3rd March 2020: Contribution to knowledge – what is the ‘red thread’?

Got feedback on my RF2 and it requires some additions. I’ve been turning this over in my head, they want me to explain, simply, what the contribution of this research is.

It’s tricky and I’m not entirely sure. I’ve written pages of scrap notes today trying to pin it down in simple terms. And then, in a moment of procrastination, I read a blog post about the red thread – the thing that’s supposed to run through the research.(https://patthomson.net/2018/04/02/thesis-knowhow-how-the-contribution-can-create-coherence/)

So let’s think about this – how would I describe my research aim in one sentence? It’s about the Blackwork being too fragile and decayed to be put on display and how art practice might be a way to think about and present these objects.

So, within this, I’m setting up art practice in contrast (or should that be in complement?) to more ‘traditional’ modes of research – why is this different and why is it appropriate? This also has to take into account MY practice, which is material, digital and process-based – it’s about seeing what happens when I approach the Blackwork through these modes of MY practice. In addition, there will likely end up being a contribution to the scholarship on Blackwork embroidery as this is the material I am working with in close detail.

With this in mind, let’s try to articulate that as a short paragraph:

This study uses the material, digital and process-based art practice of the research as a mode of investigating, interpreting and presenting historical Blackwork embroidery. It will address issues of authenticity in reconstruction and interpretation within the heritage organisation and the tangible/intangible materiality of fragile, decaying or non-existent Blackwork objects. This will demonstrate alternative, speculative, non-conventional research approaches as a valid form of knowledge production and presentation, while at the same time contributing to the scholarship of historical Blackwork embroidery.

Hmmmm. Not too bad – will look at this again in a couple of days…

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