This essay is an introduction to diffractive art practice, an approach based on practice and combining art practice, art history, and cultural studies. This paper discusses and outlines how the embodied approach I have adopted in my art practice - a method of using bodily sensations to collect and analyze data - has yielded new insights into contemporary cross-media painting art. The purpose of the essay is to emphasis the essential role of embodied engagement with the physical materials of painting in contemporary art practice, guided by diffractive art practice, and to highlight the interplay between the artist’s embodied engagement and the physical materials of painting by interpreting the work of Helen Frankenthaler, Anselm Kiefer and Kaveri Raina through the lens of diffractive practice. With a focus on practice-led research within the field of painting, this paper examines the role of diffractive art practice in contemporary art practice and the implications of this approach for painting methodology, based on new materialist theory and drawing on a mixture of artistic practice, visual analysis and case study.
Xiao Feng, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, United Kingdom