Having a funny research day today. Started planning my presentation for my PhD progression point, but I find it hard to spend a whole lot of time on the same thing, so I’ve more or less done the slides, which for today I think is an achievement. I will carry on with this tomorrow and then start practicing it out loud to the dog (he loves a presentation practice).
The main reason of suddenly wanting to write this though was because I realised I hadn’t typed up a few of my lost love stories that I had collected most recently.
I have had the others typed up for me as I felt this was just a ‘job’ that needed to be done, but actually I think it is a big part of the making process and getting into the stories and the minds of the people who’s lost love they are talking about.
I began reading and typing at the same time and the overwhelming urge to analyse using my ‘artists voice’ came into my head. When the writer talked about that she wished her Nana had taught her how to crochet it felt like a jigsaw piece that would be used in the making of the artefact.
I have been struggling over the last few weeks with the concept of using the same materials (leather and silicone) as I always have used, but this has just allowed me to break free of that and think that I can work in other ways!
So my idea is to re-type up the stories using my artists voice to try and do some initial designing using words and then pictures to see what happens!
Over the past couple of days, since receiving my draft report back, i’ve been re-looking at what I am trying to achieve. I got some good feedback back from my supervisor and realised what i’d written was too in-depth and what should be going into an essay rather than that of a report. I realised I hadn’t been looking at my key aims as I wrote and underpinning my theory with my practice or these aims so no wonder I couldn’t get it right!
I went back to ‘Visualizing Research‘ by Carole Gray and Julian Malins which has been really helpful in terms of working out how to correlate the practical making side with the theory side. Just doing the map above of my research question along with each of the aims and where they are covered within the practical or theory side has really helped. It also shows the links between each of the areas which I suppose was just what I needed to do to see how it fitted. I still have to add all the people/books etc I’ve looked at to the diagram, but this can then be used for the overall mapping of the project.
I am now trying to re-focus on my literature and so have done a breakdown of ‘love’s terms of how this fits in with my making and my data collection that I have already done. This has shown that child for parent and grandparent is the most submitted, followed by romantic love. Love for a lost child has not been submitted at all. This might be because it is too emotional to talk about. Other areas lacking were that of friendship. This may be due to it not being considered ‘love’ as such. I’ve then got to compare to my making.
Better get on with it!
I’ll start off with a picture. This is a picture of the wall I look at when I’m sat at my desk trying to write things for my PhD or if i’m making things at my desk. I don’t ‘do’ photos or people around the house or in frames, so it is all condensed to this one wall in the spare room where only I come. It’s a little collection of all the ‘loved’ ones I have or had in my life, mum and dad, grandpa and granny, Tim, the dogs and other things like a Russian Beatles Yellow Submarine picture given to me by a boy (Tim Fox) at school who shared the same birthday as me (he’s actually in a really cool band now) and a Joe Cool patch that came from my mum’s sewing box ( I love Snoopy). All stuff that reminds me of things.
I’ve sat here today having received my report back with a few big changes I have to make. It feels so hard to try to write what I’m supposed to say as I’ve ‘written’ all my life, letters, diaries, stories etc: But trying to write for this PhD seems so hard and frustrating. It’s annoying the way academia strips the enjoyment out of things that you love. Making has always been my first and foremost favourite thing. Always wanting to try new things (at the moment, rug making, candle making, using a lathe, sewing a bag and making some shoes are all on the to do list). But when framed in an academic context and having to do it for something rather than myself seems to take away the pleasure in the doing.
My supervisor has been great and I’ve probably had way more support than I should have had. He sent my report back this morning with changes and we spoke on the phone about what I need to do, I just find it very hard. It’s an odd time of year too as academic skills tutors and other staff aren’t about to ask so I feel a little bit like I’m struggling through this with not much clue as what should be…As much as I am told, I just can’t seem to frame it right.
Right so now for the onwards and upwards bit…I am going to first print my report out so I can see it in front of me. I’m going to take it to the coffee shop and read through and scribble all over it and try to make some sense as I find this easier on paper. I’ve downloaded an Ebook called Visualising research, but I think I need to get the real one out of the library tomorrow so I will do that then.
This afternoon I’m going to focus on the literature review re-framing.
OK just needed to get that out. I’m sure this is what happens with the highs and lows of the PhD process and I’m sure i’m not the only one and I’m also sure that this is not the most important thing in my life…it’s the people in pictures on the wall 🙂