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Practice-Led Research Dr. Kathleen Watt “Professional practice qualifies as research when it can be shown:  to be firmly located within a research context;

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Presentation on theme: "Practice-Led Research Dr. Kathleen Watt “Professional practice qualifies as research when it can be shown:  to be firmly located within a research context;"— Presentation transcript:

1 Practice-Led Research Dr. Kathleen Watt “Professional practice qualifies as research when it can be shown:  to be firmly located within a research context;  to be subject to interrogation and critical review;  to impact on or influence the work of peers, policy and practice…” (1996 Research Assessment Exercise)

2 Design and Research: Parallel Processes Imaging/Proposition Presenting/Argument Testing/Evaluation Reimaging/Revision

3 The Role of Practice in Research  To investigate the content of one’s own creative activity in order to advance or innovate.  To make explicit the practitioner’s tacit knowledge.  To discover new methods/processes/techniques and/or materials by experimentation.  To reconstruct artworks/artefacts to bring about new understanding or insight through making/remaking.  To be a catalyst in creative participatory practice which actively involves, informs and inspires others.  To use art/design skills to visualize and understand complex processes – making the invisible visible.

4 Practice-Led Research: Relativist Ontology  Realities exist in the form of multiple mental constructions  Socially or experientially based  Local and specific  Form and content of realities depend on those who hold them

5 Practice-Led Research: Subjectivist Epistemology  The practitioner is the researcher  Subjectivity, involvement and reflexivity is acknowledged  The interaction of the researcher with the research material is recognised  Knowledge is negotiated – inter-subjective, context bound, a result of personal construction

6 Practice-Led Research : Naturalistic Methodology  Methodology is explicit and transparent  Pluralist approach with hybrid methodologies tailored to the individual project  Use of multiple media to integrate visual, tactile, kinaesthetic, experiential data into “rich” information  Responsive - driven by the requirements of practice and its creative dynamic

7 Naturalistic Enquiry: Takes place in the artist’s studio/workshop

8 Naturalistic Enquiry: Emphasis on intuitive, tacit knowledge

9 Naturalistic Enquiry: Emergent methodology Strategies for problem solving emerge through immersion in the research problem and become focused through action.

10 Naturalistic Enquiry: Idiographic interpretation Research outcomes are interpreted in terms of the specifics of the case and presented as a unique study to the field of practice. Cilla Eisner, “Grids 11, Garden”

11 Naturalistic Enquiry: Negotiated outcomes Validity of research findings are negotiated through peer review: critiques, exhibitions, workshops, seminars or published papers.

12 Multiple Methods of Artistic Practice Observation/Notation Drawing/Visualization Concept Mapping 3D Modelling Sketchbooks/Notebooks Flow Charts Photography/Video Modelling/Simulations Digital databases Visual Diary/Journaling Collaboration/Participation Story Boards/Narratives Metaphor/Analogy Multimedia applications

13 Triangulation Complex Research Issue Method 1Method 2 Method 3 1 Method: singular set of information – unreliable? subjective? biased? 2 Methods: two sets of information – more reliable, inter-subjective, less biased 3 Methods (or more): multiple views - more reliable, corroborative, critical

14 The “Reflective Practitioner”: Uniting Research and Practice Reflection-on-action (past) – retrospective reflection Reflection-in-action (present) – “reflective conversation with the materials of a situation” (Schön, 1983) Reflection-for-action (future) – reflection for future action

15 The Reflective Journal: Experiential Learning and “Off-Loading”  A repository for a range of information in a range of media, which is added to and consulted on a regular basis.  A tool for describing, evaluating, summarising and planning.  Contains activity and development logs, a diary, documentation of work in progress, contextual references, information about the pace and progress of work, and key points from evaluation and analysis.  “Off-loading” allows the learner to take stock, evaluate and “deposit” ideas and feelings about the learning process.

16 Reflective Journal: “Collage: Politics and Aesthetics”


18 Outcome of Reflective Practice Cilla Eisner, “Collage: Politics and Aesthetics” - Cut Collage with Found Objects 2”

19 Outcome of Reflective Practice Michael Lent, “Experiments Toward a Phenomenology of Place: A practice- based enquiry into the epistemology of spaces of indeterminacy”

20 Selected Reading Gray, C.and J. Malins (2004) Visualizing Research: A Guide to the Research Process in Art and Design. Ashgate. Schön, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner. Basic Books. Sullivan, G. (2009) Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in Visual Arts. Sage Publications. Elkins, J., Ed. (2009) Artists with PhDs: On the New Doctoral Degree in Studio Art. Academia Publishing. Barrett, E. and B. Bolt (2010) Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry. I.B. Taurus Co. Ltd.

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