Writing in Creative Practice: Towards Academic Publishing

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Piecing the jigsaw together… WRITING PAD

This interesting and thought provoking workshop focused on creative writing and how it can be turned into writing for academic publication. Nancy de Freitas, associate professor at AUT University, New Zealand and Editor-In-Chief of studies in material thinking, presented to us the context of material thinking practices, thinking about methods and insights on good structure, clear writing and style as an underpinning to research, processes, images, objects and spaces. Alkie Groppel-Wegener led genre in crafting academic writing, you can follow her on http://tactileacademia.wordpress.com/

To view full posting please go to http://heididonohoe.blogspot.co.uk/


Gavin Melles and Julia Lockheart, Writing purposefully in art and design: Responding to converging and diverging new academic literacy  http://ahh.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/02/28/1474022211432116

Nancy Roth, Writing as pretext: On the way to an image  http://ahh.sagepub.com/content/9/2/256

Robert Nelson, Toward a history of rigour: An examination of the nasty side of scholarship,  http://ahh.sagepub.com/content/10/4/374

Brian Paltridge, Sue Starfield, Louise Ravelli and Sarah Nicholson; Doctoral Writing in the Visual and Performing Arts: Issues and Debates



Lindy Norton

Award-winning artist Lindy Norton specialises in hauntingly atmospheric dry-point etchings and joyously colourful illustration. An experienced educator and practitioner, both areas of practical expertise inform her Illustration teaching at Hull School of Art and Design (HSAD).


She has 17 years’ commercial experience as a freelance illustrator in London, notably working on children’s books, greetings cards, wrapping paper and packaging. Her portfolio includes work for clients such as: World Wildlife Fund; Hamlyn; National Gallery Publications; Medici Society; Greenpeace; The Born Free Foundation; Boots; Marks And Spencers; and Random House. She does private commissions, and counts TV medic Dr Miriam Stoppard among her clients.

In recent years, she has shifted the focus of her personal practice towards fine art and exhibited her dry-point etching work in the Royal Academy in 2011. The following year, a large dry-point piece, Martin’s Room, won first prize in a competition at the Ropewalk gallery in Barton-upon-Humber, where she delivers regular workshops to beginners and experienced artists.

Visit www.the-ropewalk.co.uk for details of Lindy’s next dry-point printmaking workshop.

She also delivers workshops at Studio Eleven, in Humber Street, Hull, and is currently working towards a solo exhibition of drawings and etchings.

“My research is chiefly my own practice,” she says. “With my fine art dry-point work, I like the atmosphere of empty rooms and the quality of light coming through windows. You could say I’m exploring a sense of human presence without explicitly including the figures“.

Although Lindy says she loves to explore dry-point as a medium, she has not turned her back on her illustrative past.

“I still like the decorative qualities of the illustration work,” she says. “It’s more cheap and cheerful – in many ways, a happier piece of work than a dry-point.”

Lindy has a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from HSAD and an MA in Printmaking from Chelsea School of Art. While working as a freelance illustrator in London, she taught at Stourbridge School of Art, and returned to HSAD, this time as a lecturer, in 2000.


Some of her commercial illustration work can be seen HERE & HERE.

Helen Graham

Signs, symbols and mythology inform ceramist Helen Graham’s work.

Using handmade porcelain and terracotta forms, she creates thought-provoking works on themes such as politics, feminism and advertising.

Her current practice is a progression from her MA in Visual Arts.

Helen Graham three pots

Creating hand-built forms from Southern Ice porcelain – a “very white, very translucent and very expensive” material – Helen imposes recognisable contemporary symbols on to handled flasks that reflect Classical and pre-Classical history and mythology.

Helen says:

“I am interested in themes such as gender and semiotics, and aim to create a visual narrative through inlaid decoration. Some are obvious comments; others are more obtuse and open to interpretation.”

Forms are created to reflect Ancient Near Eastern and Greek designs and decorated with, for example, female and male symbols for toilets, mixed in with religious imagery such as a bishop’s mitre. Helen designed this work to question the current Pope’s pledge to address world poverty while rejecting women’s reproductive rights, and refers to it as a commentary on Christianity’s uneasy relationship with women.

“We live in a culture where women’s lives are determined by the ways in which they are perceived,” she says. “And yet, at the 2013 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the term “reproductive rights” was removed, such is the strength of the Vatican lobby”.

“I am fascinated by archaeology and ancient sites and am a complete trainspotter for pre-Christian imagery. Many pre-Christian religions had female deities but Christianity either maligned them, or appropriated them and their festivals.”

Other recent works include a series about the 2012 Olympics, depicting Jessica Ennis and a female Iraqi archer,

“it’s a comment about passivism and women as products”, says Helen.

She is currently building her practice in preparation for the pursuit of a PhD.

Prior to her MA studies, Helen completed a BA (Hons) in Art and Design at Bradford University, specialising in ceramics and print-making (1989). She worked on a Creative Workshop Scheme and, in 1990, won a Princes Trust grant to investigate Portuguese ceramics, such as azulejoes and decorated majolica ware.

Helen was a founder member of Prospect Mill Studios in Thornton, Bradford. She is a qualified and experienced silversmith and holds a PGCE qualification. She has been teaching at HSAD since 2000.

She exhibits and sells her work widely, most recently at the British Craft Fair, Dean Clough in Halifax and at Gallery Eleven in Hull as part of a Northern Potters’ Association show. Upcoming exhibitions include a display in the North York Moors visitor centre at Danby; the Lillian Coleman Gallery in St John’s Wood, London; and The Meeting Room at South Square Centre in Thornton, Bradford, in November.

You can view Helen’s ceramics at: www.helengraham.org.uk.

Naomi Bolser

Naomi Bolser

Based in Harrogate, Naomi has an impressive career track record. She has been involved in the production of art video since the late 1980s; is dedicated to art education; and has been teaching since 2000.

Inspiring students is key to Naomi’s educational philosophy.

“In the past, my community work has taken video production to people who wouldn’t normally have access to it,” she says. “I worked with community groups and individuals to create videos about issues that were important to them.”

Naomi has created video art installations, backed by grants the Arts Council and South West Arts.

“I’m doing a practice-based PhD at Leeds University,” she says. “This involves researching and building archives of Women’s Independent Moving Image Practice – it’s about exploring art video and its context.”

Asking Is There a Tradition of Women’s Independent Moving Image Practice? Naomi’s PhD research focuses on women’s roles in avante garde, art and experimental production, within both the historical and contemporary contexts. She aims to re-examine non-mainstream productions in light of recent feminist scholarship; and to build a canon of women’s practice for exhibition, that will include her own work. Naomi Is working towards an international exhibition in 2015.

“One of the most important aspects of this process is how the discipline and rigour of studying for a PhD informs my teaching,” she says. “It’s been extremely beneficial.”

Her personal archive of work, including an award-winning MA Super 8 video project, Timepiece, will form part of the research.

Timepiece was picked by contemporary art directory, Axis, to be one of its “MA Stars” in 2005.

Danielle Treanor, of Axis, says on the organisation’s website: “She gently instigates a genuine interaction from the viewer. She expects us to confront that strange epistemic distance that ‘film’ creates between the material and the mind’s eye and in doing so cleverly calls into question innate consumerism and ready acceptance of a mass media memory machine.”

Naomi has a degree in Cultural Studies from North East London Polytechnic, an MA in Video from Middlesex University and an MA in Fine Art from Leeds University, where she specialised in digital and super 8 moving image production. A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, in 2011 Naomi started a practice-based PhD at the Institute of Communication Studies, Leeds University.

Other works – Walk In The Park