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Knitting from the landscape: what are the interrelations between maker, material and landscape?

Kerrs, Harriet Irma (2018) Knitting from the landscape: what are the interrelations between maker, material and landscape? Masters thesis (MA), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the interrelationships between Author-Practitioner-Researcher (APR), material and landscape, when working site-specifically from within their own landscape. It establishes the emotional connections between APR and crafted-garment and divulges the changing relationship of APR with landscape when used as the source of her crafts-practice (spinning, dyeing and knitting). This research addresses a lack of published literature by practitioner-researchers that tackles subjective reflections and emotional connections within their crafts-practice. The enquiry is an Auto – Anthropological reflective practice, putting the APR at the centre of the research, which highlights subjectivity as an intrinsic element of craft-research. Utilising experiential knowledge the APR’s developing perception and knowledge of the landscape in response to producing crafted-garments in this site-specific practice is ascertained. Cognitive mapping and journal analysis is employed to evaluate changes to the APR’s Umwelt, divulging her developing relationship with landscape. Reflective-practice enabled a qualitative evaluation of the making processes, through the experiences recorded in the reflective journal and compared against positioning statements, this revealed that ‘rawness’ acts as a conduit between the APR and the landscape. This holistic method of working also affected the development of an in-depth understanding of material and skill. The design consideration of the crafted-garments reflected the APR’s developing relationship with landscape, revealing that she had begun to design for her life within the landscape, originally designing garments to aesthetically reflect the landscape, intimating how her practice had become entwined with her life within the landscape. Analysis of the crafted-garments revealed memories and narrative had become embedded within them. The extent of the emotional attachment experienced between APR and the crafted-garments after their completion is established, being affected by the involvement of community within their production. The degree to which the crafted-garments created in this site-specific research act as a conduit to landscape is divulged as being derived through their authentic method of production.

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