Take(s) One to Know One: Photography and Practice-led Research

By Colleen Boyle.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 30, 2014 $US5.00

This paper explores how the use of photography may aid the artist-researcher in combining both objective and subjective modes of observation within the conceptual and practical terrain of practice-led research. Research conducted via creative practice sits uneasily within the accepted academic canon, and the knowledge it generates is difficult to locate or describe objectively when placed in comparison with traditional academic frameworks. This is perhaps due to the fact that artist-researchers ask different questions and expect different types of answers, particularly in contrast to the prevailing dominant research paradigms of the sciences. The artist-researcher is thus encouraged to use self-reflective methods in order to objectively engage with their work and describe their research outcomes — outcomes that have been produced through the hidden machinations of intuitive processes. This can result in a polemicized practice where the artist-researcher oscillates between objective/analytical and subjective/intuitive modes of thought and a truly reflective method of research is not attained. This paper proposes that the integration of photography into practice-led research can reach beyond simplistic documentation and instead enables the artist-researcher to conduct reflective thinking that allows for simultaneous objective and subjective modes of observation. In this manner photography can be used in an interpretive and generative capacity that has the potential to reveal the often tacit, subjective, and sometimes, unseen knowledge produced by practice-led research.

Keywords: Photography, Perception, Research

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.13-21. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 30, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 490.671KB)).

Dr. Colleen Boyle

PhD Student, School of Art, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia