Newman & Adams

The Question, the Material and the Ethos of Creative Research

Renee Newman

Lyndall Adams

Practice-led research and other tautologies of creative research have made their presence known in the past ten years. But to truly gauge this type of research design is to engage with a reflexive loop of question(s), material (s) and ethos. By question we are suggesting the motivations of the researcher, by material we are referring to the very matter of the chosen art form as well as the matter of the artist’s positionality and, by ethos we are suggesting the ‘character’ or guiding force of research itself. This paper is interested in how we might embrace these parameters in order to confront the frustrations often experienced by researchers in the academy as a false understanding that ‘ethics’ is a hindrance to the artistic spirit of invention. Paul Carter argues that the:

[Motivation] of the artist is not to add another object to an already crowded world…The impulse to make or invent something stems, rather from a growing sensation of silence, of loss, lack, incoherence or absence. (2007: 21)

We also suggest research is not only propelled by silence, lack or absence but an energetic tension between today and the possibilities of tomorrow; what can I say about what is already here, or what might I predict or project about what I might want to see in the future? We are interested in how the creative arts can foreground the question at the core of research as critical to the relationship between ethical parameters and t creative research.