I met with both my supervisors today and had a very positive discussion.  Our agenda covered the following items:

  1. 10 Signifiers in the ONION diagram – Thought Pieces
  2. DISCOVERY Research Portal
  3. Possibilising
  4. Among Trees – Practice Plan
  5. Contingency in my Work
  6. Creative writing

We spoke briefly about my blog as a methodological tool – a digital sketchbook.  Recognised it is important not to repeat what is written in the blog in my thesis, but to explain why certain ideas, changes in direction or themes in my research and practice are important.

We had a long conversation about the STAR and ONION diagrams that I had written about as Thought Pieces in my blog and how helpful they were in clarifying the terms.  They liked the way I worked from the outside layers that were simpler concepts and easier to apply to my practice, to the centre where ideas were more complex and intertwined.  They suggested that these methods and ideas could form part of a photographic workshop in the future.

We also spoke about Fracture – a strategy in the STAR diagram.  I explained that I had struggled with this concept in my practice but after the felling of the trees I had previously photographed I realised that this was fracture of a landscape.   They explained that it is important to recognise these opportunities and to understand how my research links across literature, art and music.  They mentioned mindfulness, Zen and the Alexander technique and how they might apply to my practice.  I said that I was concerned as to whether these practises would be considered academically credible, but they reassured me that they are appropriate links to make.

My supervisors reminded me that I might wish to have a look at the Journal for Artistic Research (JAR) and especially the essay on exposition.  This is important in seeing my thesis as an exposition of research – telling a story.  It might also be a future option for publishing my research.  I should also have a look at good examples or formats of other students’ theses.

I confirmed I intended to develop and write the ontological basis of my research before Easter.

We spoke about the idea of absence and presence and that although there might be something missing in absence, such as the trees, presence remains.  We spoke about the juxtaposition of absence and presence, and also whether the use of sound to record, for example, the sound of trees and the landscape without the trees would be an interesting experiment.  My supervisors wondered whether sound has a part to play in possibilising essence.  They encouraged me not to ‘fix’ my research too soon and leave options open.

We discussed outputs from my PhD again and the fact that the digital imagery I produce is not the ‘work’ object – the images are only a representation of the work.  I will need to make a decision about the size and scale of images in due course.  They also suggested I look at the work of artist Helen Douglas (The Pond at Deuchar 2011)and sound designer Zoe Irvine, in collaboration with Douglas, (Illiers-Combray 2004/2006).

And finally, we spoke again about whether I should seek feedback from others, not just from myself through the Emotigram.  They suggested I consider what I would do with the feedback/data/insights and why I would be doing it?  My research is an exploration (see title) and it may be more appropriate to refer to my considerations about feedback and why I chose not to pursue, if that is my decision.

 

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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