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Editorial: Black sheep of academia? - Recontextualising Creative Practice-based Research

Agata Lulkowska (Staffordshire University) | Issue 9 | October 2022

Introduction, or how to be an academic rebel

Practice-based research, under may names and sub-categories, has been present and increasingly vibrant (although mostly limited in its recognition to the UK and Australia) for several decades now. A number of rich, insightful texts have been written about the phenomenon, and some significant work has been done towards academia’s recognition of practice-based research as a legitimate and valuable form of new contribution to knowledge. Not to mention some fantastic and innovative creative practice work that keeps appearing and inspiring myself and others alike.

For someone who has struggled with her professional identity for a very long time (keeping my creative and intellectual hungers separate, not knowing how to reconcile both in one coherent action – after all, who would be the target audience for that!?), the realisation that there IS a legitimate space on the crossroads between creative world and academia was a very joyful one.

It would be too optimistic, however, to claim that there are no struggles for those engaged in creative practice research. There are still numerous challenges with the identity of many such works, difficulties to manage disciplinary rules, which, in turn, lead to often confused expectations of supervisors, examiners, funding bodies, publishers, and HE institution, let alone the audiences. With great examples of practice-based work comes a question: not only what this kind of research means, but how do we go about it, nurture it, train and support new creative practitioners, and, why do we do in in the first place.

This Special Issue and all the widespread work surrounding it, comes from a genuine passion. What keeps me happy and motivated every day are the vast possibilities of practice-based research, the joy of creativity is promises, it’s rebellious potential (who doesn’t appreciate that!), but also the amazing opportunities it brings. I truly believe that creative practice research can bring real-life impact on communities, inspire young people, and – without sounding excessively grandiose and naïve – genuinely make the world a better, and somehow nicer place. What always bothered me about academia is its elitist approach, specialised jargon, inaccessible dissemination practices targeting small and very specialist readership, and, often, quite pretentious seriousness. I truly believe research is and should always be for people. It has to find a way to become accessible and, if possible, exciting. But in order to do this, we need to evaluate the existing status quo and make sure we all, as the community of practice-based researchers, agree on some ground rules and understand what we do. The challenge is how to marry strict academic rigour with innovation and creativity. Personally, I don’t think these two things work in contradiction. On the contrary – they complement each other, offering a possibility to create a clear structure, a scaffolding which can support any creative practice project, no matter how extravagant. Elsewhere, I write about strategies to support and supervise practice-based researchers, here, I have a privilege to have attracted some exquisite contributors who explore some essential aspects of practice-based research, highlighting important issues and challenges.

What I propose is quite simple – to ensure that creative practice research flourish, there needs to be a common ground of agreed expectations; that includes, as already highlighted, the creative practitioners themselves, so-called ‘traditional’ researchers, Higher Education Institutions, academic societies, publishers, research councils and other funding bodies. If that sounds overly ambitious, it only proves the urgency of the matter, making me even more keen to contribute my modest initiatives. After all, the alternative is lined up with frustrations, misunderstandings and mis-aligned expectations. Even worse so, it could lead to unfortunate omissions of some work and practices of great potential, exposed so brilliantly by ever so inspiring Tara Brabazon in her revealing ‘The Creative PhD: Challenges, Opportunities, Reflection’ (2020), as well as series of vlogs. Rarely do I find such an inspiring read, and I owe Tara a debt of genuine gratitude.

If feels like enough time has passed for creative practice research to grow out of its infancy and continue to thrive. As a community of practice-based researchers we have a lot of to be proud of, and seeing the benefits and impact of our work, we should not be shy to demand full recognition and support for our work. In fact, it’s our obligation, for it is not enough for us only to know what we’re doing if we want to ensure that creative practice doesn’t get discouraged, misjudged, prejudiced against or diminished. For this to happen, not only we need to continue sharing our work and reaching out beyond the silos of academia, but we must make sure that we agree on and keep developing the strategies to support creative practice research and appreciate it. To do this, it is important to evaluate the current status quo, and defend our place in academia, proud and bold.

The idea for this Special Issue emerged directly from a seminar on Art/Practice-based Research I have designed and led over the last year. However, the real origin goes much deeper. Our journey into practice-based research in academia is hardly ever a simple and straightforward one, and there are no rules or guidelines on how to do it. Having an academic career in maths or astrophysics might be, arguably, more difficult, but at least you know what needs to be done to get you there. This is certainly not the case with creative practice research. In many cases, experienced practitioners make their (complete or partial) transition to academia, while trying to preserve some times and energy for their creative work. They frequently acquire PhDs, which is often the first moment where the long-established creative practice needs to respond to a different set of criteria, and survive a thorough peer scrutiny which follows a specific set of rules. Creative practice, in contrast, tends to allow for more freedom, more chaotic methodologies, and less constrained rules (including outputs, dissemination, or impact). Even the process and making or the artwork have to dramatically change, suddenly having to adhere to the requirements of academic rigour, originality and significance. Another challenge is the need to explain the practice, prove its value to the research community, and demonstrate its original contribution to knowledge. This can cause a lot of confusion and misaligned expectations for both researchers-practitioners and those supporting/examining/reviewing their work. A common misconception which leads to many frustrations on both sides, centres around the role of practice (and the artwork) in relation to the surrounding ‘research strategies.’ The originality and quality of the artwork are often confused with the originality and quality of research. I’ll borrow from Tara Brabazon who is wonderfully blunt about it: when reflecting on the role of an artwork in creative PhDs saying that ‘Whether or not it is an art, let alone quality art, is irrelevant.’ (Brabazon, 2020: 78). She goes even further, suggesting that ‘art is not a doctorate. It can create a new way to think about evidence. It can be the basis of research. It is not the research.’ (ibid: 40). Of course, there is a significant difference between a PhD and a fully independent research project, nevertheless, this distinction still counts. What follows, a successful supervision or peer review processes requires clarity and consistency of expectations, which, as we all know, is not always the case. As a supervisor and editor, I have witnessed many battlegrounds which stem from mismatched expectations and misaligned priorities. In many cases, this could be easily avoided if the expectations around practice-based research were consistent across the board. Many institutional PhD provisions focus and prioritise traditional research, and not all the supervisors and reviewers are equipped to understand how to successfully balance the rigours of research with creative innovation in a form of the hybrid entity hiding under the umbrella term practice-based research. What certainly doesn’t help is the multitude of definitions and sub-divisions (practice-based, practice-led, research-led, etc) and the challenging process of judging the value and relevance of the artwork.

In my numerous conversations with fellow practice-based researchers, they related to my experience where my research film was rejected from most traditional film festivals, yet awarded for its research value, and even nominated for the prestigious AHRC Research in Film Awards. Some practitioners I talked to ended up showcasing their artworks on their personal websites or Vimeo, frustrated that the best examples of their work often goes unnoticed. This is due to the fact that there are, with few notable exceptions (this very journal being one of them), still very few places where practice-based research can be successfully disseminated. This could be particularly frustrating when we keep in mind the importance of publishing for academic careers. Many practitioners, myself included, often decide to publish traditional written-word papers to talk about their practice. As much as it ‘ticks the box’, perhaps we are missing the point and also missing out on a wider reach (and even impact!) – two things academia really is about. Of course, there are some exquisite examples of practitioners who know how to manage that, but, again, that’s not always the case, and there is no easy roadmap to navigate it.

What this Special Issue highlights quite well is the puzzling landscape of creative practice research: despite multiple obstacles, it seems to be doing pretty well. Multiple talented and inquisitive people drive this non-discipline (or multidiscipline), unpacking new concepts, experimenting with techniques and concepts, and challenging the existing status quo where creative practice research is still the black sheep of academia.

Confused identities

I am incredibly privileged to have been educated both in theory and practice, having studied five different degrees across two countries. But even with such a thorough understanding of theory and practice, it took me a long time to understand the hybrid identity of practice-based research. For many years, I meandered on the outskirts of disciplines (filmmaking, film studies, Latin American studies, postcolonial studies, visual anthropology, ethnography, indigenous studies, photography, representation studies, intercultural communication, and many others), struggling to find a comfortable place for my ‘doing’. My networks, associations, outputs and go-to journals were difficult to manage, and the sense of not belonging grew deeper, the more different projects I engaged with. Moving between ethnographic film to abstract video installation or photography only deepened the crack in my professional identity. Somehow, I managed to pull it all off, but the process was lengthy and not very straight forward (although enjoyable throughout). I am aware, however, that we could help make this journey a bit more structured, while still allowing for innovation and creative experimentation, and that’s what I am hoping to provide for my current and future PhD students. For this to happen, I repeat again, a collective effort to recontextualise practice-based research is required. Understanding of our practice, rules and expectations, the ways to measure innovation while maintaining academic rigour are of the upmost priority. The community of colleagues working with practice-based research is creative, dynamic and inspiring, but we need to set some basic common grounds we all agree on. This editorial article is an open invitation to collaborate, discuss and evaluate our practice and the way we collectively manage it.

Practice-based research has an incredible potential for innovative, wide-reaching and accessible results, potentially building the bridge between academia and general public. This is not only one of the criteria for successful research our funding bodies and institutions ask us to demonstrate, but, much more importantly, a genuine reason why we should engage in research in the first place – after all there is nothing more rewarding than to inspire new generations of creative research practitioners and individuals who see the potential creative practice have to improve the world.

Art/Practice-based Seminar Series

The Seminar Series was designed to be the first step to find my way out of the maze. Apart from the reasons mentioned above, the very direct motivation that pushed me to organise it was the lack of institutional support and training for practice-based PhD candidates. There is not much provision graduate schools allocate to support anyone wishing to break through traditional expectations. What started as a modest one-person initiative, quickly became a very successful monthly gathering. I designed the seminar around the core elements of the creative practice journey, and invited some specialists in the field to talk about the topic. I delivered the opening session What is practice-based research, and accompanied it with some seminar texts by Linda Candy and the REF case study of The Act of Killing by Joshua Oppenheimer. The second session, Creative Process Meets Academic Rigour featured Michael Branthwaite. Session three, Creative Methods, was run by Nicole Brown, followed by Session four, Methodological Quagmires in the Post-disciplinaryEera by Prof. Carola Boehm, Session five, Who is it for and How to Communicate it by Charlie Tweed, Session Six, Research Impact: Making a Difference through Practice-Based Research by Jackie Reynolds and Colette Dobson, and finally, Session seven on Reflective Practice by Robert Marsden. Each seminar was accompanied by a reading material I have shared with the participants ahead of the sessions. Following the overwhelming success of an online interdisciplinary extravaganza (Communities and Communication, and International Interdisciplinary Conference and Art/Film Festival), a creative practice focused event I co-founded with two excellent colleagues, Sharon Coleclough and Stephanie Steventon, just before the pandemic which attracted an astonishing over three thousand submissions from hundred and twenty-six countries around the world, I decided to keep the even online. It was free and open to everyone, and it has not disappointed. Each session was recorded, and some of them have reached over 500 views (a laughable number for a contemporary influencer, but a significant one for a modest academic).

A short questionnaire conducted at the inaugural session of the Seminar revealed an unexpected variety and creative potential in creative practice-based research. Some of the research questions and ‘artefacts’ were: ‘an investigation into how European artisan footwear can inspire a craft-based slow fashion model (footwear prototype); Can visual communication be used more systematically in reducing stigma towards metal illness (a visual communication campaign); can you feel dance, or do you have to see it? (a dance sound and light installation); how can psychogeography be used as an artistic strategy to express one’s relation with the city? (a digital soundmap of a city); Changing “the change”: re-visioning menopause, (film/installation); The role of sound, nature and healing in personal and collective urban transformations (sound installation); the screen is the Brain: a moving-image enquiry into visual thinking in Dyslexia (desktop documentary); how can collage be used to critically reflect upon animal-human hybrids in the age of bioengineering (collage/film); what is the impact of theatre-making in children’s self-concept (mixed media); how can collage negotiate and represent the complexities of history and identity? (collage film); ageing and inequality: using feminist architectural practices in the design of inclusive practice space (a design for inclusive public space); how interactive products can change people’s behaviour toward littering (motion graphics and product models); investigation into collaborations between artists and scientists in artistic collaborations (museum of epistemology); how does the action of hand stitching impact on the wellbeing of men, including self-knowledge and understanding through act and gesture (textiles and embroidery); can people find alternative spaces for HIV sense making using creative methods (film website exhibitions); if weaving is a metaphor for storytelling, can a weaving tell a story? (hand shaft weaving), migration and place making (video and podcast); spaces of difference: attuning through immersive dance with children who sometimes don’t speak (contact improvisation). Of course, there are endless other options, and since we are talking about creative practice, the originality drives the innovation.

The same anonymous questionnaire asked about the training and guidance participants feel they would benefit form. Some answers included guidance on methodology and sharing outputs, an overview of current practice, how to bring together research and practice, understanding around how traditional assessment criteria are applied to artefacts produced through the research process. One of the recurring comments was about getting enough exposure to the exiting body of work in the respective fields. Questions of methodology often appear in these conversations, with many researchers struggling to design the most optimal methodology and research planning. The challenge is even more acute if we realise that, in many cases, the methodologies design is precisely the answer to the research questions.

We also cannot forget that for any given practitioner to produce a quality output (be it for research or for purely artistic reasons, if that ever exists), the relevant craft skills need to be required and maintained. This, of course, makes all practice-based research interdisciplinary by definition.

The final question asked at the seminar series was about the training or support the researchers felt they were missing. Most of the answers identified understanding what practice-based research really is, how to design research and methodologies, talking to other practitioners and understanding different perspectives. Some participants identified the need to understand the relation between the theory and practice in the context of practice-based research. Producing a proposal, understanding what counts and how it differs from an exhibition outside academic context also appeared among the answers.

The idea for this Special Issue was a direct follow up from the seminar (which will continue into year two, and expand into a new podcast about practice-based research). I cannot be happier that it has attracted some excellent researchers who have responded to the call and contributed greatly to the idea to recontextualise practice-based research.

The content

The way the submissions responded to the brief was intriguing and, at times, eye-opening. It made me realised that apart from what I thought was an exhaustive list I proposed as a suggested topics for the Special Issue, there are other, often rarely spoken of aspects related to contemporary practice-based research which should be considered.

Prof. Agnieszka Piotrowska and her ‘Tentacular thinking’ in Creative Practice Research as a radical intellectual gesture: A case study of an experimental hybrid film Wash (2022)’ proposes a thought-provoking postulate to re-invent creative practice research. This rich and refreshing reflection brings many (sometimes unexpected) inspirations and paints a picture of a contemporary practice-based researcher – an exciting but sometimes challenging portrait. This challenge emerges, precisely, from the need to rethink and recontextualise the current status quo of creative practice research. Piotrowska’s rich experience and inquisitive mind results in an article which is a genuine pleasure to read, questioning the standard expectations of both research and practice (and even the ‘standard’ way to write an article.) It is quite liberating to read her call for action: ‘be free in your thinking and see where it takes you.’ She proposes to rid of the rigidity of incompatible expectations of traditional research and tune in to creative freedom while maintaining the rigour required in academia.

Catherine Gough-Brady reflects on the ethical considerations in creative practice research. She reveals the tensions and the underlying institutional assumptions, and contrasts that with the (creative) industry standards. Wondering whether ethics can be discipline specific, she argues that creative practice is pushing all kinds of boundaries, engaging with other disciplines, and forging its own space in very exciting ways. She explores the question of anonymity, often assumed and taken for granted, when, in fact, contesting it might empower participants (something which will come back in other texts submitted to this SI). Behind the assumption about participant protection lies the quiet danger of inequal power relations and confused knowledge ownership. Gough-Brady advocates for a tailored approach, where consent is negotiated and not assumed. She also touches on grey areas of ethical choices which are often personal and parts of personal narratives. Most importantly, she suggests that morals and values inform what we come to know and understand – a crucial point to take away from this fantastic text. Gough-Brady ‘s brilliant definition of documentary filmmaking is a perfect description of the complexity of the craft; she writes: ‘I tend to convey ideas using audio-visual means where I simultaneously simplify lives into linear narratives while at the same time intentionally complicating the viewer’s understanding of the world.’ Finally, she raises the question of accountability (both to participants and academia).

Sophie Hope and Josephine Coleman go beyond the question of creative researcher’s identity (and sense of alienation), both mentioned repeatedly this this editorial introduction, and address the question of employment. In their collaborative Artist-researchers on the margins: Communities of practice beyond the PhD, they raise the crucial question of support and resources, exploring the impact of creative PhD on creative researchers’ practice and the way the hybridized identities function within and beyond academia. The study is based on Hope’s amazing initiative, the AHRC-funded Corkscrew practice-based research network, supported and inspired many aspiring creative PhD candidates, myself included. In their revealing text, Coleman and Hope explore the post-PhD ‘rupture’ of experiences, and the structural barriers and missing communities of practice which could impede the development of creative practice. They also point out to the urgent need for support structures needed to support practice-based researchers beyond the PhD for professional development. Finally, speaking of creative practice research, Coleman and Hope explore the potential of podcasting as a research method, a publicly engaged one, reflecting on knowledge embedded in experience and experimenting with formats for collective inquiry. This eye-opening text reveals many challenges and traps of ‘pracademics’, and various career choices they tend to have.

Michael Chanan explores pedagogy of practice-based research. In his What does the student need to know in order to make a documentary,? he considers the main challenges of teaching knowledge production in creative arts, here, a documentary filmmaking. He targets the tension between theory and practice, deconstructing the ingredients of documentary filmmaking trade. He contrasts research jargon with vernacular language of documentary,

describing research for documentary as cross-disciplinary, transdisciplinary, and even anti-disciplinary, embedded in ambiguous audiovisual representation, where the research itself becomes the process, and not the outcome. This kind of research requires a different kind of epistemology, a one based on uncertainty and subjective judgement of the encounter. Chanan discusses different types of knowledge involved in the process, and evaluates the ontology of documentary filmmaking.

In their joint article Mapping a sustainable support model for practice-based researchers, supervisors and examiners, Érica Faleiro Rodrigues, Deirdre O’Toole and Manuel José Damásio provide an overview of a complex body of work done under the umbrella of FILM EU alliance. Designed as a research statement accompanying a podcast under the same title, this comprehensive work aims to bridge the gap between practitioners and researchers, with special attention on training the supervision. Quite importantly, the authors evaluate the role of artistic research may play in meeting contemporary global and social challenges. A number of valuable documents were produced alongside this project, among others, report on opportunities and challenges of creative research, and another one focusing on supervision models in film and media education. Both reports encourage to ask difficult questions and talk about ideas which might not have an obvious and easy solution, and remain open to new perspectives. The podcast responds to three main questions: How to reconcile notion of artistic freedom and academic boundaries in artistic research;? what are the specific needs of PhD supervision in artistic research;? and finally, what should be the framework for evaluation of artistic research PhDs? The authors suggest some useful strategies, among others, the ability to work together with macro and micro; zooming in and out as supervisors.

Sabine Kussmaul and her Intra-action, self and the other; drawing and installation in the British Peak District brings another fascinating contribution. It looks at processes of embodied engagement between the artist and outdoor environment through experimental dimensions of research topic. Revealing details of her creative methodological framework, Kussmaul explores the need to justify the rigour and explain how it adheres to standards of research. We are invited to witness this intimate and meditative practice, and have an insight into the artist-researcher elaborate processes. Starting from production and implementation of a mobile artmaking kit, the subjective experience of artmaking, transplanting the outdoor installation to indoors gallery spaces and the analysis and evaluation of the Practice-as-Research process. The author ponders how change occurs between environments, arts practice and the research process. She evaluates how change occurs and manifests in different ways in research and creative practice, and how the production of meaning occurs in the creative arts. Using the illustration process to reflect, Kussmaul’s poetic work is a beautiful example of alternative ways of practice-based research. In this contexts, the work’s final destination, a gallery space, serves as platform to communicate it with the public and the academic audiences.

How to establish film practice research and evidence impact in the Greek academic environment? is an interesting proposal by Iakovos Panagopoulos, which takes us to another academic contexts. Looking at film pedagogy and film practice research specifically, Panagopoulos offers an eye-opening overview of challenges and struggles young filmmakers face in Greek contexts, with special attention on impact in film practice research. Panagopoulos points to the familiar division between theoreticians with PhDs and practitioners with hands-on experience which determines filmmaking pedagogy, resulting, among others, in the lack of practice-based PhDs in Greece. The analysis of a contemporary independent filmmaker workflow in Greece reveals multiple cracks in creative freedom (and the intellectual property ownership) in the attempt to secure funding and make the filmmaking happen (often having changed the original idea to please the funder). As a result, the hope for financial gain is very faint if not illusory. The author makes an important observation that, in many cases, academic films are low-cost productions which don’t reach many other audiences beyond academia.

Listening as Strategy for Research: Extending Sonic Thinking in Documentary by Francisco Mazza is an insightful overview of alternatives for sound strategies in non-fiction filmmaking, exploring sonic as a methodological tool. Challenging the primacy of visual (and linguistic), Mazza skilfully guides us through the meanders of the multisensory. It is also a great account into a creative practice PhD, something many contributions to this Special Issue mention. The multiplicity of ‘practices’ in practice-based projects, both in their definitions and application, are only a testimony to the ongoing confusion around the topic. Mazza addresses the challenges of institutional requirements for practice-based PhDs, and the lingering expectations set by the traditional forms of research. Often incompatible with the nature of creative practice research, these expectations need to be challenged and contested, or, at best, adapted to the nature of creative practice research. The concept of listening is explored in details as a way to approach thinking about sound in film, together with field recording and mixing. Mazza takes us through the intricacies of sound in non-fiction filmmaking, revealing a rich potential for creative exploration. The acoustic territory, the relationship between sound and place, becomes a powerful space for inquiry, including 'delocalisation' through the diffuse capacity of sound.

Following that, we are invited to explore walking as a research strategy. Jez Hastings proposes a refreshing and inspiring journey into his fascinating projects. In his Ku Po Schon - Where are you going? The way of the photo troubadour, Hastings masterfully emanates the admiration for the analogue. This deeply meditative and beautiful proposal brings hope of an alternative for academic madness. The process of walking to the philosophy of Deep Ecology, becomes an embodied form of research. This intimate, personal statement, challenges the traditional forms of academic writing, like some other great texts in this Special Issue. A performer and ecologist, philosopher and photographer, Hastings displays an admirable sensitivity of observation, not taking any elements of his process for granted. It is the walking and photography which constitute the main ingredients of the author’s research, questioning the relationship between artist and audience and interrogating the way landscapes inform and engage. Even more importantly, Hastings explores the way the artist mediates the landscape and environmental aesthetics through the walk, before the audiences have a chance to engage with the mediations: photography and sound recordings.

Belen Febres-Cordero and her Collaborative media writing: the making of an affective practice, explores writing as yet another practice-based method. This fascinating text looks at collaborative media writing among internal migrant women in Ecuador. She explores the disparity between data collection involvement in participatory research, and the usual exclusion from data analysis and, even more so, dissemination. This disparate power relations are often taken for granted, and the inclusion ends when data collection stage is over. Community-engaged research often challenges this status quo, demanding equal partnership in all stages of research. Affect theory which accounts for intangible forces experienced by and through the body could help achieve this ideal. Febres-Cordero explores alternative expressions of wellbeing and health. Coming from different backgrounds and identities, the participants engage in journalistic articles explaining the current dominant understandings of these two concepts. Febres-Cordero also touches upon the importance of anonymity which for some participants might be seen as a protection, while for others as an erasure of their participation.

Frederic Dubois and his An overviews of research-creation in and with interactive media is an interesting proposal which tackles an alternative ways of research. Dubois explores the nature of research projects, referring to Geertz’s famous ‘thick description’ as a way to document creative practice. Dubois also explores the idea of mediatic research creation, before he embarks on the analysis of the interactive documentary (i-doc). He takes us on a journey to explore Field Trip, an interactive documentary made in Berlin. The author’s role as an interactive producer, carried out over the period of three years, allows Dubois to consider the societal impact of interactive documentary.

Finally, in her Can artistic practices inform an unlearning of normative thought structures towards an ethico-onto-epistemological co-constitution with other worlds’ knowledges?, monika Jaeckel addresses the question of positionality within the framework of Western Modernity. She explores the question how can the knowledge of the ‘other’ be approached without appropriation? The author postulates co-constitution with knowledge production. Jaeckel explores artist-researcher’s potential to create noise, and its further contribution to unlearning which relate to the historical legacies of colonialism, also in the context of indigeneity – this knowledge should not, argues the author, be integrated into the dominant mode of thought and practice, but follow the rules of engaged collaborative transdisciplinarity.

I hope this Special Issue will inspire the readers to consider the rich potential of practice-based research in creative arts. This Special Issue (as well as the upcoming book, podcast, and the book series) seek to address the questions of ontology and definitions, managing balance between the creative practice and research requirements, working across multiple disciplines, managing methodologies design, balancing theory, practice and reflective evaluations, strategies for dissemination, impact, and finally reflecting on the most optimal support system.,

Let me conclude with the invitation to enjoy this collection of insights and testimonies, in the hope that this discussion will continue beyond this Special Issue.


  • Brabazon, T (2020) The Creative PhD: Challenges, Opportunities, Reflection.

  • Candy, L. (2020) The Creative Reflective Practitioner. Research Through Making and Practice, Routledge

  • Candy, L. (2011) Research and Creative Practice. In Candy, L. and Edmonds, E.A. (eds) Interacting: Art, Research and the Creative Practitioner, Libri Publishing Ltd: Faringdon, UK: 33-59.

  • Haynes, K. 2018. Autoethnography. In: The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Business and Management Research Methods: Methods and Challenges, 55 City Road, London: SAGE Publications Ltd pp. 17-31. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 Oct 2021]

  • Scrivener, S. (2020) Reflection in and on action and practice in creative-production doctoral projects in art and design.

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