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16 MARCH 2013

Constructing Models for Practitioner-Based Research

"This paper considers differing understandings about the role and praxis of practitioner–based research for the arts. Over more than a decade the nexus between theory and practice has been a point of debate within the contemporary arts school both in Australia and overseas. This paper attempts to reveal ways of approaching this issue from within and across the disciplines. Discussions with colleagues from the arts representing fields as diverse as music, visual arts, creative writing, women's studies, dance and theatre studies indicate that the research principles explored, albeit briefly, here have resonance for each of these disciplines. Consequently, in an attempt to be broadly relevant for these diverse fields I have chosen to position the model as practitioner–based. Within this widened context I will be exploring the different ways in which studio–based practitioners and academics conceptualise the processes and characteristics of research in the arts and professional practice. However, as this is still work in progress, my exemplars will largely reflect my own field of the visual arts. Further research will enable this model to expand.

Presented is a way to conceptualise and explain what we do as studio–based researchers in the arts. In so doing I am recognising that contemporary practices in the arts reflect a meridian era of evolution, which requires us to be articulate practitioners. This includes being able to analyse and write about our practice in sophisticated ways. I see practitioner–based research and the resultant exploration of personal praxis as a way to achieve this. What I propose is that as artists we open up a larger domain by recontextualizing and reinterpreting aspects of standard mainstream research processes, looking at the resemblances, the self–resemblances and the differences between traditional and practitioner–based research methods as a logic of necessity."

(Robyn Stewart, 2001)

TEXT Vol Vol 5 No 2 October 2001 []


2001academics • articulate practitioners • artists • arts fields • arts researchcontemporary artscontemporary practicescreative artscreative practicecreative writingdanceinvestigative praxis • logic of necessity • music practice • personal praxispractitioner-based research • practitioner-based research methods • praxisprofessional practicerecontextualisationresearch in the arts • research principles • research processesRobyn Stewartstudio practicestudio-based enquiry • studio-based practitioners • studio-based researcher • TEXT (journal) • theatre studies • theory and practicevisual artswomens studies


Simon Perkins
22 JUNE 2011

PhD artistic practice as a theoretical thesis or artwork and exegesis

"The main purpose of research graduate study is to encourage independence and originality of thought in the quest for knowledge. The Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded in recognition of a student's erudition in a broad field of learning and for notable accomplishment in that field through an original and substantial contribution to knowledge. The candidate's research must reveal high critical ability and powers of imagination and synthesis, and may be in the form of new knowledge, or of significant and original adaptation, application and interpretation of existing knowledge. ...

15. Presentation of PhD Theses by Creative Works

15.1.1 In the case of a thesis submitted in the area of artistic practice, presentation may be in one of two forms: a theoretical thesis or artwork and exegesis. The artwork may be in the form of exhibition, performance, literary work, film, CD Rom or other approved format. The artwork and exegesis will be examined as an integrated whole. The artwork should provide a coherent demonstration that the candidate has reached an appropriate standard in the research and has made a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the area. The exegesis should describe the research process and elaborate, elucidate and place in context the artistic practice undertaken. In the case of visual or performing arts, the examiners will attend the exhibition/performance, at which time they will be given a copy of the exegesis in temporary binding. A final copy of the exegesis will be provided to the examiners within three months of their viewing the artwork.

15.2 Examination of a Creative Work Other Than a Printed Thesis

15.2.1 Where other materials are to be examined, such as in the areas of visual, performing, literary or media arts, the candidate must seek approval from Research Degrees Committee for the form and presentation of the thesis at the time of the Stage 2 application for entry to the PhD program.

15.2.2 Artistic practice may be examined by a theoretical thesis or by artwork and exegesis. The artwork and the exegesis will not be examined separately but as an integrated whole constituting the original and substantial contribution to knowledge required from doctoral candidates.

15.2.3 A theoretical thesis is a written document which would conform in all respects to the remainder of this policy.

15.2.4 Studio–based inquiry may result in a thesis presented by artwork and exegesis. The artwork should be the research outcome, while the exegesis should describe the research process and elaborate, elucidate and place in context the artistic practice undertaken.

15.2.5 The exegesis would normally not exceed 50,000 words and would conform in all respects to the remainder of this policy. It should also contain a description of the form and presentation of the artistic practice which constitutes the remainder of the thesis."

(Queensland University of Technology, Manual of Policies and Procedures, 12.10.2007)


academic regulations • application and interpretation • artwork and exegesis • coherent demonstration • creative work • critical ability • Doctor of Philosophy • exegesis • existing knowledge • IF49 • Manual of Policies and Procedures • MOPP • new knowledge • original and substantial contribution to knowledge • original contribution to knowledge • originality of thought • PhD • powers of imagination • Queensland University of Technology • quest for knowledge • QUT • research degrees committee • research graduate study • research outcomeresearch process • significant and original adaptation • studio-based enquirysynthesis • theoretical thesis • thesis • thesis presentation


Simon Perkins

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