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Abstract

This paper’s research question concerns how the ecological creativity of the Volcanic Plains region of Western Victoria may be transformed into an ecology of well-being of benefit to the local community. Drawing on the philosophies of Spinoza and Gilles Deleuze, we argue that community well-being results from the richness of connections and relationships made within a place. The case study for our investigation is ‘Flows & Catchments’, which is an ongoing, collaborative, creative-arts research project auspiced by Deakin University. Its modus operandi is Practice-Based Research (PBR), and its aim is to promote community well-being in Western Victoria. However, while the whole metier of the creative arts is to make the novel connections and relationships that should bring about community well-being, the various artists of ‘Flows & Catchments’ have proved slightly reluctant to make connections outside of their individual or small-group sub-projects. In this way, ecological creativity has not reached its full potential as an ecology of well-being because the rich connections and relationships essential to this well-being have not yet been fully realised. This paper explores the potential of using the NVivo qualitative analysis software package to bring together the creative-arts sub-projects of ‘Flows & Catchments’, as a way of fostering an ecology of well-being out of a currently dispersed ecological creativity.

Author Biography

Dr. Brad Warren is Methodological Consultant to Deakin University’s School of Communication and Creative Arts on the ‘Flows & Catchments’ project. He has worked as a lecturer in Media and Communication / Sociology, and taught extensively at secondary and tertiary levels, both in Australia and China. He is a co-author of Communication, New Media and Everyday Life (Chalkley et. al., 2011) and has authored numerous academic articles on topics including globalisation, diaspora and the media. His Ph.D is from Deakin University.

Dr. Patrick West is a Senior Lecturer in Professional and Creative Writing in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University. He is author of The World Swimmers (2011), and wrote the script for Sisters of the Sun (2012), a fictional-documentary film arising from Deakin’s ‘Flows & Catchments’ project. He has published widely, including ‘Zones of Practice: embodiment and creative arts research’ (with Drummond and Keane, in M/C Journal, 2012) and ‘The Bird Watcher’ (in Landscapes, 2010). His Ph.D is from The University of Melbourne

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