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Title: Art at work : creativity and participation in the public cultural institution
Author: Frost, Sophie Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 7396
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis reflects upon the nature of creativity and participation in the UK public cultural institution. It asks: to what extent is creative agency enabled or disabled within this context? In order to answer this question a qualitative study of Southbank Centre, one of the UK's leading public cultural institutions, has been constructed. The thesis considers the institution in its totality, analysing and interpreting both internal, subjective dimensions and external, public-focused dimensions. An interdisciplinary approach characterises a theoretical and methodological framework that draws upon concepts and methods from sociology, visual culture, museum studies and institutional ethnography. The case study is contextualised through analysis of three key historical examples that provide the preconditions for current perspectives on the relationship between art and work in the public cultural institution: the 1951 Festival of Britain, Artist Placement Group (APG) and the Arts and Crafts Movement. The Southbank case study involves employee interviews, fieldwork observations and the interpretation of cultural objects. These provide the empirical evidence that enables reflection on how creative work and the public are constituted, and how the institution might be seen to exist as a site of struggle. These methods facilitate an assessment of the critical potential of creative work within and around the public cultural institution's self-defined boundaries and the specific historical, discursive and symbolic conditions through which it is enabled or disabled. Although the influence of neoliberal cultural policy cannot be underestimated in this context, the thesis concludes with an alternative suggestion for what the public cultural institution could be. It claims that the discursive tension between artistic and managerial agendas can act as a productive terrain for creative work in its broadest sense.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Arts ; Creative ability ; Culture