Embodying three aspects of my self through a/r/tography
University of Canberra
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communications and Arts
In this essay I set out to explain my research as an embodied aesthetic experience. In my PhD study, Creative River Journeys—an inquiry into postgraduate education and practice-led research—I have adopted a research methodology called a/r/tography (Irwin & de Cosson 2004). This asks that my researcher identity embody the multiple roles of artist, researcher and teacher. This embodiment is not an abstract adoption of a research methodology, but a deliberate attempt on my part to confront the disparity between these roles in my past practice. I share insights that I have arrived at in relation to these three deeply interrelated aspects of my a/r/tographical self: the artist self—through poetic inquiry (Prendergast, Leggo & Sameshima 2009a); the researcher self—through the River Journey reflective practice; and the teacher self—through, for example, unexpected reciprocal mentorship in the project.