Week 2 of Analysis of Contemporary Context module and notes from a Creative practice as research seminar.

Afternoon free writing session

After initial recoil of horror at having to be interactive while being online, this session was thought provoking, useful and I think I wrote some quite useful notes during the ‘automatic writing’. The dogs distracted me during the meditation part, but again it was actually useful to clear your mind and think about what is important about your research.

Questions about your research

  • What is it
  • What does it do/mean?
  • Why is it important

Free writing – write down 10 opposites in your creative practice – 3 mins free writing (initial horror and confusion wasted 2 minutes)

Fire/water, soft/hard, inside/outside, black/white, memory/forgetting, devastation/renewal


3 minutes free writing, non-stop keep writing, unselfconscious


Traces left onsite from peat cutting, the rails and nails, deep trenches, ruined sheds, marks of men, sweat, blood, tears, industry, pollution, noise, railways, fuel….. then stopping…… no need for peat as a fuel, stopping, sudden quiet, no noise no jobs no money, land sinks quietly back onto itself, the plants and animals come back, protection….. traces remain.


What work does, explores, means  again 3 mins free writing

The work explores traces, memories, hidden things, a sense of place, community identity, language, the structures that express this.

It tries to explore what lies beneath a place, landscape that expresses the essence of place, genus loci.

It gives an interpretation of a place using language and ceramics.


Meditation workshop. Visualisation, then asking questions of our research. Notes taken after: –

What are intangible aspects of place

What are contemporary Scottish ceramics

Does it explore place/essence?

Does it communicate intangible cultural heritage?

Does it make us remember?

Does it help us interpret place/language?

How can you apply critical regionalism to Scottish ceramics?

Why your research matters (?) (doubts)

The research is important to communicate vernacular structures, which embody cultural tradition, memory, language, geology at a time where sense of place is not seen as a commodity. It triggers memory and emotion

It is important to retain and develop cultural identity – through objects, structures, language, tools, practices, natural resources/materials, past/present, history/contemporary.

Feedback from Conor:

The research explores the value of ‘place’, through the language, traditions and geology embodied in vernacular structures. Implicit in this is a challenge to the notion of place as commodity and a desire to trigger memory and emotion.

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