Horse before the cart

When you find yourself launching your research before the class even starts and you have a wee little freak-out!

I had the brilliant idea to extend my Inclusive Practice intervention into my SIP project. I thought, it’s about compassion and art and teaching, surely I can extend that to fit SIP. Problem was, the workshop was scheduled to run on Monday 25th September and SIP class began on Wednesday 25th September. Huh…

I was hearing stuff about Ethics forms, running different experiments… how on earth do I do this workshop to fit with the research I need for SIP when I don’t know anything about SIP? Yet!

I emailed the SIP course leader about 2 weeks before the workshop in near panic that I was missing a valuable chance to capture crucial information, a chance that would not be easily repeated! She helpfully sent me a few guidance documents and the ethics info. I looked through them seeking manna from heaven and came to an instant conclusion: there was no way I could do this workshop in a SIP-compliant manner. I didn’t have the time. 2 part time jobs, a business, a project and a young family was proving hard enough to balance. The workshop was approaching and I had about 2 more days to complete the documents for use in session and reference on Moodle, plus the PowerPoint presentation. If those 2 days go the way the last one did, it will be highly interrupted by my kiddies who want to come hug mummy when she’s mid-flow. Love the buggers and their timing isn’t usually ideal but there is no way I can refuse a hug, which leads to a chat, which leads to 15 minutes later… sigh.

The words "Who's in Your Audience - Inclusivity and  Compassion in Communication Design" in dark lettering against a background that looks like overlapping stage lights. At the base of the image an extended silhouette of the back of audience members' heads
1st slide of my workshop presentation

So I ran the workshop.

There was a participant feedback form (available both on and off line) with some consent elements, but alas, no ethics forms were used in the creation of that workshop. Read more about the workshop here.

Feedback Form for Inclusivity & Compassion in Communication Design Workshop, Pg 1 which is about consent and what the questionnaire will lead to
Feedback Form for Inclusivity & Compassion in Communication Design Workshop, Pg 2 which is about gather actual feedback on their reactions to the workshop and pre-workshop on the topics of compassion and inclusivity
Feedback Form for Inclusivity & Compassion in Communication Design Workshop

I mention all this because, in hind sight, the workshop answered one of my preliminary questions – why an exhibition? If you want to spread compassion, wouldn’t teaching be a more meaningful effective way to do that? Surely the effect of any exhibition is fleeting?

Running this workshop proved to me that while I enjoyed teaching Inclusivity & Compassion, the enthusiasm I felt for that was not even a spark compared to the energy that zings through me when I start planning this exhibition. It brings me back to my practice. It’s another way to teach, but using my art. It feels right.

I have no clue how much intuition and instinct factor in the research process of SIP, but this workshop helped me decipher my research direction though at the time I had no idea at the time.