Walk and draw: a methodology to investigate subjective wellbeing
Birmingham City University
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This paper presents recently completed AHRC funded research investigating walking and self-narration as a methodology for revealing insights into individual and community wellbeing. Shared flows and connections, illuminated through 'in the moment' personal reflection via spoken words and drawings, have been used to inform knowledge concerning personal and cultural wellbeing of the participant groups. The paper describes two complementary interventions: one in which the participants were drawn from a Somali immigrant community and the other an 'expert group' of artists. In particular, this paper focuses specifically on walking combined with visual self-narration and the ways in which drawn representation can reveal hidden thoughts, memories and emotions, which are palpable and yet difficult to articulate through words. A qualitative research methodology is described in which data was gathered through audio and video recordings of activities as well as participant sketchbooks and communal drawings. Two investigations are presented: a participant group for whom drawing is not a familiar narrative tool and an expert group of artists for whom drawing is a natural language. Both studies reveal how walking and drawing narratives are able to articulate difficult and deeply embedded emotional connections and thereby support subjective wellbeing.
Treadaway, C., Prytherch, D., Coles, R. & Millman, Z. (2013). Walk and draw: a methodology to investigate subjective wellbeing. In: COLES, R. (ed.) Wellbeing 2013. Birmingham City University: Birmingham, UK
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
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