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RESEARCH

TRAVIS ASH in HOME, QTC, 2015. Photo by Stephen Henry

Margi’s PhD (2017) “House of Homes”, focuses on the artistry of belonging.

Abstract:

This arts-based thesis focuses on notions of mapping a home of belonging. By investigating creative ways to re-story our past, present, and future, it considers what we might do to satisfy this basic human longing and necessity. Born out of a personal need, the study could be seen as a response to the growing social problem of loneliness and anxiety throughout the Western world and, more particularly, in the arts industry.

Underpinned by a social constructionist paradigm, the research has engaged with a range of ideas and methods from Theatre, Postmodern Therapies, and the Human Potential Movement, as well as studies in Home culture and mythology. This interdisciplinary approach has been driven by my own arts practice, which was deployed to devise and stage three original performances—Home (2012, 2015), Eve (2012, 2017), and He Dreamed a Train (2014, 2017)—collectively entitled The Belonging Trilogy. These shows, generated over six years, became a way of writing new personal mythologies to create, and re-create, my own personal map of belonging in my world as a social artist. An outcome of this process was the development of the “Relational Impulse Cultural” (RIC) Process, a method that can enrich artists’ professional and personal lives.

The embodied inquiry has pioneered an artistic and therapeutic method that can be used for understanding and articulating where and what is “home” and “belonging.” While home is constantly changing, depending on who one is becoming, the dissertation details how it can be productively created through the active re-storying of Place/Space, Mythologies/Stories, and Relationships. This original framework offers a simple yet effective model of personal and professional transformation. Coupled with the RIC Process, the process moves the social artist into a place of curiosity, vibrancy, and awareness, with an ability to push the boundaries, knowing that things constantly change. It is no longer a question of “Who am I?” or “Who are you?” but rather “Who am I becoming?” and “Who are you becoming?” Relationally, it allows for difference, diversity, and acceptance, improving the social bonds within our communities, both personally and professionally.

Margi’s Master of Arts (2009) “Mouthful of Pins” explores collaborate practice in the rehearsal room.

Abstract:

A Mouthful of Pins constitutes the practical component (50 per cent) of a practice-led Master of Arts through the Creative Industries Faculty of Queensland University of Technology. This research reports on the attempt to create a constructionist/collaborative theatre-making process by incorporating postmodern constructs borrowed from the therapy room. The study asserts that, when applied with awareness, therapeutic frameworks can help members of the creative team – including the director, performers, writer, designers and technicians – to fulfil their artistic capacity, thereby enriching their process, their performance and their collaborative relationship with each other.
For this to occur, it is imperative that the director/facilitator stay curious and aware of how they lead their creative team, with particular care around their use of language, as well as an increased awareness of the multiple stories (including the sometimes invisible social, historical, political, theatrical and leadership discourses) that surround and impact the artist‟s process.
This research is designed to assist students of theatre, as well as established professional practitioners, to find an alternative approach for collaboration that can result in longevity of practice, while at the same time embracing best practice for their outgoing creativity.

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