I thought I would upload a couple of shots of the 4.5 metre long concertina sketchbook I have been working on. The concertina sketchbook compliments this online diary, in that it explores similar themes, but by different methods.
As mentioned a previous post the length of the sketchbook, at 4.5 metres, represents the average distance the shore retreats every year at Covehithe. When fully extended and displayed, the sketchbook not only charts the progress of the research, but also attempts to tackle the problem of visually describing environmental processes that operate on a different temporal level than that of our senses.
The challenge of visually representing environmental processes that our senses struggle to interpret is a theme that is running through my work at the moment. The sketchbook is a rather crude attempt to tackle this challenge, in that it aims to give an appreciation to the viewer of just how far 4.5 metres actually is. It doesn’t however speak of the underlying environmental processes at play or our relationship to them. So, perhaps this sketchbook doesn’t goes far enough?
My reason for asking this is that I have been considering some of my core beliefs about my creative undertakings. Over the last two years I’ve realised that I happen to believe that it would not be to the benefit of my practice to seek to solely translate these processes into an understandable format. After all, it could be said that this reduces art to an illustrative role, when surely creative practice can aim for more than to serve as just a tool of illustration? This relates to some wider questions about arts-based research, which, in short, question the status of knowledge in art research and making, and even wider than this, ask what the purpose of arts-based research is and what its goals and conventions should be.
So, how does what I do relate to these types of questions? Well, it seems that I believe that the drawings I make, certainly within the context of the arts-based research that I carry out, should have the goals and interests of art at their core. However, I also believe it is possible, and worthwhile, to try to meet these aims while serving other purposes.
What I am aiming for is a form of creative practice that not only has at its heart the production of art that is able to stand on its own merit, but a practice that also furthers the development and understanding of arts-based research. The focus of this practice should then be directed towards not just helping us to understand, but to also question our relationships to, and our behaviours towards, environmental processes.