Taking forward the knowledge gained from doing a practice based PhD, the Fellowship centred around networking and presenting at conferences the results of the PhD inquiry, helping set up an interdisciplinary research group of predominantly early career researchers, Bodies Collective and using arts based inquiry to explore progressive illness/chronic physical pain through making and writing.
The embodied nature of pain, and our inarticulacy in relation to pain make it an intriguing opportunity for embodied exploration through art. Pain is a totally immersive experience and is managed by diverting attention from it.
The project enabled discovery through ‘serious play’, taking an arts-based methods approach to inquiring enabled us to know (and to articulate) different things, and to know things differently. Or to put this in more academic language, the claim that art-based research like a/r/tography allows a holding of the complexity of situations creating “research that breathes. Research that listens.” (Springgay et al 2005:899).Inquiring through the use of art and words creates a doubling and expanding of differently nuanced meaning making and troubles at the cultural assumptions that we are often enmeshed in and are therefore blind to “It is a doubling of visual and textual wherein the two complement, extend, refute, and/or subvert one another.” (Ibid 2005:900).
Initial questions were:
What are the sensations of pain? What does pain look like? What does pain sound like? How do we hold it in the body? How do we release it? How can these words and questions translate into a fully immersive visual and sound experience?