PART 2 – A theoretical framework

2.0 A reflection on progress so far

My original intention had been to run the Advanced practice and Visual research units in parallel so that one could feed into the other. For a number of personal and creative reasons this didn’t happen.

After six months, having almost completed the Advanced practice, I re-engaged with my visual research project by kicking off a new stream of Visual development. It started with a deep reflection on the outcome I want to achieve through practice research. This clarified why I was doing the project and enabled me to design how I’d approach the visual development and what I’d actually do.

2.0.1 Visual research outcome

AS THE Researcher, I want to understand how artists were impacted by the first waves of the Coronavirus pandemic and what their response was

SO THAT I can:

  • Use these stories and findings as input into my pandemic diary project to either frame the work and/or as new content.


  • Submitted the critical review following the process steps and quality defined in the coursework and assignments
  • Listened and responded to tutor input and feedback
  • Completed the visual development experiments
  • Integrated written work with visual development/practice research
  • Proposed what to do next with the pandemic diary (this might conclude doing nothing or stopping altogether)

2.1 Identify your format

2.1.1 How written and visual work will integrate

The structure of the critical review will have logical places for written work and visual work:

  • Introduction
  • Background and context
  • Qualitative research (written work)
    • Process
    • Analysis
    • Findings
  • Practice research (visual work)
    • Hypotheses
    • What happened
    • What I learned
  • Bringing it all together
    • This will emerge as part of the process
  • Conclusion

2.1.2 Final written format

The critical review will be a personally aligned area of focus exploring how the practice of artists has been impacted by experience of the pandemic. The report will present stories, insights and lessons, and document development of my pandemic diary project as I investigate ways to tell my own story.

2.1.3 Additional display format to supplement final format

One of the outcomes of the visual development experiments is to find a more effective way to present the pandemic diary project. If successful, one of the outputs I would expect is a prototype of the pandemic diary. The size and shape of this will become known through doing the practice research.

One finding of the research could be to stop development of the project in which case there would be nothing additional to show,

2.2 Theoretical framework

This project uses an experimental framework. Content is emerging iteratively in response to discoveries made through “doing the work”.

2.3 Research methodologies

The written research will be conducted using a survey to record qualitative information through interviews and questionnaires.

Practice research (visual development) will be reflective practice exploring various hypotheses using an experimental framework.

2.4 Data gathering

The purpose of data gathering is to capture qualitative information through the stories and experiences of participants.

The data gathering methods will include a combination of interviews and questionnaires.

Although it would be possible to capture quantitative data using a questionnaire (this is how the study of the effect of the pandemic on creativity in students was conducted) (Karwowski, M. et al. (2021)), this approach is too closed and constrained to provide me with the rich content and experiences I want to collect.

2.5 Draft literature & resources review

This section was created and submitted as work-in-progress in a Microsoft Word document.


The tables below are a self-assessment against the Visual research learning outcomes and assessment criteria outlined in the coursework introduction.

Learning outcomes self assessment

Demonstrate a coherent and detailed understanding of your chosen area of interest, informed by recent research and your own visual investigation.Coherent and detailed understanding will emerge through experimentation and the qualitative research process.
Use appropriate research and data collection methods to support a written and visual body of work.An experimental approach, where learning emerges through “probe, sense, respond” (About – Cynefin Framework – The Cynefin Co, 2021), is an effective response to complex situations where there are “unknown unknowns”.
Structured qualitative research using interviews and questionnaires should result in rich data and stories that meet the requirements of this personally aligned area of focus.
Analyse, evaluate and synthesise ideas from appropriate research sources construct and present a written argument and practical/visual investigation that informs and is informed by your personal visual language.Analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information has not yet started.

Assessment criteria self assessment

Creativity – Employ creativity in the process of observation, interpretation, problem analysis, proposing, visualising and/or making; articulate independent judgements and a personal creative voice (30%).The project will use research and practice research to creatively explore a personally aligned area of focus. A core outcome is to find ways to extend and apply my personal creative voice to a large and growing body of work.
Research and idea development – Source, analyse and assimilate research material and develop, test and evaluate ideas in order to generate ideas and solutions (20%).The research methods and visual practice are designed to assimilate new approaches and thinking with existing imagery and content to create new and innovative solutions.
Visual and technical skills – Use visual skills in visualising, making and presenting, and materials, techniques and technologies to communicate ideas and information (30%).The source materials demonstrate a large and diverse set of visual skills and chart visual development and maturity across a period of 620 consecutive days (so far). The core outcome of the project is to find a way to develop and present this pandemic diary content in an interesting and engaging way.
Context – Exercise awareness of appropriate historical, critical, professional and/or emerging contexts and debates; be informed by underlying concepts, principles and working practices; and use critical and reflective skills to support a self-directed and sustained personal and/or professional position (20%).The research subject is absolutely contemporary because it is concerned with how visual artists responded to/are responding to the unfolding coronavirus pandemic and how this correlates with/influences my own visual response to the same unprecedented situation.



About – Cynefin Framework – The Cynefin Co (2021) At: (Accessed 04/12/2021).

Karwowski, M. et al. (2021) ‘Creative Lockdown? A Daily Diary Study of Creative Activity During Pandemics’ In: Frontiers in psychology 12 p.600076.

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