Developing a researcher perspective during the course of a fine art research degree: Issues relating to supervision

Year: 2008

Author: Holbrook, Allyson, Simmons, Beverly, St George, Jennifer, Lawry, Miranda, Graham, Anne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

There is ongoing debate about the research basis of creative industries and, specifically, about what constitutes the doctorate. While there is a desire among the artistic community for creative arts doctorates to be regarded as equivalent to traditional degrees, there is also concern that 'traditional' research methodologies may dominate or influence alternative 'artistic' research practices (Piatanida et al. 2003). An issue within the debate concerns the identification of an agreed research dimension to the exhibition, composition and/or performance components of practice-based research, such that these outcomes can be situated with the written thesis of the traditional research disciplines (Durling 2000; Sullivan 2004).

In response to the needs of a developing research field, this investigation seeks to inform research training by an in-depth study of how Masters and Doctoral research candidates understand and conduct their research in Fine Art Schools with a typical research training programme. It explores candidates' approaches and skills development in Fine Art research, and analyses the issues relating to creative and visual knowledge arising from their research experiences. In particular, this paper reports findings relating to how Masters and Doctoral candidates perceive they develop research understandings during the course of a research degree, and how supervisory and regulatory practices shape their project and their learning.