Where is the Love? Art, aesthetics and research

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2007. Where is the Love? Art, aesthetics and research. Journal of Social Work Practice, 21(3), pp. 271-287. ISSN 0265-0533 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper discusses the use of different forms of artistic representation (poems, images, music, literature) to convey research findings. It theorises creativity as emerging from the precarious interplay between external and internal worlds that can surprise and demand invention and representation. Using examples from palliative care and ideas from post-structuralism and psychoanalytic aesthetics, the article examines the form and content of art works as encounters and events which can 'make way' for what is beyond immediate recognition and experience, both how things 'might be' and the 'not yet'. In tracing my own experiences of where artistic representations come from, I suggest that such representations can involve an emotional, sensual and corporeal opening out to others that involves the suspension of intellect. Through this discussion I argue that art can touch people and convey complex and incoherent notions of difference and otherness, precisely because of its ambiguities and insecurities of meaning. This ambiguity means that the lived experience of public presentation through and with art is always a gamble, based on risk and vulnerability for both the presenter and the audience. The basis of this mutual vulnerability is seen as productive and connective.

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Date Deposited:

23 Apr 2010 07:24

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 09:21

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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