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An exploration of embodied narrative in ceramic vessels

Jones, David (2016) An exploration of embodied narrative in ceramic vessels. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

In this exegesis it is argued that the development of ideas explicated through selected works from my artistic practice, and supported by the contextualisation offered by my two books, constitutes a new contribution to the field. This commentary charts the development of a language of making, developed through the process and writing about raku and high-fired ceramics; it then evolved through installation practice and appropriation to frame a new personal expressive direction to the work. The main methodological approach is an analysis through the practice itself as a tool of research. This fits the paradigm of Practice as Research (PaR) as an analytical tool that can provide revelatory insights into artistic output; the revelations derived from this analysis are read through the lens of phenomenology. This philosophical perspective is developed, through the critical tool of PaR, into a metaphoric concern, where the clay body of a ceramic vessel can also be read as a human body. The argument is developed through a critique of the narratives embodied in the work that have become evident to me through the interwoven activities of making and reflective writing. To this end, a trajectory is charted through significant submissions; this narrative commences by examining individual vessels, via an analysis of related pieces in exhibitions to an emergent installation-practice that reveals new insights and a new reading of the work as by a second-generation Holocaust survivor.

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