26th March 2020: an unexpected change of pace and more thinking about research structure

Firstly, I got my RF2 additions in on time and, although it was difficult trying to articulate my research in such a limited space, it was actually useful to distil my aims and clarify a direction. I was all set to get back in the studio (after months of writing without a lot of practice) and then events overtook and now we’re all in lockdown for the foreseeable future. I know it’s a very difficult time for a lot of people but I’m actually quite relieved – the pace of life has slowed to almost a standstill and I’m finding it incredibly clarifying, having time to just think and reflect.

I’ve spent the last few days organising my research notes and papers. What I’m struggling with is how to structure things in terms of research, I’m a little confused as to what counts as context and what are the overall themes. Today I’ve had a quick re-read of Robin Nelsons Practice as Research, and he outlines a structure for what he describes as ‘complementary writing’:

• location of your research in a linage by way of a practice review

• conceptual framework

• account of process

This seems to be quite a useful structure, but I think it needs a bit of refinement for my research:

Background/Rationale:

• Fragile Blackwork – limited access

• Art practice as a way to reconstruct, interpret and present

• My practice: embroidery (material), performative (process), digital (experimental interfaces & conceptual parallels) – including ideas of existing experience, knowledge and skill of the artist.

Context:

• Artists in heritage

• Practices of reconstruction and interpretation in heritage

• Existing Blackwork scholarship

Conceptual framework/themes:

• Authenticity

• Materiality of embroidery – including embodied experience of process and digital/physical

• Decay/Ghosts/Time

• Archives/collections

Methodology

Account of research process/practice

Discussion in relation to themes and context

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