6RdduhSwQ


Associations


Accredited Member of Guildhouse