Taking the Reader into the Woods: An investigation into the relationship between the act of walking in woodland and the creative process, through the medium of novel writing
This PhD will explore the connections between walking, creative process and fiction with a focus on creative practice as research method. I will be undertaking a series of walks in a number of woodlands, and using the experience to inform my creative practice. I will write a novel inspired by the walks and also non-fiction reading about place. As well as the novel I will write a thesis about the process I have undergone, and how my work fits into the world of place-writing. I will interview some other published novelists who have a strong element of place writing in their work, to ask them about their creative process.
Can ‘Augmented Reality Games’ be a positive influence? The project will take the form of a series of walking interviews with players of the ARG Ingress to attempt to ascertain whether the game encourages healthy physical and social activity and, if so, whether this has wider implications for the use of ARGs in public spaces.
Cascading Public Engagement with the Landscapes of HS2
Of particular concern has been the primacy of qualitative, lived and embodied landscape knowledge, as held by local people. I discuss how best to access this knowledge, and why it should be valued. Walking the landscape with inhabitants has been a significant method, proving valuable in moving from methodology to strategic recommendations for achieving non-linear engagement. I consider how small disturbances in landscape systems can have huge effects, and apply this thinking to how small disturbances might catalyse large-scale engagement with landscape.
In Search of the Shortcuts – The Past in the Present. How walking and narrative interact in physically embodied space, virtual space and psychological space, in the context of a self-initiated artistic residency.
In Search Of The Shortcuts is a practice-led research project carried out from the perspective of an artist. By engaging in a practical and theoretical analysis of how walking and narrative interact in physical, virtual and psychological realms, it asserts that this interaction is vital for defining space. A self-initiated artistic residency is both central to the methodology of the project and enriched by the knowledge gained through the research. In Search Of The Shortcuts situates the past in the present, a shared affective experience around the suburban spaces of the artist’s childhood in Wythenshawe, which lies on the outer fringes of South Manchester. The artist also addresses the relationship between expanded drawing methods and narrative representation, in order to explore how the influence of Wythenshawe and the socio-political context of the 1980s have impacted on his practice.
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