Arts practice as a site of knowledge/research: An Australian perspective of the artist in academia
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Due, in part, to the previous lack of recognition for arts practice as research, artists working as academics in Australia have been active in a growing body of writings addressing different approaches to practice-led research. In February 2008 the Australian Federal Labor government announced Excellence for Research in Australia (ERA), a new research framework that formally recognizes the research component of many creative works. There is now formal recognition of both the practice itself, and of practice-led writing. This paper draws on interviews conducted prior to the implementation of ERA with eight artist-academics employed at Australian universities. The study sought participants’ views on their arts practice as research or a site of knowledge. The relationships and interactions between the work of the artist and the work of the academic were being constantly negotiated and emerged as integral to the recognition of practice as research. Participants’ views appeared to be shaped by the creative medium in which each worked, and while responses married with views in the literature, several new issues were identified. Findings suggest many ways of writing about and teaching the knowledge contained within the artistic process and product. This knowledge has particular value to the academy in different locations.
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