They had some general points to make before the more detailed critique of my efforts:
- Review research questions as appropriate
- Consider practice/theory balance
- Determine planned outcomes
- Decide on methodology
- Define methods
- Generate a timeline marking key moments of insight/turning points
- Assess and order research and practice outputs into the following categories: core material; don’t know yet or those aspects that might be very interesting but have no relevance to the current thesis
- Consider what I wish to submit for my upgrade.
They suggested that I need to consider simplifying the structure of my thesis with the aim of producing around 50,000 words to accompany my practice outputs:
- Chapter 1 – Introduction
- Chapter 2 – Contextual Review
- Chapter 3 – Practice
- Chapter 4 – Conclusions
I am going to spend a couple of weeks reflecting on their advice and thinking about the key questions they have posed. Many of them I have considered, but the time has come to make some decisions as a firm basis on which to move forward to upgrade.
My supervisors recognised that I had done a broad body of research and practice, which is what they had advised I should do, but now my efforts need to be channelled into a manageable thesis.
In terms of my practice, they suggested that I might consider doing a thorough edit of my images taken to date and to mark those images that have significance, the knowledge they have generated and the change of direction or viewpoint as a result. Similarly, they suggested that I should mark key areas of research and writing that might be considered as moments of insight.
Finally, I should start to consider the work I would like to submit for upgrade. This might include a piece about the philosophical influences (that might not necessarily be a fully formed chapter), an in-depth case study about three key images or a piece of writing emerging from a quotation from a philosopher or other artist and how it is relevant to my research questions.
I feel very motivated to take these next steps and in doing so, determine the focus of my efforts for the next few months to upgrade.