ANU painting postgraduate blog

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Research School of Humanities Forum Friday 5 June

I would like to congratulate the intrepid team from the Painting Workshop for the fabulous presentation at today’s Research School of Humanities Forum. Our fearless leader Ruth set a very high bar in her introduction and Suzanne and Nicky excelled in articulating the complex issues from their different standpoints. Their work looked fabulous and Ruth made sure there was an equally impressive range of images from the rest of us including some shots of very serious insects, deep in thought and examination of work during last week’s intensive (thanks to Viv!). I would particularly appreciate the opportunity to mull over some of the many (many!) pertinent observations delivered at hair-raising pace by Ruth in the necessary but totally inadequate time frame of 15 minutes – a Walleroo triumph worthy of a Big Red (which we all know she is). Maybe it (and the other papers) can be posted so we can all benefit from a more leisurely contemplation.
Thanks and bravo!


June 5, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Thankyou for starting the ball rolling Jude and your positive feed back. I had been mulling over how I could of expressed more clearly a couple of answers that I had offered during the discussion, thinking perphaps i should of left others to it. The first was basically “so what is the nature of creative Practice?”.
    I rattled off the characteristics that were given in the book “Practice as Research” edited by Estelle Barrett and Barbara Bolt which included things such as the facts in the case of Practice as research students design their own programs and methodologies, outcomes are open and progress is evaluated by a self-reflexive process. I would of liked to also of said that it is a form of experiential learning as this is a concept that is very easy to relate to by other researchers. I also would of liked to say that I think the process of reading, thinking speculatively and writing in response to deductive reasoning which is undertaken by so many others in the humanities is also highly creative. In fact I don’t think I like the term at all, ‘creative research’. Studio research I like, maybe practice as research, but I think we as visual artists may do ourselves a disservice if it is considered that we romanticise our practice and see it as completetly different from others. I think we are enabled to conduct one of the most innovative and individualistic forms of research and it is our field of enquiry that insists that we respond using our perceptions, intuition and intellects with a medium that initates a strong perceptual response.
    This leads into the second question that i don’t think I answered as well as possible namely “so what do artists do so differently as ‘research’ compared to normal practice. I answered that it is fundamentally the same and that I consider the difference is the institutional setting and academic requirements of our course. What I should of kept on saying was that although the necessity to write about the theoretical and contextual context of our research and the research methodology in our exegesis is an extension of our normal practice/research this is a distinction that allows us to communicate in a manner that may be understood by all and open up to a broader community the very concerns that we are trying to achieve. Certainly the studio work is the product of our research but I think its nature and aims can be illuminated for a wider audience by the process of writing. It is a more significant thing than simply validating our work within a university environment, I think it establishes a willingness of other researchers to consider our research in a text and context that is familiar and open.
    Hope I have expresses by musings more clearly; send a comment

    Comment by nickyjdickson | June 6, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks Jude for your congratulatory comments. it was an intense session and good that it raised some thought-provoking questions. my apologies for taking so long to reply.

      Comment by suzmoss | June 17, 2009 | Reply

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