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Title: The next best thing
Author: Barrett, Martin Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 9330
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2013
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The collective discourse within the Doctorate has been of particular importance to me as my practice has generally been a solitary experience. The title of my Doctorate came from a quote by the German artist Anselm Keifer. In an interview he was asked when he first thought about becoming an artist. He said that he had decided to be a priest when he was seven years old but was told that only God could make that choice. He consequently decided that being an artist ‘was the next best thing’. I have often felt that art practice borders on being a belief system and this quote underlines this. Making art would, in ancient times, have been an important and pious activity and I think somehow this attitude has been carried down over the centuries into our secular world. The report is divided into a number of sections starting with this Introduction and an autobiographical context; the main part of the report covers my creative practice, theoretical research and professional practice. The guidance for theoretical research advises looking at the writing around artists that one admires or who have influenced ones work. I found this particularly challenging as many of the artists that have influenced me during my career have died. I did manage this, after a few false starts, by reading about Cornelia Parker’s discovery of the writings of Noam Chomsky. Subsequently I have researched James Lovelock, Felix Guattari, Richard Sennett, Iain McGilchrist, Richard Kearney. Daniel Kahneman and many other writers as well as looking at artists like Grayson Perry, Ian Hamilton Findlay, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rachel Whiteread and Bill Woodrow. I have decided, in discussion with my supervisors, to approach the main section by discussing the key works that I have produced throughout the programme and reflecting on all the aspects of research, influences and professional outcomes that have surrounded these works. In my conclusion I have summarized the outcomes of the Professional Doctorate in Fine Art and how it has informed my practice and particularly its impact on my approach to teaching.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.) Qualification Level: Doctoral