Five members of the AiR (Arts in Research) collaborative delivered an experiential workshop at the Social Research Association conference on Creative Research Methods in the Social Sciences on Friday 8th May at the British Library, (Left to right: Anne Quinney, Maggie Hutchings, Caroline Ellis-HIll, Wendy Couchman and Michelle Cannon). The conference brought together researchers from a diverse range of disciplines including human geography, criminal justice, media, and migration studies. By inviting the delegates to create a sculpture in pipe-cleaners of their journey to the conference, the keynote speaker, Professor David Gauntlett from the University of Westminster, set the scene for an interactive and inspirational day in which presenters shared their creative research methods.
Drawing on the two day workshop, A past/a present, held at BU in September 2014, the collaborative shared their experiences and invited the audience to learn what it feels like to reveal our often most private self to an unfamiliar person by talking about the significance of a personal artefact that they had with them. The participants found it to be a very powerful process which can occur in a very short space of time.
As well as learning about collage as a research tool in working with offenders, the use of hand drawn timelines in working with returning Afghan migrants, walking as a tool for understanding marginalised young men, and walking to develop understanding the day to day lives of women asylum seekers, the AiR collaboration members made new connections and explored several potential research collaborations.
The ARTS in Research (AiR) collaborative is open to BU students and staff across faculties and disciplines. Please contact the AiR facilitator, Dr Kip Jones, (firstname.lastname@example.org) to join.