Research Methodologies - Narrowing Down / by Ally McGinn

So I'm 10 posts into the blog and have been finding my keywords shifting and changing with the ongoing research.

As a place marker i wanted to revisit those keywords and see how they have shifted.

From my perspective, I feel that the keywords have shifted into a more defined realm. Which in itself is extremely useful to my practice.

Through the creation and writing of this blog, I have found the activity itself (including the consideration of research methodologies) to be the most valuable, over the research subjects (which have undoubtedly been interesting).

Anyone reading this blog from the beginning will quickly realise that I have struggled with articulating this immense subject. My initial narrowing down was somewhat forced, I felt pressured to define a focus but the development of the words has become more organic over the space of a few weeks.

We have been encouraged to limit our keywords to 6.

·             Incident (impermanence/temporality)

·             Nomination (Found Objects)

·             Perception (Semiotics)

·             Human Activity (Artist/Audience)

·             Process

·             Subversion (Perception)

The words in brackets are indicators for myself of the area of the keyword that i might be most interesting.

These words can all be related to the ways we explore and experience art.


In order to connect my practice and research, I've spent some time using the keywords developed through practice into a rough artists statement that describes what I am doing in the studio.

This statement will help form questions around these interests and could lead to a further narrowing down of my keywords.

While rough, this statement will serve as a foundation going forward.

As it is based on viewing my studio practice through my keywords it is quite different in focus to previous statements. Which in itself is an interesting point to note. An answer may be found in a combination of the two, or an acknowledgement of their differences.


"I am an installation artist exploring the nomination of the incidental in art. Working with a subversion of organised activity my work asks questions of temporal perception. What tells us something is a piece of art? The process, the artist, the viewer, the experience or the collaboration of that and more? My practice explores these questions with a combination of found objects and manipulated semiotics.

Creating conversations through relational aesthetics the viewer is invited to step into the real space of the work to explore juxtapositions of incident and chance against an organised reliance on the interior and exterior of the ‘Artworld’."

Previous statement

"I am a conceptual painter and installation artist interested in the nomination of the incidental and unwanted as ‘Art’ using a subversion of traditional media and found objects to form new conversations and relationships between materials, viewer and space.
Representing the process of making, and re-presenting that process to the viewer."

Previous Keywords - Art, accident, subversion, found objects, viewer, space, process, authorship, experience, nomination, perspective.


No bibliography this time.

Next post - not sure yet, I've got quite a few on the go at the moment.