What are the precursors to transformative moments within socially engaged arts practice?
Using qualitative research that is ethnographic in focus, and an emphasis on my role as participant observer, I explore and raise questions about the tense relationship between two aesthetic perspectives: one developed around spectatorship (art objects in galleries) and the other around participation (social art practice).
The research questions whether the social artist can sometimes act (inadvertently or otherwise) as a barrier between the audience and the creative act, and in effect, deny access to a wider range of potential benefits to the participants.
I write as a participant, as an artist and as a member of the local community. By adopting artistic research methods, and specifically, by making work in the place where I live, which could be considered a form of auto-ethnographic artistic research, the research analyses social artistic processes from the perspective of the artist, adding to debates around what social arts practice is, and what its limits are in its original social context and within the gallery and documentary systems of dissemination.
Research Degree: PhD (practice-based), Part-time
Department: School of Art
Funded: MMU Scholarship