Performing relational research through collaborative art-making

Year: 2016

Author: Gannon, Susanne, Eacott, Scott, McLean, Jan, Gower, Graeme

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This presentation traces my engagement with relational research through collaborative installation, performance art and art therapy in three contexts: a collaborative art exhibition for an international art therapy conference earlier this year; an arts-based research partnership with people living with persistent and serious mental health issues; and the small, informal and sometimes barely noticed exchanges that constitute the relationship between education and research in an art therapy training course. One of the difficulties and pleasures of this work is that I can scarcely claim authorship - rather I will offer a further iteration that seeks to do justice to the relations and becomings, the human and non-human intra-actions between people, art materials, philosophies, places and even the weather, that make such research possible. Relational research, in this view, exceeds both the hyper-individualism of neoliberal education and the humanistic focus of liberal education. "The idea is to do collaborative research, to be in touch, in ways that enable response-ability" (Barad, 2012, p. 208), thereby engaging with a 'liveliness' that exceeds conventional notions of agency and relationality.