Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Thinking about my essay for the 70% creative submission

I've been trying to work out the most efficient way to writing my essay while at the same time incorporating a sufficient level of artistic practice based on drawing.

Having considered creating a research article, my feeling is that it would lack some of the magic that I am trying to capture as an original document. This has been troubling me for some weeks, and how I will incorporate the multitude of research sources that I have been reading throughout the past nine months or so, would have been very difficult. Thankfully, following a conversation with Dr Rowan Bailey last week, and reviewing the structure created through the storyboard, a sensible option to take forward is to create an artefact which includes as many of the original voices picked up from my research as stories in themselves.

I have spent the last couple of days tucked away in our bolthole up in Northumberland, and the local landscape is truly inspirational. I was up at 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, the dawn chorus has woken me up. Just outside the window to the sitting room, overlooking the rear garden to the property, one can see through the stock fence to the meadows beyond. At this border between manicured garden and the barley field is a thin strip of fallow land which the farmer leaves to allow the smaller creatures to find suitable habitat. At such an early hour, it was thronging with life and vitality. Between the fence and this margin, a whole family of stoats marched and bounced across the meadow grass.
Sketch of Stoat Family at Cuthbert Cottage, GP Hadfield (June 2017)

 Tiny little white throats sat on the ears of barley and at the tops of the fence posts, a small flock moved across the field beyond. Red-footed partridges croaked the morning songs to each other.
Like the dawn of the new day, it dawned on me that each of these creatures had their own stories to tell. How they see the world through their own eyes and with their own sentient mind will always be impossible for humans to truly know. Nevertheless, in a creative piece of writing, I would have full licence to try and project my own (clearly anthropocentric) interpretation of what they may be thinking?

With this in mind, I have decided to attempt to narrate the Peregrine's story in the first person context. Equally, I can compare that narrative with a "first person" narrative from other creatures, as well as adopt the same tactic, even a strategy, for the many learning research fellows that I have taken reference and inspiration from.

My creating a small book which reflects these voices, as well as provides an opening and closing series of sections to match a research essay style, I am banking on this being an interesting, unusual yet highly creative way of explaining my desired projects for my master's degree. I do hope that this gamble is appropriate and pays off. I thought about this for some time and realise that I have nothing to lose in taking a risk to complete the first creative artefact for submission in mid-July.


  • For the next few days, I intend to concentrate entirely on creating these alternative narratives.
  • I need to make sure that my various research sources that are appropriate are included within the story and narrative.
  • Taking on board the suggestions and recommendations from Richard Mulhearn, Dr MacDonald and Dr Bailey should provide me with ample structure for the finished article.
  • I need to totally immerse myself for the next couple of weeks to not only write the original narrative but also to ensure the format of the document with appropriate drawings and marginalia is fit for purpose.

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