Kirsty Wagstaffe is a fine art practice-based PhD student at De Montford University, Leicester, UK, studying ‘Alchemy and Transdisciplinarity: the creative process, self-exploration, and transformation’. The research explores Jungian techniques as methodology in creativity through practice-led fine art. Kirsty is also Senior Lecturer on the Integrated Foundation Year, Arts at the University of Northampton. She hold a BA(hons) in Photography, MA in Visual Communication, MSc in Psychology along with teaching and learning qualifications and recognition, and shorter course qualifications.
My work comes from a paradigm of arts-based research and utilises psychotherapeutic and shamanic techniques as a process for image making. The artwork itself, is the goal, as a communicative tool both for the self and others. I usually start with a dream, emotion or active imagination and spend time exploring the visual content contained within them. By using photography, the challenge of finding a tangible item from imaginary imagery allows for an amplification and exploration of the internal landscape through a visual language. Letting myself ‘sit’ with these images and spend time beginning to know them, which is part of the creation, and creative process, allows for both subjective and objective evaluations to be undertaken. The nature of photography contains similarities, as the lens or the screen creates a barrier, where the artist, myself, can be both present within the image, either literally, or metaphorically, whilst also physically being outside of the creation of the work. The final part of the process involves the audience or viewer, to engage with the art, as a creative experience that may resonate with them, that can then become the starting point of a conversation, where words have previously failed.