Lecture: Research and Practice by Jamie Holman

Making work is difficult, there is much more to it than most people think, which tends to be why people confuse titles of artwork because they don’t understand and they don’t get it – this links directly back to the first ever lecture that Jamie presented to us, called ‘defining drawing’… just because you don’t understand a piece of artwork doesn’t mean to say it doesn’t have a concept or that it isn’t a drawing, drawing comes in lots of different mediums just like music does, which is why art is always experimental. Which is why methodology can be transferred into any of the disciplines e.g. textiles, media, fine art, photography etc. but who is to say that you can’t take a system of methods from textiles and apply it into fine art? The different disciplines methodologies can work together and can help you to achieve your very best, you should always try to get better because there is always room for improvement. We began to talk about how the different disciplines can influence your work to help you to improve, which led us onto talking about the word inspiration, defined as ‘the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative’ but how can you take your inspiration and develop on from this? Jamie then quote Chuck Close, who says:

Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work

Which is very true, because anyone can gain inspiration but it shows dedication to work from this inspiration and bring it to the reality because the making of the work is the difficult bit. Pablo Picasso once quoted :

inspiration exists, but it needs to find you working

If you don’t work from your inspirations then you never achieve what you inspire to achieve. This then allowed us to reflect upon Yves Klein’s art work ‘Leap into the Void’, which again linked back to the first ever lecture with Jamie. Together, we evaluated his work which shows that if we work with methodology it will provide us a safety net but it will also push you to achieve the very best, because if you don’t take chances you will never know whats on the other side of the chance, it may make you fall or it make make you better, either way you should risk it because if you do fall you learn from your mistakes but if you rise you know how you can make future works better. Therefore we should allow ourselves to be influenced by all of the pathways, for example, if I just stuck to textiles I could easily make a garment, but I would I learn about artists that can help me to present my work – in my last project I focused on animals but without looking at a photography artist, Tim Walker, I would never have known how to make the presentation of the work look like his, it would have just been shot on a white background. We can learn from different pathways to make our own work better.

Jamie then began to talk about the different research methods. He believes that ‘context initiates research, which should be recorded’ which he had categorised the research into two;

  1. The materials and processes – we should always look for the potential of the medium because it can influence and develop our work
  2. Academic research – googling artists, using books etc.

But you always start with the Origin of the Research:

  • a curiosity
  • an interest
  • experiments

For example, in my FMP the origin of my research started from an interest in Cirque Du Soleil, which I’ve had since ever seeing the Blackpool production of Eclipse which originated from Cirque du Soleil. 

After your origin research, you then move onto the academic research and how you can apply this into your work.

For example, I wanted my final work to be for a production of Cirque du Soleil so I looked into where they got their influences for their shows from, which some where Shakespeare, so I took my favourite Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet and decided that I would use this as a loose idea for the storyline for my costumes. I then found a poem by Robert Frost about fire and ice which then gave me the two households for my own work.

We then looked at how Jamie had applied the two researches into his work, which is about the Belfast bombings which has a personal connection to him as his father was a solider in the fights and battles there. Jamie likes to work in a contemporaneity way, meaning ‘occurring during the same period of time’ because he likes to compare what his father did at whatever age he was in 1972, to what he was doing at the same age, which allows him to create pieces of artwork, like his work of art called ‘Acid House Internment Incident’ where he took a picture of an Acid House which he attended at the particular age and then over-layed a photograph of his father in Belfast at the same age to connect the two photographs together.


I really like this idea because it shows how everyone’s story is different but it allows there to be a memorial created which links together family histories. He continued to create this link throughout some of his work.

Jamie work demonstrates how different pathway methodologies can work together to create clever and meaningful works of art, for example, in the photos below he uses photography and visual communication to reflect upon what happened in Belfast in 1972 but by using both old and new photographs. He old had to distress the photographs which he will have had to use the pathway fine art for. Jamie clearly shows that by using different pathway methodologies can help you achieve the best potential for your work, and if he wasn’t successful in doing so, his work called the Belfast Shadows (some photos above) wouldn’t have been publicised in Saatchi Gallery Magazine Art and Music and it wouldn’t have had an exhibition in the Darbyshire space.

So how can I use different methodologies to make myself better, I can question myself:

  • Am I safe? push myself
  • Have I pushed myself too far? work ambitiously but not unrealistically
  • What expectations do I have? be realistic
  • Sign post your evidence – make it clear to your audience
  • Who is my audience? make sure it works well for them
  • If I have a tutorial write it up and evaluate it – it shows you understood


  • What did I do?
  • How well did I do it?
  • How can I improve?




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