Replies to wounds: An aesthetic dialogue about experiences of violence
Full Exhibition Show: Artist-Researcher & Participants
This exhibit is a complex and reverberating conversation about the experience of violence, expressed through art work. Like anyone walking into a crowded room when a lot of people are talking, the viewer may want to take a little time to really listen to or, in this case, to see the different strains of dialog.
The exhibit contains three layers of responsive dialog across multiple events and time. The first layer of expression is from the WSU Clothesline Project T-shirt narratives, an annual public art display and protest about the experience of violence. The second layer is an aesthetic reply to the Clothesline Project narratives by me, the artist/researcher. And, the last layer was made by WSU students, who participated in an open studio and created artwork in response to the first two layers. The works of art speak frankly, ask questions, and demand answers, which creates an unfolding dialog regarding the experience of violence. This project is an active process of continual reconsideration that reveals and unfolds, not just depicts or contains.
As well, this exhibit is part of an arts-informed research project that works to understand expressed meanings across the layers of artful interpretations, with implications for educational strategies about difficult topics.
Many ask: How can artwork be research? The central purposes of arts-informed research are (1) to enhance understanding of the human condition through creative inquiry processes and (2) to reach multiple audiences by making scholarship more accessible.
Arts-informed research interpretations are derived from textual, form, and design analysis of artefacts and the imaginative poiesis of artful re-presentations. The methodology brings together the processes and forms of artwork with scholarly qualitative inquiry and expansive dissemination to multiple audiences.
It is through the creation of artful re-presentations combined with the textual/design analysis that new knowledge and meanings are rendered. The analytic processes of arts-informed research allow me to look at recurring themes and contexts emerging from the data, specific linguistic, form, and media choices, and varying modes of meaning making.
~Patricia L. Maarhuis, PhD