Mindful uncertainty in artmaking

  • Sherre Chambers

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Research examining applications of mindfulness in professional and educational activity has proliferated in recent years, establishing theoretical frameworks and empirical validation for the use of mindfulness tailored to specific professional and educational pursuits. Yet there is little research into potential benefits of mindfulness in arts practice and education. This study examines mindfulness as a method to address challenges artists face in engaging productively with the uncertainty that is intrinsic to artists’ work. It affirms that practicing mindfulness in processes of artmaking can enable artists to tolerate uncertainty. The research also finds that by enabling ease with uncertainty, mindfulness can offer artists access to generative potentials of not knowing. These include mental engagements known as flow and beginner’s mind, and the ability to authentically inhabit narratives that, in their embrace of uncertainty, facilitate expanded horizons of possibility in artmaking. Utilising arts-based research methods, the project also demonstrates the value of practice-led and interdisciplinary models of research in the field. Establishing a beachhead for the inclusion of arts-based discourses in mindfulness research, this examination suggests future lines of enquiry into potential benefits of mindfulness to artists, and a model of interdisciplinary mindfulness research involving arts-based methodologies available for evaluation and extension.
    Date of Award2023
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorTony Eaton (Supervisor) & Ross Gibson (Supervisor)

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