(2017-present) While reflecting on There is No (W)hole (2016), I realized that I was engaged in a pretty sophisticated process that extended beyond simply creating a personal surreal visual narrative. I was using my art practice as a scholarly method for understanding difficult theories and complex ideas related to a continued interest in psychoanalysis, Buddhism, personal identity, and ethics. After translating new ideas and concepts into my own visual narrative and merging new knowledge with lived experiences to expand my Horwatian visual language, I was presenting these insights in a more democratic way by creating wordless allegories that could be read, interpreted, and understood by broader audiences. Through its creation, There is No (W)hole, allowed me to realize my art practice was closely intertwined learning and teaching. This discovery lead me to study arts-based research methods as a means understand its methodological nuances so that I could further develop and refine my practice (Smith & Dean, 2011).
This current work, tentatively titled Monument, draws from the process of creating There is No (W)hole and methodological insights from a cursory review of arts-based research scholarship--specifically literature pertaining to Practice Led-Research & Research Led-Practice (Daichendt, 2012; Frayling, 1994; Smith & Dean, 2011), to design a new project. While in its infancy, this project investigates the oppression of narcissistic fantasies (Ruti, 2009), what happens when these fantasies fail to protect us, and what role does creating art have in engendering more productive ways of being in the world. To think through these new ideas, I've been reading several interesting books: Mark Epstein's (2013) The Trauma of the Everyday, Mari Ruti's (2009) A World of Fragile Thing: Psychoanalysis and the Art of Living, David William's (2012) Cairns: Messengers in Stone, and Julia Kristeva's (1992) Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia. I'm interested developing a narrative about a character who builds art objects, which mirror rock cairns both visually and conceptually, as a means of temporarily feeling a sense of wholeness created by the fall of some grand, protective fantasy / illusion. I want address the feeling of making--the initial fear and anxiety of messing up, followed by the excitement of experimentation and discovery, and culminating with both a feeling of joy and sadness that is often felt when an artwork is completed.
Because this project is in its beginning stages, there is still a lot of thinking, planning, reading, and sketching to do before anything really comes together, this section will be regularly updated with artworks as they emerge.Please stay tuned.
(section last updated May 10th, 2017)
Diachendt, G. J. (2012). Artist scholar: Reflections on writing and research. Chicago, IL: Intellect Books.
Epstein, M. (2013). The trauma of the everyday. New York, NY: The Penguin Press.
Frayling, C. (1994). Research in art and design. Royal College of Art Research Papers, 1(1). 1-5.
Kristeva, J. (1992). Black sun: Depression and melancholia. (L. S. Roudiez, Trans]. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. (Original work published 1989)
Ruti, M. (2009). A world of fragile things: Psychoanalysis and the art of living. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Smith, H., & Dean, R. T. (2011). Practice-led research, research led practice—towards the interative cyclic web. In H. Smith & R. T. Dean (Eds.), Practice-led research, research-led practice in the creative arts (pp. 1-39). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Williams, D. B. (2012). Cairns: Messengers in stone. Seattle, WA: The Mountaineers Books.