‘Art Practice as Research’ Chapter 4 Reading

Quote #1: ‘It is from this central site of creative practice that other forms of inquiry emerge, such as critical and philosophical analysis, historical and cultural commentary, and educational experience. This notion is a far cry from the stereotype that sees art experience as a warm, fuzzy, and essentially private matter. Rather, it affirms that artistic thinking and making are cognitive processes’ (Sullivan, 2010, p.97)

I feel like this quote really resonated with me as I do agree with the fact that art is often falsely seen as ‘warm and fuzzy’, as something creative which doesn’t have to address societal issues but is in place to reinforce a certain aesthetic which typically means portraying something ‘beautiful’. However, in reality art as a practice is way more complex and includes and inspires many other fields that are critical in our society. I believe that art has the ability to inspire critical thought which makes people look at our society in a more analytical manner. This in turn, makes people question the world around them and the reality in which they exist. Overall, this process is and can be educational to all.

Quote #2: ‘theorizing visual arts practice embraces a diversity of positions and perspectives’ (Sullivan, 2010, p.99).

Another aspect that I think is highly overlooked when thinking about art is the fact that the process of creating any art piece consists of multiple stages of research and experimentation. In order to create something, the artist needs to explore and look at theories that already exist and critique them in order to create something of their own. This task is exactly what we are doing in this class. We are learning how to implement conceptual and visual research into the creation of a project.  I feel like this will give us the exact experience needed to fully understand what this quote represents.

Quote #3:‘it is no longer plausible to accept empty rhetoric such as the claim that the visual image is merely a way of saying what cannot effectively be said in words or numbers. Rather, based on the concepts and structures described in this chapter, it can be argued that a new era of visual arts research is possible for those who see studio art as a site for conducting transformative research that has individual and cultural relevance’ (Sullivan, 2010, p.120)

This quote reinforces what I have previously stated in the analysis of the other two quotes. Art is transcending the stereotypical concept of another way of expressing something that cannot be expressed through words or numbers but rather, art is now becoming a central aspect of our society as it utilizes the practice of research that is very relevant to our cultural and individual awareness and understanding of the world around us.

Overall I think this reading emphasized the importance of doing research when creating art pieces. I definitely feel like researching is the key aspect to creating pieces that are significant in today’s society and this reading served as an encouragement for continuing my research process and showed that it is a vital stage in production.


Sullivan, G. (2010). Art practice as research. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, pp.95-120.


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