Self-Portraits: Emotional Inquiry thru a Mediated Methodology

In this new series, I am utilizing self-portraiture as a methodological approach for conducting emotional inquiry.

My research is concerned with developing a deeper understanding of my own internal emotional landscape.  I will rely on an interdisciplinary process for the creation of self-portraits, working in various forms of visual media and textual practices that are guided by intuition and responsive to daily experiences. Cultivating an intentional presence in the now, the methodology necessitates metacognitive inquiry that facilitates a transition in thinking through which a conscious awareness of my emotional experience can be understood by monitoring and actively engaging with my feelings.  Individual and artistic development are among the personal artifacts that will result from this research project.

As a qualitative methodological approach, creating portraits of myself is a process of data generation and collection. These artifacts, as a series, will comprise a “data set” that serves as the basis for a qualitative and mediated self-study.  Upon completing the data collection stage of this project, I will apply a variety of analytical approaches in order to make sense of the information by exploring and expanding upon the horizons of meaning embedded in my work.  Higher-order interpretations of meaning emerging from the analyses will be placed in conversation with relevant theoretical discourse in the scholarly literature.  I will contextualize my research and frame a discussion that contributes to the growing bodies of academic work in the areas of autoethnography, artistic research and qualitative inquiry.

This Feeling

Self-Portrait #1

December 6th, 2014

This image depicts my emotional response triggered by an interaction with someone whom I greatly struggle to effectively communicate. These interactions are frequently unpleasant, leaving me with feelings of disempowerment and fear. Despite the negative emotional experience, I am optimistic that resolution is on the horizon. This emotional reaction motivates me to move toward positive changes that will increase my agency by closing out lingering business from my past.


Comfort Zone <./?>

Self-Portrait #2

December 8th, 2014

Hands on food, not on keyboard.
Body in kitchen, not in studio.
Mind at home, not at heart.
Cook it. Clean it. Fold it. Repeat it.
I don’t want to stay.
I don’t want to go.



Kings Horses and Men

Self-Portrait #3

February, 2015

The title for this piece is derived from the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. The experience of a life-changing event has the potential to leave one feeling shattered. Capturing a moment in time, this work provides a symbolic representation of my emotional experience. The interactive component built into the work is designed to place viewers in an active role by playing the part of “all the kings horses and men” which is meant as a reflection on the intersubjective nature of identity development as a socially and culturally contingent process. Creatively and personally, a willingness to be vulnerable and cultivation of the ability to release false illusions of control can feel like entering into a state of free fall. The kings horses and men couldn’t put Humpty together again, but maybe that’s the most significant point…. Becoming different, we exist as a collection of our past experiences in the “now” of the present moment. In life, as in this work, I am forever changed.

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