Expressive Material and the Making Practitioner

Author: Nithikul Nimkulrat

peer-reviewed conference paper, 2007

This paper aims to explore the expressive qualities of material used in artefacts in material-based arts. The expressive qualities contribute to the ‘active’ role of material both in the process of making and in the completion of the artefacts. This exploration seeks to answer the research question: how expression arises in the creative process in relation to the material-ness of the materials employed in the artefacts. The paper is based on my ongoing doctoral research examining the relationship between the material (paper) and the artistic expression in the context of contemporary textile art. The focus of this research is on the materials used, as material-based arts lay emphasis on the materials (in this case, paper strings), techniques, and craftsmanship. In this research, I position myself as a practitioner-researcher who physically and psychically experiences her own practice and intends to uncover her creative process. This process is experiential, derived from my involvement in making specific artefacts. This experience is documented in the forms of photographs and a working diary that can be used as data for analysis. This data also includes the resulting artefacts that can be studied to seek the explanation of artistic experience. My exhibition 'Paper World', and the exhibits will be examined as the case study. This paper will clarify how I work as a practitioner-researcher who transforms paper strings into artefacts, and how I interpret and reflect on the artefacts when they are being made and when they are completed.

Suggested Citation: Nimkulrat, N. (2007). Expressive Materials and the Making Practitioner. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of Design History Society (Design/Body/Sense). Kingston, UK: University of Kingston.