• Thinking About Drawing: Introduction to Themes and Concepts

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2022-04-07)
      'Thinking About Drawing: Introduction to Themes and Concepts' provides a short, accessible, illustrated guide to key ideas that are used to describe, understand and explain drawing, for students of art, design, media, architecture and engineering, at undergraduate level and above. This accessible and readable book explains the significance of relationships between the body and the mark, visual imitation, drawing systems, drawing and writing and visual story telling, providing a simple guide to key ideas. The book unpacks the key ideas that have shaped the rich, complex and foundational activity of drawing. It presents an unexpected, engaging and authoritative range of illustrated examples of drawings made by culturally and historically diverse people for different purposes, with different media, in widely different times and situations. 'Thinking About Drawing: Introduction to Themes and Concepts' is plainly written, avoiding jargon and specialist language. It is user-friendly. Ideas are arranged as chapters that can be read sequentially, building a complete guide to ideas about drawing. Alternatively, chapters can be read individually, providing self-contained introductions to one of these key ideas in drawing. 'Thinking About Drawing: Introduction to Themes and Concepts' provides a short, accessible, illustrated guide to key ideas that are used to describe, understand and explain drawing, for students of art, design, media, architecture and engineering, at undergraduate level and above. This accessible and readable book explains the significance of relationships between the body and the mark, visual imitation, drawing systems, drawing and writing and visual story telling, providing a simple guide to key ideas. The book unpacks the key ideas that have shaped the rich, complex and foundational activity of drawing. It presents an unexpected, engaging and authoritative range of illustrated examples of drawings made by culturally and historically diverse people for different purposes, with different media, in widely different times and situations. 'Thinking About Drawing: Introduction to Themes and Concepts' is plainly written, avoiding jargon and specialist language. It is user-friendly. Ideas are arranged as chapters that can be read sequentially, building a complete guide to ideas about drawing. Alternatively, chapters can be read individually, providing self-contained introductions to one of these key ideas in drawing.
    • A Trace of Actions Unseen: The Photographic Error as Photography ‘in performance’

      Piper-Wright, Tracy; University of Chester (Instituto de História da Arte, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2022-04-01)
      In contemporary digital photography the accident or fault is an increasingly rare and unusual phenomenon, but it presents valuable insights into the practice of photography. This article discusses how the photographic error reveals qualities of the photographic experience normally hidden in conventional photographs, and proposes a reconsideration of time in relation to photography perceived through the accidental image. The error is conceived as a performance, extending the conventional time scales of the photograph from the ‘snap’ into three ‘acts’: the photographic event, the recording of an image and, lastly, interpretation by the viewer. In each stage the error’s relationship to time is shown to be ambiguous and multifaceted, counterpointing a simplified concept of time which prevails in the conventional photograph. The error exposes the entanglement of actors and relationships within the act of photographing and in so doing destabilises common assumptions about photographs as simple, immediate documents.
    • The collaborative programme leader: Embedding meaningful collaboration into a programme culture

      Jamieson, Evelyn; University of Chester (Routledge, 2022-03-31)
      The section serves to highlight the importance of collaboration and move the PL role away from one of the potential overwhelm and isolation to one of connection and meaningful interdependence.
    • The Studio

      Dockwray, Ruth; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2022-02-10)
      This chapter is part of an interdisciplinary volume, drawing from sociology, geography, ethnomusicology, media, cultural, and communication studies, which covers a wide-range of topics germane to the production and consumption of place in popular music. This chapter focuses on the recording studio, primarily within a popular music context, in the following areas: as a physical place where its function relies on social interactions to encourage creativity; as a place where virtual auditory spaces are created; and as a place where music practice can ultimately ascribe unique identities.
    • At the Painting’s Edge: A Practice-Based Investigation into Liminality, Inside-outness and the Painting as a Quasi Person

      McGuirk, Tom; Robinson, Wayne (University of Chester, 2022-01-08)
      This research project is driven by a motivation to better understand the effect of painting’s internal and external space when interrupted by objects placed at its periphery. The research consists of two strands of exploration. Firstly, through the practice of painting and secondly, through theoretical research in support of that painting practice. By moving between painting and writing, it examines how phenomena such as the act of making, memory and object-agency can coalesce to form complex, new objects. The project places to the fore the importance of hand making and acknowledges how handmaking is central to the creative process of the painter, whilst engaging with how the presentation of the resultant work affects the generation and transmission of meaning. Another strand of this investigation calls upon how the evocation through practice and acts of remembering and forgetting can communicate autobiographical experience, to form dialogic relationships, via the making process. This is a circular process involving myself as maker, the painted picture plane, placed objects and the viewer. It also explores how painting embodies memorised data within its materiality and is additionally provoked by the effect of ‘trigger objects’. In addition, the thesis addresses how the painting object becomes imbued with the artist’s intention and how the mnemonic faculties of the human mind are prompted by sub-semiotic signs contained within the material of the picture plane, to generate the attributes of a ‘quasi-person’ (Graw, 2018). How this occurs and interacts with the picture plane, contributing to the painting’s status as a ‘subjectobject’ (Joselit, 2016) and the production of intended and unintended meaning (Alexander, 2010) is also considered. Through the practice of painting, the research explores how dialogue is formed between placed objects and the painted picture plane, and how objects of personal interest can in turn, steer subliminal conversation and how they thereby metaphorically ‘reach out’ and commune with the audience (Gell, 1998). Finally, the research interrogates the external edges of the picture plane, understood in terms of the parergon (Derrida, 1987) and the otherness of heterotopian spaces (Foucault, 1967). Such spaces share common characteristics of transition, uncertainty, between-ness and unknown-ness, all encountered at the periphery of the painting, the place where internal and external dynamics meet. This research encourages the viewer to adopt new viewing strategies, proposing this less certain space to be a desirable location in which to take the time to pause and consider.
    • Introduction: Key Terms in Comics Studies

      Grennan, Simon; La Cour, Erin; Spanjers, Rik; Free University Amsterdam; University of Chester; Utrecht University (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022-01-04)
      Introduction to the book 'Key Terms in Comics Studies'. Includes key terms and critical concepts that are used in specific ways in current Anglophone comics studies. Each entry is substantiated with examples of uses and references to uses, as well as other explanations and commentaries on the term or concept. The book contains over 300 terms by almost 100 contributors.
    • Key Terms in Comics Studies: 22 Entries

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022-01-04)
      22 entries in the book 'Key Terms in Comics Studies'.
    • Conflicting professional identities for artists in transprofessional contexts

      Lehikoinen, Kai; Pässilä, Anne; Owens, Allan; University of the Arts; LUT University; University of Chester (Routledge, 2021-07-02)
      This chapter investigates how the artists navigate multiple and at times conflicting identities within the challenges of working in unfamiliar transprofessional contexts. It also investigates the expanding professionalism of artists in the transprofessional realm of artistic interventions in organisations. Ariane Berthoin Antal argues that artists’ professional identities and also responsibilities are geared towards some fundamental values in the arts, and that it is vital for artists to maintain such values as they collaborate with other professions. To exemplify expanded work in transprofessional contexts, our attention now turns to the experiences of four artists—a theatre director, a performance artist, a dancer, and a dramaturg—who took part in the pilot programme at Uniarts. It is imperative in higher arts education to discuss critically the relationship between professionalism in more traditional artistic practice and the expanding professionalism of hybrid artists in new transprofessional domains.
    • A Hard Day’s Write: Beatles Fanfic and the Quantum of Creativity

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2021-03-12)
      My aim in this chapter is to consider how Real Person Fiction (RPF) relates to celebrity fandom. You have to know about the Beatles to write about them. But do you also have to love them, in any dedicated sense, to pursue such literary activity? How might we discern a more nuanced picture? We tend to assume that fanfic is either a logical extension of celebrity fandom or its own category of communal activity. How might we understand fanfic in ways that do not necessarily alienate it from other fan practices, while still recognizing its specificity?
    • “If ever there was someone to keep me at home”: Theorizing screen representations of siblinghood through a case study of Into the Wild (2007)

      Barnett, Katie; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2021-03-04)
      Images of siblings pervade the screen, yet their representation remains under-explored. Though sibling relationships are common, these lateral bonds are often overlooked in favor of the vertical bonds privileged by Freudian psychoanalysis. Into the Wild (dir. Sean Penn 2007), though ostensibly focused on the solitary journey of its protagonist, Chris McCandless, can be read as a narrative of siblinghood and here serves as a case study for exploring ways of theorizing the sibling relationship on screen. Often, there is an inherent anxiety embedded within representations of close adult bonds between brothers and sisters, resulting in frequent on-screen separation. Though Chris and his sister Carine are similarly separated for the majority of the film, their relationship is foregrounded by framing Chris’s story through Carine’s re-telling. Here, the sibling pair may be better understood through the prism of modern discourses of the soulmate, emphasizing the value of knowledge to the sibling relationship and looking beyond the vertical to consider how lateral bonds might be excavated from the edges of the screen.
    • An Analytical Methodology for the Investigation of the Relationship of Music and Lyrics in Popular Music

      Sproston, Darren; Dee, Alex (University of Chester, 2021-03)
      This thesis details the conception and design of a new methodology for examining pop songs holistically; considering both music and lyrics and examining the synergies between the two. Central to this methodology is the application of a data extraction framework, which has been designed to mine information about musical and lyrical phenomena. This framework operates as a common source for producing data about two very different media, avoiding individual interpretation where this is possible. The methodology has been designed to address specific questions about the relationship between music and lyrics, but the main purpose of the thesis is to evaluate the usefulness of the endeavour. In order to examine the efficacy of this approach, the framework was used to populate a dataset made up of a sample of 300 songs, which was subsequently explored and analysed through a series of case studies which investigate combinations of metrics concerned with music and lyrics for the whole sample, as well as analysis of specific subsets defined by a range of parameters. These case studies have demonstrated the various ways this approach might be used, as well as working as proof of concept. The conclusion of the thesis reviews the various case studies in the context of presenting potential uses of the framework as a tool and the broader methodology by other scholars. There is also a consideration of how the overall data might be affected by the inclusion of genres and styles that are not included in the initial sample set.
    • A Practice-Based Approach to Defining Maximalism

      Liggett, Susan; Osanlou, Ardeshir; Jones, Paul; Pioaru, Ioana (University of ChesterWrexham Glyndwr University, 2021-02)
      This practice-based Ph.D. is an exploration of the concept of maximalism in the field of visual arts. Previous studies of maximalism in disciplines such as literature and architecture signalled a lack of rigor surrounding the use of the term maximalism with regard to various cultural productions. In addition, the relative scarcity of works addressing maximalism in visual art drove the development of this research, which aims to clarify the definition of maximalism through the practice of art. Through critical interrogation, the body of work developed within this project revealed insights into the nature of artistic maximalism. During the development of the project, a methodological research gap was identified as the absence of a set of procedures enabling the understanding and use of the concept of maximalism. To address this methodological gap, a theoretical framework describing maximalism in terms of formal parameters was constructed. Maximalism was investigated through the exploration of a variety of new and traditional media: holography, virtual reality (VR) artmaking, 3D printing, printmaking and drawing. The study revealed the intrinsically maximalist nature of holography in conjunction with VR artmaking. VR holography, a new art form resulting from this research, expands physical space by using a flat surface to render potentially infinite 3D content. It also connects the realms of the virtual and the real. Other forms of artistic maximalism revealed by this study include: the expansion of the space of art through para-artistic devices, intensity maximalism explored through miniature drawing, chromatic maximalism, durational maximalism and narrative maximalism. Maximalism as an artistic practice reflects an engagement of the artist in a continual process of becoming, as a method to access and explore new tools for artistic expression. The main contribution of the research is a twofold definition of maximalism. On the one hand, maximalism is defined as a mode of artistic expression intrinsic to the artwork, a definition which lends itself to a type of art analysis partially grounded in formalism. On the other hand, maximalism is proposed as a characteristic of the process of artmaking, referring to a strategy which the artist employs as a means of decentralising the artistic self. Investigating these forms of maximalism showed the potential usefulness, to art theory and criticism, of a theory of maximalism based on aesthetic formalism. The clarification of the concept of maximalism constitutes a contribution to the vocabulary and discourse of art.
    • Pragmatics of Attachment and Detachment: a Constellatory Re-inscription of Textile.

      Bristow, Maxine; University of Chester (Wiley Blackwell, 2020-09)
      Like no other field of cultural studies, the study of textiles renders the boundaries of academic discipline elastic, and defies geographic and chronological borders. Previously dominated by empirical methods and writing, it has come of age as a field of interdisciplinary research during the past decade. 'A Companion to Textile Culture' aims to be an innovative, lively and authoritative collection of new writing that will embrace the historical, contemporary and cultural dimensions of textiles. While anchored in the history of art and visual studies, it will bring together approaches from many different fields of scholarly research, including anthropology, archaeology, literary studies, world histories and art and design, to reflect this new, expanded field of writing about textiles and the multiple viewpoints of its specialist contributors. Essays by leading experts in this broad interdisciplinary field of study will address the current state of scholarship and point to emerging issues. (Jennifer Harris volume editor: A Companion to Textile Culture) ‘Pragmatics of Attachment and Detachment: a Constellatory Re-inscription of Textile’ sits within a section of 'A Companion to Textile Culture' entitled ‘Contemporary Textiles: Conceptual Boundaries’ which explores some of the reasons why textiles have traditionally been undervalued in histories of 20th century visual culture and the shift in cultural values that moved them from the margins to an increasingly central role. My contribution provides an artist’s perspective that draws on a body of work that emerged out of a period of practice based doctoral research entitled ‘Pragmatics of Attachment and Detachment: medium (Un)Specificity as Material Agency in Contemporary Art’. It takes as its point of departure the creative challenge of how to acknowledge situated experience and communicate the particular richness and complexity of textile’s material and semantic conventions, whilst embracing the heterogeneity and creative freedom afforded by the post-medium condition of contemporary art. In the chapter I outline a conceptual framework and series of practice strategies that revolve around a dynamic process of assimilation and differentiation. Through a new body of sculptural and installational practice, I propose a constellatory opening up of textile where medium specificity is re-inscribed in terms of material agency and the cultural ambivalence of textile is re-envisioned as a productive indeterminacy. Within this (inter)relational re-mapping of textile’s complex somatic and semantic codes and conventions, textile is seen to be a medium of convergence and divergence where hierarchical disciplinary distinctions become untenable, meaning is suggested but unable to settle and categorical divisions between subject and object are destabilised.
    • Fans & Consumption

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2020-08-06)
      This chapter surveys different ideas from popular music studies, fan studies and associated areas to explain how ‘the rock audience’ has been perceived. It outlines four theoretical perspectives which can be associated in various ways. The first suggests that our understanding of the audience is a consequence of rock’s extended reaction against elitist criticism. The second says rock has created a kind of community, or at least communality. The third suggests that mainstream media representations have hidden significant fan productivity. A final perspective suggests that ‘the rock audience’ is actually a composite housing a variety of discreet experiences based on the social identities of its individual participants. In other words, for example, males and female fans may have distinct experiences; the same goes for fans of particular generations, national identities, musical tastes, subgenre interests, and so on. The chapter argues that a critically nuanced approach is required: in every instance, we need to ask by who and for what purpose and is ‘the rock audience’ being defined.
    • More than a cliche? Futureproofing meaningful notions of professionalism in journalism teaching

      Erzan-Essien, Ato; University of Chester (The Association for Journalism Education, 2020-07-31)
      Despite the existential challenge posed by a notion of professionalism within journalism both individually and organisationally, for many practitioners, it has become synonymous with good or even ‘ethical’ journalism practice. This has led to the contention that ‘professionalism’ is now an inherent component of a broader understanding of what constitutes ‘quality’ journalism. And although a paradigm of professionalism such as that alluded to in the Leveson Report might be effective within real world journalism practice, a pilot study analysing the use of the term ‘professionalism’ demonstrates that when it comes to journalism teaching, identifying the contexts in which such a notion is understood appears to be problematic.
    • Walking with Shadows: Index, Inscription and Event in Malcolm Lowry's In Ballast to the White Sea

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester (Liverpool University Press, 2020-07-01)
      A series of 15 black and white photographs and writing authored in response to the publication of a scholarly edition of Malcolm Lowry’s lost novel In Ballast to the White Sea. The photographs are integrated in an essay entitled ‘Walking with Shadows’ – a photo-text – indebted to W.G. Sebald’s use of photographs in The Rings of Saturn (1995). A method adopted which fuses ‘fiction, travelogue, history and biography’ where the images offset or displace the narrative, rather than illustrate it, as the psychic and physical journey unfolds from page to page. The text also references Denis Hollier’s essay ‘Surrealist Precipitates: Shadows Don’t Cast Shadows’, in which the position of the artist /author and the role of the reader highlights the significance of André Breton’s novel and use of photographs in Nadja (1928). The correlation of these sources includes Michel de Certeau’s ‘Walking in the City’ in The Practice of Everyday Life (1984) and Paul Auster’s novella ‘City of Glass’ in New York Trilogy (1987) where the notion of the author / protagonist are posited as interchangeable positions, as they reveal the significance of a method, in which autobiography, fact and fiction coalesce. The photographs which are imbricated within the text function as a series of staging points and motifs, which index the journey undertaken by the novel’s key protagonist. In Lowry’s novel these are uncovered in a series of surreal, psychogeographic encounters across the urban terrain and landscape, and the sonic hum, which imbues his writing. The events and locations which define the novel were rediscovered, or otherwise substituted, as they are re-inscribed in text and image. The project also integrated archive and vernacular images, which include Edward Chambré Hardman’s photographs of Liverpool and the North West as the setting which provides the point of departure for Lowry’s novel and the terrain, which was revisited for this project.
    • Elvis: Roots, Image, Comeback, Phenomenon

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Equinox Press, 2020-04-07)
      Elvis Presley remains the single most important figure in twentieth century popular music. To many commentators, however, he has simply embodied the benefits and problems of uncritically embracing capitalism. By 2005 the ‘Memphis Flash’ sold over a billion records worldwide, yet his cultural significance cannot be measured by these extraordinary sales figures alone. He cannot quite be reduced to a placeholder for the contradictions of commerce. As the most prominent performer of the rock’n’roll era, then as a charismatic global superstar, Elvis fundamentally challenged the established relationship between White and Black culture, drew attention to the social needs of women and young people, and promoted the value of Southern creativity. He functioned as a bridge figure between folk roots and high modernity, and in the process became a controversial symbol of American unity. Elvis interprets the image and music of Elvis Presley to reveal how they have evolved to construct a particularly appealing and powerful myth. Following broad contours of Presley’s rollercoaster career, the book uses a range of analytical frames to challenge established perspectives on an icon. Its shows that the controversy around Elvis has effectively tested how far a concern for social equality could be articulated through the marketplace, and ultimately challenged how popular music itself should be assessed.
    • The Furling of the Sails

      Piasecka, Shelley; University of Chester (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020-03-01)
      Conference report on the Mystic Seaport Museum, Connecticut. A post-conference day trip for presenters and participants of "Melville’s Origins: The Twelfth International Melville Conference.”
    • Can political public relations be used as a tool for social integration, with particular reference to the Muslim community in the UK?

      Roberts, Simon; Charles, Alec; Okour, Sarah A. (University of Chester, 2019-12)
      Political, social and demographic change has resulted in a search for new techniques for building public trust and reconciling relationships between the Muslim community and others in society. In this study, extremism and social cohesion have been chosen as potential new aims for the PR industry. This study assesses whether political PR can be diverted from its role in spin doctoring towards new cultural and social functions. My argument is that political public relations can be used as a tool for social integration with particular reference to the Muslim community in the UK. This research distinguishes between two issues. The first connects with political PR within a political communication background, which relates to politicians, election campaigns, news management, and their relationship with the media. The second issue is that political PR can be reconsidered from a corporate perspective, one that endorses the use of PR in challenging political environments. My study places emphasis on the second issue. It applies a triangulating methodology based on using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews to answer the research questions. A sample of seven UK public relations academics evaluated the current communication policies for their effectiveness, explained how political PR could help, and gave their recommendations. In addition, seven NGOs in Britain described their work, the problems they encountered, and their concerns. A lack of social integration and the continuing rise of extremism were repeatedly explained in terms of stereotyping, marginalisation, and counter-productive techniques. The results suggest that a change in political PR is possible and should be encouraged to intervene in fighting against radicalisation, extremism, and enhancing social cohesion. They also show a lack of PR support for NGOs. More broadly, my findings move the field of inclusivity forward by working on a bottom-up approach instead of a top-down model of communication. The best answer for sustaining long-term community relationships was improved communication and engagement, inclusive messages and campaigns, and the Muslim community remaining open to others in society.
    • News Media Representations of Women in Conflicts: The Boko Haram Conflict in Borno State, North East Nigeria (2012-2015) - A Study of Guardian, Daily Trust, Daily Sun, Leadership, Nation, and Thisday Newspapers

      Mbaya, Nancy, B. (University of Chester, 2019-10-23)
      This is a study of news media representations of women in the Boko Haram conflict in Borno state, North East Nigeria (2012-2015) with a focus on six Nigerian national newspapers - Guardian, Daily Trust, Daily Sun, Leadership, Nation, and Thisday. It draws on post-colonial theories like Orientalism and the Subaltern; feminism; and the news media to examine how the news media have represented women in this conflict. The study adopted a mixed method approach combining quantitative content analysis and qualitative thematic analysis. The quantitative analysis examined the manifest contents of the newspaper articles in the sample to find out the pattern of frames used by Nigerian journalists to represent women in the Boko Haram conflict while the qualitative analysis examined information generated from semistructured interviews; documentary data; and the translation of YouTube videos released by the Boko Haram sect. A total of 404 newspaper articles were selected, categorized, and examined using SPSS software. Findings suggest that patriarchal phrases and gender stereotypes permeate news media narratives about women affected by the conflict. This thesis therefore provides a better understanding of how Nigerian news media represent women affected by conflicts and factors that inform these representations. This work also provides a better insight into how the intersectionality of gender with other social structures like class, age, ethnicity, religion, patriarchal discrimination and other forms of oppression have permeated media representations of women in the conflict. Results similarly suggest that the Nigerian media over rely on foreign news media organizations as their major story sources about the conflict. Because of this overreliance, this thesis argues that foreign news media set the agenda for Nigerian news media in their representations of women. This study has contributed to a better understanding of how elite news media in the more developed global North set the news agenda for developing nations of the global South like Nigeria through inter-media agenda setting. 12 Findings also suggest that the Nigerian news media system reflects the social, political, religious, ethnic, and regional factors of the area within which it operates in line with the framework of regional parallelism. This study has contributed to a better understanding of how Nigeria’s North/South dichotomies based on these factors have affected the news media. This thesis concludes that as a product of regional parallelism, the Nigerian news media reflect the intersectionality of gender, social structures such as race, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation and patriarchal discrimination with other forms of oppression to disadvantage women in the Boko Haram conflict.