Tutorial (1)

Jonathan Kearney - October 29th - 10:15am - Skype

Our discussion started off with a brief description of what I intended to discover throughout the MA; a few questions that I had proposed at the start of the course. ‘Empathy’ surfaced numerous times throughout the conversation, and how it might eventually be a term that i’ll become quite familiar with throughout the course. Jonathan noted a piece of mine in particular,  rouge, which was basically a way of exposing myself to a PTSD trigger (a specific shade of red) through archival family footage. He speculated around whether the art happened during the making of the piece or the outcome, or both - I thought deeply about this and still do. This got me thinking about one of my initial questions - “Can art be used as a tool to facilitate the reconciliation of trauma and the understanding of the self; can the making or witnessing of art play a role in healing wounds within ourselves or wounds within others?”. I let Jonathan know that i was going to be conducting a few interviews with artists who have experienced trauma; either as a result of mental illness, or an external situation, or both. I described this method as ‘data collection’, amongst other more ‘scientific’ research I will be collecting within fields such as neurobiology and cognitive behavioural psychology. I intended to use this qualitative and quantitative data as a way to further examine the mind and what is currently discovered - keeping up to date. As for the interviews, I intend to use them as inspiration - to tap into the perception of art from other minds. Jonathan posed a question - how will I begin to mediate between being an objective observer and a subjective artist? Is there a challenge in collecting such data, and how will it inform my practice or further it? The tutorial helped me think more critically about the approach I am taking and to be aware of the challenges I might eventually face (perhaps that’s where a lot of the art will happen).