Steven A. Evans


This research project is a practice-led investigation of how strong emotion influences my creative actions. Through the development and articulation of a methodology for facilitating creative activity, the project considers how these emotions determine which intrinsic interests compel me to create works of art and design. Fundamental to the development of the methodology was the formulation of a comprehensive walking method designed to engage the body, awaken the mind and, through the designation of markers, establish consistently accessible mental/physical spaces wherein creative thinking can be fostered. Given the current interest in the role that walking can play in facilitating creative thought, (Oppezzo and Schwartz, 2014) I argue that my establishing of route markers into such processes, and incorporating individualized meditative techniques represents a significant contribution to this debate. Through my experimentation with walking as research method, I exposed the profound influence past traumatic childhood experiences have had on my creative choice-making, which is also closely linked to a personal identity that derives from the culture I was raised in and my faith traditions. An awareness of the dynamic between cultural shaping of personal identity and the impact of past trauma is key to the potential transfer of the methodology to others. My developing understanding of my practice drew on commentary on artists, including Richard Long, Paul Klee and Joseph Beuys. My research draws on a range of theories of creativity as diverse of those of Margaret A. Boden and David Bohm; writings on walking, such as the work of Rebecca Solnit; ideas on making by Timothy Ingold, and philosophical writings by Jean Paul Sartre and Soren Kierkegaard, among others. My findings are presented as a series of iterations in different media, which invite the reader to consider successively closer approximations to the experience of my research-based discoveries. Enhanced by the application of my methodology, my art-making was invigorated both personally and in my role as a college professor. In summary, this thesis distills the comprehensive nature of my investigation and reveals how intrinsic interest, creative states of consciousness, emotion and practice-led phenomenology intersect.

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