Exploring female art-making through reflective practice: A multi-dimensional cultural, spiritual and embodied experience
Bright, D. A. (2010). Exploring female art-making through reflective practice: A multi-dimensional cultural, spiritual and embodied experience (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4550
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4550
This thesis explores some of the many elements and influences of lived experience that are present in acts of art-making. Reflective practice in art-making adds the intentional and purposive act of reflective learning to the experience of art-making. In an academic context the challenge arises for a researcher to adequately represent the breadth and richness of the lived experiences of reflective practice in artmaking. This breadth and richness may embrace elements of art production and influences including gender, culture, spirituality, creativity, creative processes, embodied knowing, the place of conversations and learning as a result of facilitated reflective practice. Adequate representation is particularly vital because art-makers may communicate best through non-verbal means, including embodied knowing and their artmaking, rather than through words. Flexibility of approach and representation is even more important when the art-maker participants engage in various art-making areas and identify themselves as part of indigenous, dominant and/or non-dominant cultures within Aotearoa New Zealand. In this thesis, by applying a feminist participatory approach, informed by kaupapa Maori, I affirmed that the lived experiences of reflective practice in art-making can be adequately represented in a thesis. By such means, I sought to empower the participants, including myself, by providing a process through which they might increase confidence in their own art-making practices and professional artistry. This approach was necessary because no single or even double blending of worldviews can embrace such a range of variables. However, an interweaving of feminist and participatory, informed by indigenous peoples’ worldviews, provides the scope for such a study in terms of fundamental beliefs, ways of knowing, values, issues of power, methodologies and methods. The ways of knowing include collaborative, constructed, cultural, embodied, experiential, indigenous, presentational, propositional, spiritual and subjective and writing as a way of knowing; such a range was vital to this thesis. As artmaker co-participant, I was able to engage in conversation with the other art-makers as facilitator of their reflective practice in art-making and to represent their lived experiences of reflective practice in art-making through verbal and non-verbal means and art-making, in ways that were comfortable culturally to all participants. ii I represent and discuss my findings through formal academic writing, personal narrative and a DVD. The DVD includes a video montage and an image narrative that contribute to the discussion on embodied knowing (Chapter 7), a video of my own dance work, which contributes to the discussion on creativity and visual images (Chapter 6), and a copy of a poster referred to at various times in the findings and discussion chapters. Finally, I conclude that a feminist participatory approach, informed by indigenous peoples’ worldviews and including facilitated reflective practice, may have application to other fields of research and practice including other areas of the arts, teaching, sport and leisure and in the wider field of social sciences.
University of Waikato
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