"Context is half the work": developing doctoral research through arts practice in culture.
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DOUGLAS, A. 2016. "Context is half the work": developing doctoral research through arts practice in culture. In Cartiere, C. and Zebracki, M. (eds.) The everyday practice of public art: art, space and social inclusion. Abingdon: Routledge, chapter 8.
In 2001-4, a small research team of post doctoral and doctoral artist researchers, working with five cultural partners drew together two apparently incommensurable issues: remote rural culture and contemporary art. The thrust of their questions was speculative: What might the role of the contemporary artist be in remote rural contexts? At the time, the turn of the millennium, the dominant context of contemporary visual art was urban and metropolitan. Any ambition to develop art in alternative contexts needed to be negotiated against this dominance - its assumptions and aesthetics. 'Context is half the work' was developed by the artist Barbara Steveni as a central axiom underpinning the work of Artist Placement Group (APG) (1966-1989) and O+I (Organisation and Imagination 1989-present) (APG/Tate 2015). It expresses aptly the opening up of art practice to context that our research question had provoked.