Academic research includes much personal reflection and reference to those who have trodden such paths before. (The image above if of ‘Being’, a piece of work related to the centenary celebration of the teaching of art at the University of Aberystwyth in 2018. Being sits near a studio, alongside some of the School of Arts’ artefacts.)

The proposal for this research arose from the recognition that processes of practice play an important role in the lives of creative people. When access to this creativity is not possible life can become more challenging. The question this research seeks to address is how to identify what creative people require in order to access, manage and sustain their practice processes throughout different phases of their lives.

Creativity exists in many diverse forms. Its practitioners may be domestic, unconventional, outsiders, emerging or established. A Fine Art PhD research is practice-led, entailing the researcher employing their own processes of practice (whatever they might be), to help address the question within the proposal.

Treasured family recipes include trusted processes, but no matter how well practised they are, they can also invite exploration. Processes create moments of anticipation, trepidation and excitement, such are the elements of research within the PhD process.

Enquiring into the worlds of fellow creatives (by devising a questionnaire), created considerable additional but nevertheless rewarding work.

Alongside personal practice research, this research involved conversations with individuals. Unfortunately, due to ill-health it was not possible to develop these as had originally been intended. It was decided to convert the conversation trigger questions into an electronic questionnaire which could be emailed to invited participants.

The questionnaire also provided participants with a structured and informed learning opportunity to reflect upon their own practice. Returned responses could be in the form of electronic text, audio or video recordings. Confidentiality (in accordance with GDPR Act 2018), being maintained by anonymising the data.

Searching through academic sources and employing methodologies which uncover information from people, literature and modern media are involved in the continued trawl for valuable information.


Conversations, texts, newspapers, magazines, journals, literature, radio, television, video and sound archives provide information and trigger thoughts.