Creative Reportage (story-making from the social terrain of the everyday)
Thomas, David Edwin
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Creative Reportage refers to a theorised arts practice methodology of making installation artworks from everyday story subject matter. I coined the name story-making to neatly encompass the ideals of this practice that concerns itself with the crafted and spatialised (re)telling of everyday stories of social relevance. This exegesis charts and explains the theorising, research and studio practice methodologies I engaged in to critique my own practice interests and those of other artists, before then conceptualising and materialising my exhibition project – a story-maker’s studio that depicts the process of story-making in action. Resonating with installation art, design and documentary making, I theorised story-making as a creative practice in which a story-maker (artist) freely applies multiple art media and methodologies to engage with the characters, history and aesthetic detail of selected stories. The developed aims of this practice are to produce narrative rich and tactile installation environments through subjective retellings of stories, which will engage the audiences in critical reflection on story topics. The highly engaging artworks and art practices of six artists, who for this exercise could be theorised as story-makers, are described and examined, using a series of guiding critical questions, to demonstrate key aspects of the proposed practice of story-making. The exegesis concludes with an account of my conceptualisation for, and production of, a story-maker’s studio as an exhibited installation art concept, and outlines a case-study everyday story (Aporo 13) used to demonstrate this process.