I am currently undertaking an ethnographic study of museum education. I work with a group of older adults who take part in a creative writing class at a major urban art gallery. I have been attending classes and tours, interviewing participants and gallery staff, and collecting images and pieces of creative writing. When it came to analyzing and writing up the research I faced several dilemmas. I decided to focus on three of these:
- In trying to describe what was happening between people, art objects and text words seemed insufficient. Words couldn’t represent the movements and networks I wanted to explain.
- My interview transcripts do not capture the richness of what actually takes place during an interview. In the end they are just text on paper ready to be sliced up for an article.
- Where do I figure in all of this – ethnography? I found I was cutting myself out of the research. This is not only an odd thing for a real ethnographer to do, but something that was only brought to my attention through the collaborations with the Illustration students. Their brief was the opposite – put the researcher back into the frame.
Click the images below to learn about my adventures with comics.