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MATERIALISING MEMORIES: INVESTIGATING THE REARTICULATION OF PERSONAL NARRATIVES THROUGH THE CRAFTED ARTEFACT

Goldthorpe, Charlotte Mary (2021) MATERIALISING MEMORIES: INVESTIGATING THE REARTICULATION OF PERSONAL NARRATIVES THROUGH THE CRAFTED ARTEFACT. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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Abstract

This practice-based study explores the re-articulation of personal narratives through the crafted artefact with a focus on memory, collaboration and object relations. The research uses a craft-based approach to understand how stories of lost love are processed through making in the production of a series of crafted artefacts informed by original narratives. It questions the role of the object within memory and storytelling, how narrative can be embedded into a newly crafted artefact and considers collaboration as a tool to share experiences. It uses a new qualitative methodology ‘narrative-led making’ and applies oral history theory, collaborative practice and documentation, to further investigate theories of making, such as thinking-through-making, hylomorphism, haptic and tacit knowledges.

In order to explore the re-articulation of narrative, stories were collected with a focus on lost love – including familial and romantic – that featured specific objects and related to the relationships. Nine participants were selected and their stories were transcribed to create narratives that dictated the choice of materials, techniques and processes to create material memories. My own practice of traditional leather working and silicone casting, and skills such as crochet, forging, and wood turning, learned through the formation of collaborative relationships with craftspeople, were selected to complete each artefact. I worked alongside participants and craftspeople whilst developing new craft production methods through which I created a series of nine new artefacts that are imbued with meaning, comparable to a preexisting memory object or material memory.

Reflective interviews with participants revealed their instant attachment to the completed artefacts in which feelings of pride and happiness for their lost loves were common. Presenting the artefacts in an intimate gallery setting allowed for the wider audience to connect with the artefacts on a personal level and begin to revisit their own memories through their relation to the object.

The finished artefacts resemble objects that have been lost, forgotten or are still in existence and are a part of daily life: rolling pin, brass shoes, football, medal, trainers, toilet dolly, handbag, box camera, watch. As artefacts they are imbued with the emotions of the participants’ own stories. Undertaking creative research with participants (as a co-creative research process) in this way contributes to new forms of knowledge and understanding about the nature of storytelling practices in craft making.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Schools: School of Arts and Humanities
Depositing User: Annabel Danson-Darbyshire
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2022 10:06
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2022 10:06
URI: https://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/35769

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