ABSTRACT

As we have seen previously, there has been a ‘spatial turn’ within the arts, and artists have been ‘consciously and critically deploying the skill sets of other disciplines’; for example, the artist as ethnographer or as cartographer (Hawkins 2012: 64). Traditional research methods such as mapping and fieldwork have become popular, with fieldwork being undertaken in a myriad of ways and contexts, for example through the practice of walking, dance and hot air ballooning (Daniels, Pearson & Roms 2010: 2). The discipline of geography has been described as going through a ‘creative (re)turn’ that has evolved from the study of creative products such as art works, novels, music and films in cultural geography, to the adoption of creative practices such as writing, curating, film-making and art in all its forms, which offer ‘a particular methodological value’ for geographers (Hawkins 2017: 11). This shift to the incorporation of creative methods is largely due to debates around issues such as non-representational theory, performativity and phenomenology, along with shifts within qualitative social science research methods in general (see for example, O’Neill 2008; O’Neill & Hubbard 2010; Roberts 2008) which, rather than attempting to reveal certainty or truth, adopt an embodied, open and reflexive stance in relation to interpreting the complexity of the world. Thus, such research methods and ‘interpretive strategies’ enable geographers and others to ‘capture the ephemeral, the fleeting [and] the immanence of place (Davies & Dwyer 2007: 261).