Mind, Hand and Material in Art Creation

The objective of this master’s thesis was to explore how research, experimentation and thinking through making can be used to activate the imagination and initiate a conceptual working process. I was interested in understanding how I might use this method in my work and teaching in the future.
To this purpose I have analyzed my own creative practice and my use of thinking through making, as well as how I might use the conclusions I’ve reached in this project to take my investigations further.
I base my theoretical approach mostly on three scholars who have provided me with a source of inspiration:
Tim Ingold and Juhani Pallasmaa, both of whom emphasize the research process during which it’s the connections between the hands, the mind and the material that forms the basis for new knowledge in an art and design practice; and, related to their approach, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who has studied the importance of flow, i.e. when balance is achieved between our skills and challenges, resulting in absolute absorption in the subject, with the subject taking the lead.

My results have convinced me that this method, thinking through making, and exploring its potential in initiating flow, can be a good way to start the development of concept, whether it be in my own artistic practice or with students.

Rather than starting with a fixed idea and trying to bring it into material form, choosing this method may open possibilities for new ways of thinking, a process that might take you into new and hitherto unknown paths in the interplay between the properties of material, mind and hand.


herborgedv [at] icloud.com
Advisors: Ásthildur Jónsdóttir og Ellen Gunnarsdóttir