Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to offer a picture of the relationship the researchers perceive
between the art and research practices, unravelling the ways the authors shape and inform enactment
of a purposeful nexus between art making and research.
Design/methodology/approach – A hybridised methodology is adopted, where methods integral to
narrative inquiry and a/r/tography are drawn together to generate a series of "pictures" of the interplay
between research and artistry. Through exploration of critical events, creative prose and artefacts,
the paper unfolds the parallels perceived and tensions encountered between the approaches to making
art and conducting research.
Findings – Borders can create a sense of calm and safety in allowing us to organise and contain
information or matter, but they are also provocative in their potential to be crossed. Through this work,
the authors chart the borders of the art making and research, and how, why and when these borders
might be traversed to augment the integrity of both practices. In unfolding and examining the
experiences and the perceptions thereof, the authors articulate ways in which the authors find arts
practice to enrich and inhibit the research, and vice versa.
Originality/value – Of particular value in this paper is the way in which the authors not only tell of
the experiences as artists and researchers, but also show these experiences through a/r/tographic
methods. As such this paper presents an approach to research that is generative, suggesting rather
than concluding and challenging rather than resolving, and ultimately offering multiple avenues for
artistic and analytic insight.