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Hole in your soul: gallery conversation's

UCL Monitor gallery talk

I spoke to the MA Art and Design in Education and PGCE Secondary Art & Design students this week at UCL about the exhibition 'Hole in your soul' in the Monitor Gallery at UCL. It was an opportunity for a dialogue in the gallery space, a chance to discuss the themes and issues generated by the work, in-situ.

I curated pieces that reflected the most recent body of work, selecting examples from the 'Talking Brains' solo show and 'Dark Days White Nights' group show with two pieces still in progress from my studio.

I started the conversation by summarising the multiple themes that appear to be occurring or reoccurring in the most recent work, including:

* the brain

*the body

* knowledge and knowing

* depression

* dyslexia

* dialogue

*ways of seeing & ways of being

* anxiety

The MA students were very interested in the relationship between being an artist, researcher & teacher. We discussed the tensions and philosophy of this approach. I explained my conceptual framework:

I use my art making, my research and my teaching to inform each other (Irwin and de Cosson, 2004a) and create a rich and meaningful relationship. I identify with the notion of ‘research as bricoleur’ (Denzin and Lincoln, 2003), mainly because I realise that my practice does not fit into one neatly bound paradigm; my form of inquiry is a Mosiac (Clark and Moss, 2001), a patchwork, or bricolagemade up of many perspectives which frame and thus guide inquiry (Denzin and Lincoln, 2003). I also draw on the concept of Arts-based inquiry (Diamond and Mullen, 1999; Sullivan, 2005) throughout in order to theorize the aforementioned exhibition and my artistic and professional practice. Arts-based approaches allow me to collage together ideas as I create, transform, critique, promote shifts in thinking through intellectual, ‘artful’ inquiry (Diamond and Mullen, 1999).

The PGCE students were far more interested in the making and metaphors used in the pieces. A lot of discussed was had about dyslexia and the use of language (including visual language) and making.

The exhibition runs until Monday 5th Nov.

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