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A New Felt Presence - proposal

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Georgina Spry

on 17 May 2018

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Transcript of A New Felt Presence - proposal

Georgina Spry
And since it is beautiful, it is truly useful ...
A New Felt Presence:
an autoethnographic study of a regional felt makers group

Through engagement with materials and ideas, it develops creativity, inventiveness, problem-solving and practical intelligence. And making fosters wellbeing. It is a vital part of being human.’ Crafts Council p.3 2014
data collection & simplistic overview of research process
A New Felt Presence:
A new felt presence

Building on previous research and knowledge
Methodology & Research Design
Data analysis
Felt sculpture as
Arts based autoethnography

Reflective artwork
& analysis

Overview of research & thesis
Ethical Approaches

A new felt presence
Lees- Maffei & Sandino 2004
Andrea Graham
Speak to me of things unknown
Anita Larkin
Conduit (in function)
weird little creatures
sea shells
Anna Gunnarsdottir
Anna Kristina Goransson
Marjolein Dallinga
internal chaos
Lisa Klakulak
building on previous knowledge
Do the traditions of the hierarchy within the arts have an impact on felt artists in relation to their views of themselves and their own work?
research questions
Sennett, R. The Craftsman - 'making is thinking' p.x
Csikszentmihalyi (1996)
creativity and flow
Crafts Council 2014
ideology that talent is everywhere
exploring notions of :
with the philosophical standpoint
the importance of traditional craft communities in a contemporary form
Research Design
semi structured face to face individual interviews, questions based on central research questions
Interpretivist Research
recorded and transcribed semi structured interviews in the first instance
emerging interpretation of the data
Analysis and theory building

leading to possible further data collection
reflexive dialogue both written and sculptural
formulation of findings and conclusions
A new felt presence
One of the main reasons I am attracted to working with wool felt is the antiquity of its use by humans as a second skin, a protection against the physical elements and therefore, its offering of psychological security.
These pieces mark transitional moments in my life, moments of vulnerability that inspired depth of introspection. I process this life I have been given through making and so I make a felt skin to hold the concept so that I can let go and move on.
Kaakulak, L. 2016
Csikszentmihalyi TED talk
viewpoints from felt artists/ craftspeople will be examined to elucidate or clarify the dilemma outlined previously, using key references to these sources.
Context: International Feltmakers Association
1010 members
198 international
18 regions
Region 11- research group
Investigations into areas of interest will be discussed with the interviewees in the form of a semi structured interview.

Ruskin the Stones of Venice: the sea stories (1853), p. 161

“you can teach a man to draw a straight line; to strike a curved line, and to carve it… Abnormal speed and precision; and you will find his work perfect of its kind: but if you ask him to think about any of those forms, to consider if you cannot find any better in his own head, he stops; his execution becomes hesitating; he thinks, and tend to one who thinks wrong; ten to one he makes a mistake in the 1st touch gives his work as a thinking being the you have made a man of them all out, he was only a machine before, an animated tool”

An exploration of the concept of “flow” and community in creative felt making (2015) I discussed Csikszentmihalyi’s (1992) work on flow experiences or alternatively optimal experiences, that have been widely published (Csikszentmihaly 1992, 2000, 2000a, 2013).
Flow experiences are “marked by an intense enjoyment of what seems to be an effortless activity in which we find ourselves completely immersed” (Garland 2006 p.89).
exerpt from prior research
The 2nd area of discussion will be around this notion of flow, and if the participant experiences this flow moment and 'being in the zone' and how important is this to the quality of their work?
The last area of discussion will be focussing further on my last research project ‘And since it is beautiful, it is truly useful…, rethinking the classification of felt in the art craft hierarchy: a complicated affair’.

The area discussed would be; do you believe yourself to be an artist or crafts person, or does it depend on what you make??

Arts based autoethnography is a method of qualitative research that “merges autobiography and ethnography and provides a self-reflexive way of knowing that attempts to break away from the confines of the disciplinarian constraints” Blair 2014, p.6
Arts based autoethnography
The autoethnography should support an increased level of critical reflexive dialogue (Griffiths, 2011) in both my own studies and in related artworks. The narrative-based vulnerabilities will be celebrated in auto ethnography into my own felt artworks.
it has been defined as a turning of the ethnographic glaze inward on the self while maintaining the outward gaze of ethnography Reed-Danahay (1997), Blair (2014)
Griffiths (2011) argues that arts-based research and arts-based autoethnography are needed to address the issue of self as a researcher in today’s contemporary qualitative research, Springgay (2002) states that the creation of visual forms of enquiry should be equal to traditional forms of educational research.
Arts-based autoethnography
The thesis will be an exploration of my own artistic identity and self-perceptions.

Concentrating on the intersections of art and qualitative research, my felt based self research will advance the methodology of arts-based autoethnography in the field of felt and art.

The felt based research will provide a framework to explore and develop the autoethnography possibilities of felt as an art form which will be exhibited as an installation.

The sculpture based autoethnography project revolves around primary self-research based on reflexive analysis of the groups responses to questions and establishes felt sculpture is an artistic vehicle for research.

Research Process
Formal requirements of the thesis to post detailed proposal with research questions,
draft a self narrative,
create an installation that addresses the research questions,
use of visual diary to support a thoughtful reflective narrative reviewing all processes,
and present the finished installation as exhibition.

Felt sculpture as Arts based autoethnography
The idea of using a sculptural arts-based and/or reflexive enquiry is to enable the research to move beyond observations, interviews, and statistics by looking inward at the vulnerable self (Ellis, 2002; Griffiths, 2011).
Data Analysis
The autoethnography practice will enable myself to embrace the art making, personal narrative and emotion is viable data (Barone and Dyson are, 2012; Leavy, 2009)
The research questions and answers from those interviewed will support a narrative that will then be sculpted using various feltmaking techniques, the process will force myself to break the stories down and from this dissect a personal narrative using both small fragments of the interview and subtle moments gained myself (Furniss, 2007, 2008; Howson & Dalton, 2008; Perth 2008, 2010).
Members of the International Feltmakers Association region 11 group have been approached to ask for volunteers to share their story. exploring complex and subtle phenomena, gaining insights into people’s opinions, feelings, emotions and experiences (Denscombe 2010, p. 173).

Interviewer effect lessened

will still be affected by the personal identity of the researcher,

however there is little that can be done about this but being known to the group could limit this as well as adopting a passive and neutral stance.

Semi Structured Interview

With clear research areas to be discussed and addressed, the semi-structured interview will allow the flexibility in terms of order in which the topics are considered and enable the interviewee to develop ideas and speak more widely on the issues raised.

The answers will be open-ended and therefore more emphasis on the view interviewee elaborating on points of interest. (Denscombe 2010, p. 175).

An interview schedule will be produced with a list of topics to be discussed as outlined previously, this will be taken to each interview to ensure continuity.


Reflection on ethics will be integral to the research
The British Educational Research Association Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research 2011 will be followed

Assurance will be given to participants that any ethical concerns are explicitly articulated and systematically checked within the faculties procedures for ethical approval and code of conduct for research and refers to the criteria set out in the University of Chester Research Governance Handbook.

Informed consent will be obtained from the participants, they would fully aware what they are agreeing to in the form of a participant information sheet and can opt out at any time.
The issues surrounding authorial voice will be noted.

There are no major risks such as psychological physical harm, breaking the law, harming the community etc.

There may be a small potential risk of damaging the standing or reputation of the participants or infringement of the privacy of participants, so steps will be put in place to assure the reputation of the participants remains intact.

A timeline has been produced and will be regularly reviewed
Felt sculpture as Arts based autoethnography
How do we judge the quality of our own work and that of others,
How do we strive for more than mediocrity and forward from just good enough?
Felt Forms
…I discovered that when I did something on paper its considered art; when its thread its craft. The things that were considered craft the museums didn’t exhibit or buy”
(Albers, 1985 p. 26)
2003 Turner prize acceptance speech ‘I think the art world had more trouble coming to terms with me being a potter than my choice of frocks…’ (Grayson Perry 2003)
Lees-Maffel & Sandino (2004) state that Perry “clearly identified the continuation of the institutional, perceptual and cultural distinctions between crafts and arts and did so, high profile position. With his work is persona and his philosophy, Perry contradicts the assumptions and categories through which contemporary practice has been understood” (p.208).
The first area of discussion will be;

Do we subscribe to a standard that we can never reach, or do we work to a standard of what is possible?

Is each imperfection a failure, do we have an obsession with perfection?

Is there a dilemma between getting it right and getting it done?

Does the Isaac Stern rule apply, as quoted by Sennett (2008) ‘the better your technique the more impossible your standards’ p. 46.
excerpt from previous research findings
The discussion for the third area of research will be around this notion of self perceptions and whether the participants see themselves as artist or craftspeople

if this title has an impact on themselves in any way, such as what they produce and where the work can be exhibited or sold.

…I discovered that when I did something on paper its considered art; when its thread its craft. The things that were considered craft the museums didn’t exhibit or buy”
(Albers, 1985 p. 26)
2003 Turner prize acceptance speech ‘I think the art world had more trouble coming to terms with me being a potter than my choice of frocks…’ (Grayson Perry 2003)
Lees-Maffel & Sandino (2004) state that Perry “clearly identified the continuation of the institutional, perceptual and cultural distinctions between crafts and arts and did so, high profile position. With his work is persona and his philosophy, Perry contradicts the assumptions and categories through which contemporary practice has been understood” (p.208).
BERA Ethical Guidelines
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