Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Fertile Ground: Multi-disciplinarity and Collaboration in Creative Practice

Nancy de Freitas.

This work examines the generative and developmental phases of a multi-disciplinary artistic collaboration. In the context of visual art practice, collaboration is a method through which work is produced by more than one artist. It is a creative method that offers the opportunity for intellectual conversation and critical discourse as part of the evolution of an artwork.

Throughout the process of creative collaboration, partners engage with the emerging artefact through their observations, the questions they ask and the level of detail they require in order to communicate effectively with each other. The work presented here focuses on a recent case study including the interdisciplinary conversation itself and the collaborative interventions on the emerging artefact.

The study identifies a number of ways in which the artifact impacts on the collaborative process, as a physical object and as an abstract object. It examines the impact of the collaborative, interdisciplinary process in relation to a) the decision making processes, b) the critique of work in progress and c) the final execution of it. The results suggest that as the artefact evolves, so does the collaborative process. The intellectual conversation and productive exchange results in a deeper level of discourse and analysis contributing both to the development of the work and to its quality. The intersecting creative practices of the collaborating partners benefit in particular ways through their unique sensitivities to the materials and processes of the emerging artefac


Nancy de Freitas  (New Zealand)
Associate Professor in Art and Design
School of Art and Design
Auckland University of Technology

Nancy de Freitas is an artist whose work is grounded in an awareness of immigrant sensitivities that include a notion of exile. Recent work has explored the human condition in which cultural material such as tradition, memory, and identity are preserved, reconstructed, perhaps questioned and sometimes discarded as markers of individuality. The content of her work reveals a desire to understand what our home and our memories of it mean to us. In this installation, Weight of the Human Heart, she has tried to evoke something of the emotional weight that is a consequence of dislocatio

  • Collaboration
  • Research methodology
  • Emergent artefact
  • Creative practice

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)