Before I started on the Nottingham Trent University M.A. by registered project I already had three fairly well-defined practices or is it PRAXIS. I had painted in oil for ten years and drawn regularly, I had written poetry which published as ‘Last Farmer’ (Salt Publishing 2010) and I had spent ten years or more writing songs and performing as my alter-ego Trailer Star, By the Lincoln Collection show of 2008 this morphed into a strange amalgamation of songwriting and painting in the Suit of Nettles project.
However none of this work was ‘research-orientated’ I just did it in a foolish Picasso/Miro-esque way you know like people had done for thousands of years before Research Exercises were even invented. BUT….as my M.A. was funded by my venerable institution and was supposedly part of ‘continuing professional development’ I set to on the chosen path for me of ‘MULTIMEDIA’ by registered project.This made sense to my peers and bosses and sort of made sense to me that was until they closed down ‘Multimedia’ department and informed me that the reason for that was the word ‘multimedia’ did not mean anything. This came as a bit of a surprise as we had done well to survive the mis-management from above and indeed our employability was nearly 80%. Indeed it had more to do with managerial self-promotion than common-sense but this was not apparent at the time. Whatever, it will be over soon (2014) but the M.A. carries on. I am now in a process of rationalising how my M.A. proceeds and alongside it I have created a separate ‘research’ praxis which uses cartoons to examine in detail the whole justification and deployment of postgraduate study in the arts. I now call this ‘GRAPHIC RESEARCH ‘ and a blog details all the work I am doing in this field.
Meanwhile the first year of M.A. ‘TRACK’ blog details all the work I did during my first year of ‘development’, all of it in the area of MULTIMEDIA AND ‘new media’.
I also started to paint again (at a low level) and this detailed in my second year M.A. painting related blog ‘Blank Canvas’.
So as it stands I have three simultaneous reflective journals done during the past two years..I wonder if any or all count for my M.A? In my opinion the cartoon research alone should qualify for a degree let alone the rest. I am going to stretch my examiners and supervisors patience to the test now by suggesting that I revert to PAINTING as the sole focus of the final year and use it to test theories of what research is and what practice is against each other. As the whole dichotomy of practice V research is what I questioning then physically separating the two and attempting both separately looks like a valid way of testing my ideas. This makes sense to me and in conversation with James Elkins I think makes sense to him. We are both examining the apparent contradictions in postgraduate fine art delivery, he from a theoretical ‘research on research’ angle, and myself from a physical practice versus research theory angle.
Simples Meerkats. If you are confused by all of this just try reading Pessoa whilst standing on your head…..