Research and Life Drawing

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Photos: Life drawing for concentration and observation—and developing research skills.

Power Point Slides from Dr. Justin Magee’s Lecture on Research Ethics, May 29th 

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Power Point Slides from Lorna Reid, Library Visit May 29th 

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Searching for Journal Artists at Ulster University Library

Lorna Reid suggests using USearch for looking up art therapy journal articles. USearch can be found on your portal and on the library website. Click on Library Electronic Resources in your portal. Then you will see USearch as the first option. Ignore Open Athens sign-in on the left, and on the right hand side add University of Ulster. Then sign in with your email address and your password.

When you click on USearch enter your Keywords, for example “art therapy and mental health” with quotation marks. USearch will find articles under this topic. Your could further define your topic to include a particular client group, for example children or adults. USearch will give you a list of journal articles that fit your topic search. You will either see a PDF for a particular article or see UFindit. Click on the PDF if available, and if not click on UFindit. This is a straightforward way to find journal articles that can be read fully on line. USearch will access article from a variety of data bases, so it does the work of searching through data bases for you. When you are searching for articles remember to also search under “art psychotherapy”, “creative arts therapies”, “expressive arts therapies”. If you have a specific interest in “phototherapy” or “dance and movement therapy” or “dramatherapy”, etc. you can also define your search under these topics. Use the quotation marks for your search when you are using USearch for example: “art therapy and dementia”

Harvard Referencing Brochure at Ulster University

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Research references available at Ulster University:

  • Art Therapy Research and Evidence Based Practice by Andrea Gilroy
  • Introduction to Art Therapy Research by Lynn Kapitan
  • The Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy edited by David Gussak and Marcia Rosal has chapters on art therapy research in Part VII, Research Models in Art Therapy, pp. 607-673.

Reference for Arts Based Research available at Ulster University:

  • Handbook of Arts-Based Research edited by Patricia Leavy
  • Arts-Based Research by Shaun McNiff

Arts based research definition by Shaun McNiff: “A process of inquiry whereby the researcher, alone or with others, engages the making of art as a primary mode of inquiry” (“Philsophical and Practical Foundations of Artistic Inquiry” in Handbook of Arts-Based Research).

“Arts based research may include music, performance, dance, visual art, film, storytelling, poetry, and other creative media that illuminate the understanding of human experience. It supports a space for investigation in which complexities, contradictions, and cofounding outcomes coexist and are validated. In brief, the arts are generative processes that are nonverbal and often transcend literal and logical meanings; similarly, the creative arts therapies are approaches that support implicit, embodied, and nonverbal forms of communication…” (Cathy Malchiodi, “Creative Arts Therapies and Arts-Based Research)

Arts Based Research Terms: aesthetically based research/art as inquiry/art practice as research/performative inquiry/practice based research/living inquiry/

What Skills Do Arts Based Practitioners Need?

  • Flexibility, openness, and intuition
  • Thinking conceptually, symbolically and metaphorically
  • Ethical practice and value system
  • Thinking like an artist
  • Thinking like a public intellectual

Reference: Patricia Leavy, Handbook of Arts-Based Research

How Arts Based Research connects to the expressive therapies continuum:

  • The kinaesthetic/sensory level: movement, music making, performance, sound, spoken word/voice, singing.
  • The perceptual/affective level: emotional qualities inherent in art materials and art making, perceptions derived from art making.
  • The cognitive/symbolic level: problem solving, seeking meaning, analysis, decision making

(Cathy Malchiodi, “Creative Arts Therapies and Arts-Based Research)

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Arts Based Research and Autoethnography 

Autoethnography is self reflection/analysis of personal experience/self-narrative/critical reflection/developing data based on art connecting to subjectivity and society/autobiographical/including many layers of consciousness/connecting the personal with the cultural and political/the researcher is the research and  researched/the researcher is inside what is being studied rather than a objective bystander.

“We bring ourselves—our pasts, presents, opinions and ideas—to the work, and those histories and points of view shape our perceptions and responses. As such we are inside the work…we are inside everything we experience and create” (“The Art of Ethnography” by Tony E. Adams and Stacy Holman Jones)

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“Collage as Arts Based Research” by Victoria Scotti and Gioia Chilton (Handbook of Arts-Based Research)

Research can be considered an assemblage of ideas, perspectives, self inquiry, creative agency, service to others, and socially engaged action.

Collage is a collection of perspectives, a layering, an editing, and a composition made from diversity.  “Collage is particularly suited to arts based researchers who seek to uncover, juxtapose, and transform multiple meanings and perspectives and to integrate different different aspects of a person or phenomena through embodied, multi sensorial processes. Moreover, researchers believe that collage work can aid in conceptualising ideas and promoting reflexivity through integration of multisensorial knowledge.” (“Collage as Arts Based Research” by Victoria Scotti and Gioia Chilton)

Collage and the Research Process

“Collage making may also assist the research in developing the research question…when formulating a research question, researchers can ask themselves to create a collage about the research topic, then when done, dialogue with the collage, noting what elements of the general topic is most important to focus on, and play with the response, as if the collage itself could speak, in essence, interviewing the collage is a technique that can help researchers focus, using tacit and intuitive knowledge to aid in developing the research question” (“Collage as Arts Based Research” by Victoria Scotti and Gioia Chilton)

“Researchers may use collage in different stages of research or throughout the research study. In the initial stages the properties of collage provide a tangible visual method that helps the researcher to visualise and conceptualise his or her research study or bring together pieces of his or her literature review, therefore bringing together distinct parts into visual and conceptual unity. During the data analysis and representation phases, collage offers a practical method on which to reflect, a way to arrange and rearrange the data and discover connections between disparate elements of the data. Researchers may use collage as a research practice, be it for synthesis of thoughts after a literature review or as a visual field note…” (“Collage as Arts Based Research” by Victoria Scotti and Gioia Chilton)

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