Primary and experiential research has a direct and sometimes immediate impact on practice and the direction of a project. Secondary research, learning from journals, books, recorded interviews and films helps to extend thinking and to form links and connections between pools of thinking and isolated theoretical understanding. These links are important because originality of thought, comprehension and production often comes from these individual connections. Secondary research might not have such immediate impact on practice but helps mould a project and shape future work by enabling critical evaluative judgement of individual practical work. Secondary research is vital to understanding current practitioners and previous historical practical and theoretical work. A combination of primary and secondary research is essential to critically understand individual practice. Ensuring the currency and validity of produced work and the awareness of place within a wider creative world.
The following text outlines the processes and methodologies of research that are important to my individual practice.
Visiting exhibitions and analysing the impact and relevance to personal practice is an important research tool. Living remotely I visit France once and the UK once or twice a year. Luckily Guernsey has a dedicated Museum and Art Gallery, and Art Commission, which, although provincial in many ways, does secure interesting and international exhibits. The most recent exhibitions I have attended in Guernsey include ‘Visions of Exile’(1) showing drawings and illustrations by Victor Hugo, and various events at the Guernsey Photography Festival, in particular the exhibition, ‘Mars: A photographic Exploration’(2) which was a display of cropped monochrome photographs from NASA’s Mars probe, curated by Xavier Barral. During my recent visit to London I saw ‘Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt’(3) at the V&A. Visiting current exhibitions allows awareness of of issues and debates in creative practice and theory.
Substantial research material can be accessed online through organisations such as the ICA (www.ICA.art), V&A online archives (www.vam.ac.uk/info/archive-of-art-and-design) and National Art Library (www.vam.ac.uk/info/national-art-library/) and the British Library online services (www.bl.uk/learning/online-resources). Conferences can also be incredibly rewarding in terms of research development, fortunately transcripts or recordings are often available online. As are research and practitioner groups such as JISC Mail (www.Jiscmail.ac.uk) web forums and e-groups for example: Art Technology, Design-Fiction, Digitalcomics, Enquire, Pass, Cas. Other online research groups and discussion forums include, the ICA Social Creative Network (www.ica.art/learning/scn), CRATE Collaborative Research Group (www.cratespace.co.uk/CRG) and Lemon 64.(www.lemon64.com/forum/)
Being aware of relevant practitioners in and apart from the discipline is incredibly important. Studying the visual language of others helps embed and develop individual visual language and critical process.
My visual research takes place through sketches, photography and film as part of continuous practice and review. One strand I will be experimenting with will be grids as a structure for drawing, I intend to investigate the potential redundant technologies as a medium for illustration. Old 8 bit machines can be connected with various USB interfaces and with downloadable software, can be modified into drawing machines. Also using freeware 8 bit drawing programmes such as Multipaint (multipaint.kameli.net/), Pixel Polizei (www.kameli.net/marq/?page_id=4557) or with the PETSCII Editor (www.kameli.net/marq/?page_id=2717) standard drawing software, files can be converted into load ready for C64 or Atari. These processes will provide a defined structural digital grid to work within. Alongside this investigation I will continue making work in series, illustrating theoretical research and thinking. Of course fundamental to research and practice is keeping a sketchbook of drawings, found images and collected items. A sketchbook is one of the most helpful devices to track progress and development.
Both primary and secondary research, and their combination, contributes to the progression and growth of individual practice.
- Hugo – Visions of Exile. (2018). [Exhibition] Guernsey Museums and Art Gallery. Accessed via www.museums.gov.gg/article/166441/2018-Hugo—Visions-of-Exile
- Mars a Photographic Exploration – Guernsey Photographic Festival. (2018). [Exhibition] Guernsey Museums and Art Gallery and various sites, St. Peter Port, Guernsey. Accessed via Guernseyphotographyfestival.com/2018-festival/talks-events/private-view-xavier-barral-mars-a-photographicexplorationbrchloe-dewe-mathews-in-search-of-frankenstein
- Videogames, Design/Play/ Disrupt. (2018). [Exhibition] Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Accessed via www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/videogames