The Social Studio

  • PhD Research

    My proposed research investigates a timely change in contemporary art practice: from a solo studio endeavour to a post‐studio group model, and inspects the social and phenomenological conditions that paved the way for this paradigm shift. What are the socio‐economic and cultural‐geographic reasons for the recent boom in group‐studio phenomenon within contemporary art practice, as specific to residencies, and how can that analysis better equip us as cultural producers to tailor this phenomenon to meet the current needs of artists? As part of my practice‐led research, I will create a set of three-week residencies that take place in Edinburgh and Minneapolis, which responds to the cultural, architectural and creative topography of each city, and further examine the value of phenomenological experience to the working artist.

    I plan to engage a practice‐led research PhD at ECA/University of Edinburgh to further advance the discourse in the field of contemporary art practice using a mix of quantitative and qualitative approaches. Through surveys, observation, and implementation of research through practice (Frayling, 1995), I will explore the conditions giving rise to residential group‐studio phenomenon. My own creative practice is lifted to a state of practical research in that it inherently includes an explicit understanding of how it contributes to the inquiry (Rust, Mottram, and Till 2008); the process of conducting a residency itself propagates further critical investigation of the inquiry.

    Patricia Healy McMeans
    Edinburgh College of Art
    Practice-Led PhD, 2014-18