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Title: Narrative structures in body-related craft objects
Author: Astfalck, Jivan
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2007
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In a largely under-theorised subject area as the crafts, this practice-based research contributes to the knowledge and understanding of the body related crafts object at PhD level. It conceptualises the narrative methodology necessary to make the creative work and theoretically examines its intention. Because the theoretical work on narrative structures has been largely done outside the crafts/art context, the research adopts and adapts existing procedures and concepts from hermeneutic philosophy and literary theory to expand on the understanding of the body related crafts object in this new context. The research project investigates narrative structures in body related crafts objects to further the understanding of these objects and to make a contribution to the theory of studio crafts practice. The dialogical and dynamic relationship between the surveying of relevant literature and the creative development of the practical work enabled the development of the narrative context of the work itself and the advancement of a studio methodology that emphasizes reflexivity and is conscious of its own need for understanding. Drawing on historical and autobiographical material, fiction and fairy tales, a series of body-related crafts objects have been produced that tell hybrid, fantastical stories. These objects are enigmatic, yet suggestive of the wounds of history and of the trauma and healing processes that are part of our relationships with others. The work is understood as a mnemonic device created to evoke the complexities and webs of relationships, which exist between the various levels of interpretative investments that would otherwise be un-containable. The exploration of the notion of metaphor within a semantic context is here adapted to facilitate new understanding of the metaphorical qualities found in creative and narrative craft objects. Metaphoricity can be regarded as a way of cross-mapping the conceptual system of one area of experience and terminology with another, suggesting a coherent system created for understanding knowledge in terms of critical reflection, and being conducive to new creative articulation and representation. In the work theory emerges as a dynamic encounter, a continuous re-figuration within a tradition of commentary and interpretation. Researched ideas, practical work and developing studio methodology have been explored further and tested in exhibitions, written publications, conference contributions, teaching projects and artists residencies. A large body of practical work has been generated over the period of the research. Some of the objects are pieces of jewellery, using precious metals and other more idiosyncratic materials. Other objects, even though still wearable, extend the boundaries of the traditional piece of jewellery towards what has become a fine art practice, which uses a multi-media approach together with traditional handcraft goldsmithing skills. Assemblage, installation, video and relational interactive projects have been developed to investigate narrative structures invested in those objects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fine Art ; Crafts