The general view is that combining our studio practice (which is ostensibly visual) together with our research (which is ostensibly the findings that we get from visiting galleries, reading books, having conversations et cetera), as a balanced mix, is what is important.
Graham Sullivan, (2006), - this author writes extensively in 'Artefacts as evidence within changing context' ;(Working papers in art and design). The author suggests that the making of visual work, of illustrating, of painting and staging performances, is able to be carefully positioned as a research body of work.
From an academic point of view, ultimately what is being searched for is "a new contribution to knowledge" and that is what is key to successful practice as research.
Practice-based, or practice led methodology, which includes experimenting, trying out, testing, and investigating but also combined with thinking and reflecting upon the work, will allude to, and provide a new direction for future ideas. For example if you look at the work by George Shaw e.g. "The time machine", (2010), - which is a painting in a photorealistic style of a public telephone box, Shaw positions his work as what in means to him, and in other works, what they mean for his personal experiences, whilst growing up on the Tile Hill estate in Coventry.
Whilst he does his work for nostalgia, he also does it because, in his own words, "he has to!". We all have this artistic need within us to make things, to create generally, and as a result, we better understand ourselves, which is an output of our practice.
The French artist and writer Yves Alain-Bois, (translated by John Shepley) in the article "Painting as a model: review and comment" states that the ideas have to be "legible for others" in order for other people to tap into that. It is a "methodological tool".
Another example might be the piece by Marlene Dumas's "Young Boys" (1993).
Or Peter Doig's "Grande Riviera" (2001).
If you can say why you specifically did something in a particular manner or way for example, by paintings something very faintly, or by using a particular pigment, or by using a particular material or medium, or even using a technique such as photoshop or any other such method, it makes the work much stronger in 'validity'.
In the magazine article "Art that eats its own head" by Barry Schwabsky, in the magazine "The triumph of painting" (2005). It is a worthwhile read to try to get hold of this article and understand how we can use the information in our own forthcoming exhibition.
- We should think how we might insert our personal thoughts, feelings or experiences into a presentation about research?
- What key phrases could be used?
- How could we seek to legitimise what we talk about?
PhenomenologyIn the second half of the lecture, Dr Lister provided a discussion around Phenomenology.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty has said that the field of phenomenology is to gain an understanding of "the work of experience".
Contemporary philosophers have been looking into the idea of phenomenology since the work initiated by Edmund Husserl, then Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre and finally Maurice Merleau-Ponty before other contemporary Western philosophers have taken the field into a much larger arena.
Initially considered by Husserl, the life "world" encompasses all the objects around us, before we put them into our own memories and then hence translate them into linguistic form when we attempt to describe them.
In the book by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, "The Phenomenology of Perception" (1962). This is a key book to read as it explores the whole idea of phenomenology but with particular reference to the artists who started to encounter the combined ideas with artistic practice, such as Paul Cézanne and Vincent Van Gough.
"It is the body that catches" and further, "comprehends movement" Merleau-Ponty (1962, p142-143)
In the work by Olaf Eliasson, "The Weather Project" (2003) he provided a sensorial experience that was recreated in the turbine Hall of the Tate modern Gallery in London. Within it, he provided an almost real experience of the sun, but equally, we 'knew' that it had to be fabricated. The reason why this was so important as a piece of artwork was because of its affect on us.
The weather affects us. The idea of the mirror on the roof of the turbine Hall in the exhibition space provided a real "feeling" of the atmosphere. The Guardian newspaper stated "people humbled themselves" and also "the ordinary has been rendered extraordinary"
When interviewed the artist Olaf Eliasson stated that "he was inviting us to reflect on our own experiences"
A further book worth reading would be "Thinking Through Art" (2009) by McLeod and Holdridge.
From an artistic sense look at the work by Eleanor Ray "sculpture studio" (2015)....
We need to transmit understandable reality, to be pointing to new things and new experiences. 'Re'-presentation does not provide insight, so it is in the artists need, in fact, it is his job, to reveal something new about the real-life experiences of all of us, particularly as viewers of an exhibition.
In the book "Repeat, Entity, Ground" by Neil, page 64: visual arts practice as critical thinking.
And again in Graham Sullivan's book "Artefacts as evidence within changing contexts" (2006) he states that meaning is made during the investigation of making an object. It is the testing out which also provides the basis for research.
- Be confident about your practice as a progress.
- Think carefully about how you talk about your own process.
- How might you call process, research?
- What new contribution to knowledge i.e. making?
- Once you have a sense of the ideas that you wish to pursue, how do you prove that you know so much about it?
- Think of the sociological texts, the philosophical ideas and influences, and why you have utilised them.
- Try to insert key quotations and bibliography within your presentation, and therefore, legitimise and validate your own work in context.
- Furthermore, ensure that you have a full bibliography at the end of the presentation together with an image index with source details included.