The interest in Arts-based Research is international and growing. Areas such as video, film, photography, dance, drama, poetry, radio production, creative writing—even clowning—are becoming more mainstream. Conferences, for example, no longer routinely consist of hour-after-hour packed with 20-minute PowerPoint presentations. Young students balk at PPT and expect more creativity from lecturers in their learning experiences. Reaching wider audiences (including ‘service-users’ and the public) is now routinely demanded by funding bodies. Tools from the Arts can greatly enhance all of these efforts.
Using Arts-based approaches in research requires thinking about Method from novel viewpoints. Involving research participants in producing outputs frequently enlivens projects, for one example. Finding the right arts-based method for the research questions or findings is key to their use. Finding the right collaborator for your project can be central to its success.
AiR researchers began meeting in January (watch for future announcement by email, Facebook and Twitter). There is already interest in developing a series of workshops with working artists as facilitators. No need to feel that great personal skill is required, just enthusiasm! We hope to open the collaboration up to others outside of BU through future events and workshops.
|“Selfies” by some of the AiRHeads collaborating on ARTS in Research (click on photo to enlarge)|