S:PAM Seminar "The artist’s book as mode of thinking in the practice-led research project “Visualising the voices of Redan” By Jo-Ann Chan

23-10-2017 from 14:00 to 17:00
Small Conference Room, 3rd Floor, English Studies, Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Ghent
Studies in Performing Arts & Media
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Seminar content

This seminar presents a project completed as part of a practical Masters in Graphic Design with particular focus on the role of knowledge triangulation in the process of making. This practice-led research project is an exploration of the narrative of identity of the Redan rock engraving site through an experimental application of forensic anthropology to this disappearing landscape. The outcome of the process of exploration and experimentation is captured in a five part artist’s book. Through this artist’s book, this project aims to allow audiences a glimpse into its aesthetic narrative by capturing the identity of this landscape as it is and may never be seen again. The creative production process through which this identity is captured entails a complex conversation between three bodies of knowledge, namely thematic focus, visual language and content. Narrative identity directs the study as the thematic focus of the project. Forensic anthropology is appropriated as a processual guide and visual language in the design process. The history of the Redan rock engraving site fulfils the role of content and populates the exploratory process. As content, this site also brings with it the principles of rock art research. This triangulation of knowledge requires an ongoing interaction between the three anchor points. While these three components have significant parallels that make the conceptual direction of this project possible, there are also contrasting aspects that cannot be avoided. This triangulation represents the navigation of the challenges and options that emerge through the creative process.


Jo-Ann Chan is an illustration and graphic design lecturer for the School of Communication Studies at North-West University. She obtained a BA Honours in Graphic Design (cum laude) and MA in Graphic Design (cum laude) from the same institution. She is also a practicing artist, the most recent exhibitions to which she has contributed are Booknesses: Contemporary South African Artist’s Books (2017); Visualising the voices of Redan (2017) and Disappearance (2017). Jo-Ann was the co-project leader and co-ordinator of the most recent collaborative practice-led research project conducted under the research niche ViNCO (Visual Narratives and Creative Outputs through interdisciplinary and practice-led research) and is the coproject leader of the next ViNCO project to be launched in 2018.

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