The lecture from our third visiting lecturer, Les Bicknell, was riveting.  He was speaking just to me.

Les is a lecturer at Camberwell and Norwich.

(It is very difficult to continue with this blog because I spent 2.5 hours typing up my notes and researching items mentioned by Les and when I return to complete the blog it has all disappeared.)

Defining Research with Practice

What do I like doing?

Why do I make work?

What’s my work for?

What do I want from my work?  Attempt to make sense of the world, strategies/planning/research/audience

What do I get from my work?

What is my work about?

Who is my audience?

Where does my work go?

What is it that I do and why?

Write a verb list of all I do and don’t do.

Research my own practice.


Les commented that if he had to rent work space then he would feel obligated to make money from his art and that would influence his work.  I can understand that.

Your work is informed by where and how you are working.  Size of space, location, noise factor.

Making Connections

Use what you love in your work.

Where is the research strand?

Art history

Music – instruments / scores / collaborative

Dance – negative spaces

Writing – thinking / reading / space / sound / theories / thoughts

General history

Geography, place

Contemporary practice – methodology / sampling / sketch book / role as an artist in society       Science – problem solving / lateral thinking / sharing

 What is my role as an artist in society?

Contextual Framework









Recognise that I am changing to accommodate the course.

Influence of childhood on what you do

What is influencing me?  THINK ABOUT THIS IT IS CRUCIAL.

What is the project about?

What don’t I know about?

Research has to start with my practice.

Reflective Practice

Mind mapping to get the ideas out of my head.  Starting point for research.

Frank Gehry sketches.  Sketch ideas.


Decide on what an idea should become.

Look at what exists already.

Look at the work of others.

Reflect on my initial intention.

What is it for?

Where does it go?  Weatherproof, scale.

Who is it for?

Copy existing writing or art work to get a ‘feel’ for the artist.

Look at Kenneth Goldsmith, founder of ubuweb.

Kenneth Goldsmith (born 1961) is an American poet. He is the founding editor of UbuWeb, teaches Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a Senior Editor of PennSound.

Design Thinking








Linear interaction

Fluid way of thinking.


Record -thoughts / ideas /  observations

Reflecting – gain an understanding

Analyse – who researching

Conclude – setting out what you have thought

At library take the book to the right of the one you want.


carry means of recording with you.

Write often

Record dates/time

Without hesitation

Even if not relevant


what happened?  Why?  What do I think?  What should I do as a result?  How do I do this?


Lateral thinking

problem solving

Material understanding

experimental investigation

research skills


testing (colour theory/perception)-

sampling (series of paintings within set of parameters)

designing (articulate/explore)


Reflect – why didn’t I?  Back to research.

Where to star?

Film – Mark kermode podcasts

in our Time – Melvyn Bragg

Bibliographies- check influences



When does a book end?  What is it for?  How do you disprove it is not a book?

Made of mirrors?  Bound together?  Bricks in a wall?

Order, control, power.

Role of book in relation to order, containment, knowledge.

Writers write text not books.

Is FB an episode of you.

Covers of books-roofs.

Stacking, ordering, layering

.British Library- palm leaf bindings.

David Nash sculpture

Christo’s Valley Curtain

Text on body a book, tattoo?

Pub sign read history of place.


Hamish Fulton

Read a knotted rope

Nathalie Meibach

Role of book in relation to order, containment, knowledge.

Architecture relative to book.

Les Bicknell’s work.

Collect with no purpose.

Smocking relative to landscape.

Folding, meaning.

Categorisation research.

Pitt Rivers Oxford

Work informed by Morning crepe fabric.

Change materials for a different perspective .

Diverse exhibition spaces.  Libraries, foyers.  Giant images.  Artist info archives.

Materials that make a shift, B&Q, electrical wholesaler.







Author: susanmilleruk

Watercolour painter living, working and loving Hastings and St Leonards on Sea. MA in Fine Art.

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