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My, your, our stories: a processual investigation of artistic interventions with everyday ceramic objects

O’Neill, Cara-Jane (2018) My, your, our stories: a processual investigation of artistic interventions with everyday ceramic objects. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

People and objects are inherently intertwined, what this research does, through the process of working with others (people / place / object), is to surface the narratives that form the connections between people with objects, and in doing so, raises the social and cultural value of the everyday ceramic objects we encounter. Through a practice-based approach, the research moves between social, object and craft theories, reflecting on context, collaboration, narrative and the nature of creativity. Working with everyday ceramic objects, a series of investigative experiments are undertaken, the results analysed and taken forward in a processual manner. The research builds on the ceramic objects and writings of Slotte (2011, 2012), Rylander (2012), Barford (2011) and Veiteberg (2004, 2005a, 2005b, 2008, 2011a, 2011b), in combination with social and object theories from Ingold (2007, 2013, 2017, 2018), Dissenayake (1992, 2003) and Leach (2004), bringing a more specific focus on the social impact of everyday ceramic objects. I make a significant contribution to the field of contemporary ceramic practice and theory through this thesis and the socially engaged practice highlighted within it, demonstrating the latent potential of everyday ceramic objects to make visible the connections to others when activated through narrative. This research is not just about a model of creative practice. It questions the role of the everyday ceramic objects in our lives. Through the projects, objects and writings presented within this research, it is clear that by activating the agency of everyday ceramic objects through engagement, we can make visible our narrative connections with others, acknowledging the importance of others in our lives. These narratives become not mine, not yours, but ours. My, Your, Our Stories

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