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Title: In the forest, field and studio : art/making/methodology and the more-than-written in the rendering of place
Author: Thomson, Amanda Repo Taiwo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 0568
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2013
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This is an interdisciplinary arts practice based PhD that incorporates fieldwork into its exploration of Abernethy Forest in Cairngorms National Park, and Culbin Forest in Morayshire, Scotland. The thesis explores how a contemporary arts practice can articulate a place’s multi-layered complexities and how processes of coming to know influence and impact on the kinds of artworks created. This way of working incorporates an innovative approach that draws on geographical, anthropological, historical and ecological sources, and includes the synthesis of a contemporary arts practice with an ethnographic element - more specifically participant observation, with foresters, ecologists and others - as a mode of gathering. Description and examination of encounters in the field give context to the artwork and provide additional knowledge that lends insight into management practices and the knowledge that these workers possess. The research constitutes an original contribution to investigations of the forests of Culbin and Abernethy and correspondingly innovative outputs. This research proposes that a contemporary arts practice can articulate and communicate aspects and elements of place in ways that offer insights to artists, geographers, anthropologists and others. Central to this is the idea that places are multi-layered, everchanging, embodied, active and containing complex ecological, sensorial and physical histories and presences. Communicating these understandings requires a multi-faceted way of working and multi-modal ways of articulation in recognition of place as an experiential field of investigation. The art produced forms a non-linear, multi-stranded body of work that emphasises the benefits of multiple formats within an arts practice. The thesis enhances and further complicates conceptualisations of place that in geography and anthropology are often restricted to academic writing and demonstrates how artists and others can usefully enlarge and expand the ways in which places can be articulated and rendered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Forestry Commission ; University of the Highlands and Islands ; Highland & Islands Enterprise
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Landscapes ; Art and geography ; Interdisciplinary research ; Forests and forestry ; Highlands (Scotland)