Dr Nicola Ashmore is interested in the creative development of students through place-based work. This pedagogic research began in 2009/2010 working in collaboration and across disciplines with Dr Jess Moriarty. In a workshop setting, removed from the classroom environment, undergraduate students were placed in interdisciplinary groups.
Through the workshops students were engaged in activities that encouraged experimentation and reflection on their own creative practice. Creative briefs were set requiring the interdisciplinary student groups to combine image and text from archival material and collections. They were encouraged to discuss their individual creative processes and identify how these were similar and how they differed. By working in interdisciplinary groups and articulating their processes, we found that students were better able to: understand their individual practices, take inspiration from archives and collections and equipped with some important skills to enable them to work collaboratively.
Findings from these workshops were co-presented at conferences including the Higher Education Academy Arts and Humanities conference in 2013.
This research underpins the flagship Creative Writing MA module Communities of Practice, launched in 2014. Within this module a 40 hour placement is undertaken. This creative residency helps the post-graduate students transfer their creative writing skills from the confinements of the classroom and their notebook to a site of their choice. They establish a creative brief in collaboration with their placement embedding their creative writing firmly in their chosen location. Through research and reflection, encouraged through semi structured life interviews with tutors, students gain confidence and understanding of the role of their writing in a public place.
List of associated publications and conference contributions:
Ashmore, Nicola and Moriarty, Jessica (2016) Living Archives - supporting creative practice students learning leaps in interdisciplinary workshops C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-century Writings, 4 (1). pp. 1-18. ISSN 2045-5216
Ashmore, Nicola and Moriarty, Jessica (2015) From student to artist: supporting students' creative development through place-based work Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 8 (1). pp. 37-54. ISSN 1753-5190
Co-wrote with Jess Moriarty, 'Resisting the Gove-effect: Stories from cross-disciplinary workshops.' Towards a Progressive Arts Education: Inclusion, change and intervention conference, 6–9 November 2013, British Library and the University of the Arts, London.
Co-wrote with Jess Moriarty, ‘Living Archive – Stories from Creative Cross Disciplinary Workshops,’ Higher Education Academy Arts and Humanities conference, Storyville: Exploring Narratives of Learning and Teaching, 29-30 May 2013, Thistle Brighton.