Wednesday's Creative Research Methods collage workshop was a calm and productive interlude in the morning - thanks to all the participants who worked with such focus and generosity. We discussed visual and creative methods as research and community project evaluation in Sue Challis' ESRC Case Collaborative PhD research (useful bibliography here Bibliography Creative Methods  ), necessary skills, ethical considerations and benefits - while participants made their own reflective collages - looking for inspiration, extended thinking time, new insights and their own wellbeing... Gallery of collages above and below

Collage made by health worker (see below)
Image Sue Challis
The intuitive method of collage draws out mor
complex notions about

experience, disrupting and challenging safer, more traditional textual
routes, leading to learning that is both personal and significant’   
 Butler-Kisber, L,Poldma, T (2009) ‘The power of visual approaches in qualitative inquiry: the use of collage making and concept mapping in experiential research’, EKSIG Conference Experiential Knowledge, Method and Methodology Paper 19 June 2009 (Click on link to pdf)
The collage above was made by a health worker in 2013 as part of my research into the role of creativity in helping to order or provoke thought and extend thinking time. Its creator described the process of making it: "The collage was about the assessment of the mental health of a teenager who is extremely vulnerable to sexual exploitation. X takes many drugs and frequently threatens suicide. X is very verbally abusive to those who try to care for because of abuse in the family of origin. The collage also deals with the response of organisations surrounding X and the difficulties in their relationships with each other. The hanged figure represents both X and another worker caught up on the turmoil surrounding X . The orange jagged line represents the panic felt by staff. The Arabic script triangles/ shards represent the impossibility of putting our concern/ X's situation/ our situation into meaningful language. The heads represent workers minds making different sense of X's experience and our response to that experience. The  blank spaces in the heads represent divided minds  and the unknown of our own minds hidden from ourselves and from each other.
"Doing the collage helped me stand back from the situation and look at it differently. I had felt overwhelmed by the situation and by my feelings. The collage helped me feel more analytical. It also helped me see parallels between X and the worker, both of whom stir up my pity and my frustration. 
"The pictures and text which had meant nothing before I started to think about the issue seemed to become very relevant when I began to use them for the collage".
Respondent B: Sue Challis (2013) Unpublished PhD Research, Coventry University 
Creativity as disruptive, challenging, open-ended, resistant 
Come and see us in the RGS Pavillion throughout the week - discuss creative& digital  research methods - watch a film about creative evaluation of community projects - and tell us what you think in a vox pop interview for this blog... or join us on...
Wednesday Session 2 Sunley Room RGS-IBG Hands on creative research workshop - with artist & researcher Sue Challis
Friday Session 2 Nightingale Room RGS-IBG Critique of creative methods + 'how to' online blog with social justice researcher Quaco Cloutterbuck

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