In 2016 I completed my Practice based PhD. The title of my research was Process made visible: in and outside the object.
The social and theoretical context for my research is the well- documented sense of estrangement from manufacture processes of the materials and objects that surround us (described by a range of thinkers: Karl Marx, James Heartfield, Matthew Crawford, or the artist Robert Morris).
At the centre of the study is ‘The Archive of Manufacture’, an ‘archival artwork’ (Hal Foster) especially collated for the research. The Archive responds to the question – how do we know how something is made - and gathers together ‘points of visibility’ - secondary sources where process is made visible, from industry, craft, popular culture, and press coverage.
Methods of art practice were employed as critical forms of looking to explore specific examples from The Archive. In particular, close reading as a ‘meticulous visual analysis’ (Shepard Steiner), was developed to incorporate the written form of ekphrasis, and interrogative material and visual making processes.
Through the production of a body of artworks, I explored the misunderstandings and mythologising of making process that can form through misreading visual and material evidence, thereby describing a major effect of our distanced relationship with manufacture as described by Marx etc
Examiners: Professor Paul Seawright (Ulster University), Dr Rowan Bailey (University of Huddersfield), Professor Ian Gwilt (Sheffield Hallam University)