How I Found My Way to the Written Word Through Visual Art

Laura Donkers

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The author’s practice-led research explores “the act of living.” In order to advance this idea, the author has acquired skills in investigation and expresses her thinking through a descriptive and explanatory visual language. The author’s learning journey, while not unique, has not been an ordinary one. Initial academic failure to achieve in the school education system contributed to her choosing a life working on the land and harbouring the belief that she was unable to learn academically. Still, the author has gained a rich base of physical knowledge and experience through the traditional oral route including learning interpersonal communication through body language and vocal tonality. The author has used this intuitive knowledge to develop an arts practice where she explores the bio-cultural links between people and the lands they inhabit, creating works that aim to extend knowing through emphasising the experience and atmosphere of landscape. At this time, when our lives have become increasingly encoded and intellectually based, the author shares a belief with American philosopher Eugene Gendlin (b. 1926) that the “felt sense” can be developed in order to enable us to engage more fully with the world around us. The author explores this idea in her visual art but also realizes the need to express it in writing, both in order to reach a wider public and because of the possibilities offered by the written word to make public which is private and held deep within.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 511-516
Number of pages6
JournalPhilosophy Study
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2014


  • embodied thinking
  • primary observation
  • open work
  • fieldwork
  • drawing
  • interconnection
  • interaction
  • felt sense


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