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Words paint a meaningful picture for QUT video artist

10th October 2006

Brisbane artist Grant Stevens lets words do the talking when it comes to his art.

His best-known piece of digital video art is splashed with metaphors and cliches that flash across the screen in a written onslaught of messages ... and he'll soon have several thousand words on paper as part of his PhD thesis with QUT Creative Industries.

The university's head of visual arts, Dr Andrew McNamara, said Grant Stevens was one of a growing number of established artists choosing to further their education through PhD study.

Grant's PhD is based on his digital video work, including Like Two Ships - a short video which has been exhibited in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and last year won him the inaugural $5000 Artworkers Award in Brisbane.

The three minutes of flashing words has been followed by a research project that also looks at our use of language and the relationship between film, language and art - and how editing can affect meaning.

"I want to make people think about how cliches and metaphors are inserted into popular culture and into the news - and how much meaning they actually have," Grant said.

Dr McNamara said QUT encouraged work that made an impact on society.

"A lot of people think visual arts are obscure but topics such as editing are crucial to film, journalism, sound, recording - even writing an essay," he said.

Grant, 25, has been awarded the Australia Council Los Angeles Studio Residency, which he will start next February.

He will also be exhibiting at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art in Utah in mid-2007.

Dr McNamara said QUT's Creative Industries Faculty attracted postgraduate students and undergraduate students to its visual arts programs.

"Visual artists today are equally at home in experimental studio practice, working in film, video and other digital media or operating as independent visual designers," he said.

"Our graduates are also working as art teachers and in a variety of roles in galleries and museums."

Dr McNamara said QUT's Creative Industries Precinct, which opened three years ago, had been purpose-built to offer the studios and technology that today's students expected.

"It's a beautiful and inspiring precinct that houses the technology and resources they need, as well as the exhibition spaces that enable them to show work on site," he said.

"The precinct is also shared by QUT students in other creative areas - such as fashion and communication design - so there's a lot of ideas and creativity in this environment."

For more information on studying visual arts at QUT, visit

Media contact: Mechelle McMahon, QUT media officer, 07 3864 4494 or

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