The Liminal Zone: A Metaphor for the Interface between Teaching and Creative Practice

Project Details

Description of project aims

This research project aims to understand how synergies can be nurtured between higher education arts teaching and teachers’ own creative practice. It will use a mixture of methods to generate both an overview of staff activity and in-depth explication of their lived experience on the interface of the arts and academia.

Layman's description

Online survey launched to explore how creative art staff in Scottish colleges and universities balance their teaching and creative practice.

The survey of teaching staff experience will provide overview and comparative data and identify participants for a deeper investigation, which will be carried out through appreciative inquiry dialogues with several artist-academics from the University of Highlands and Islands and from other Scottish Universities with the intention of creating a community of practice exploring the interface between artistic and academic activity. The research will then take the tidal zone as a central metaphor for a poetic and artistic inquiry into this interface.

The community of practice will triangulate the data from the survey with the qualitative evidence from the dialogues, poetic inquiry and their own artistic practice. Reflection and workshop discussion on this analysis will result in conclusions and recommendations about how Universities can nurture positive interaction between teaching and creative practice and boundary crossing between academic and arts identities.

If you are a creative arts teacher please take our survey and share with your colleagues: The Liminal Zone (
Short titleThe Liminal Zone
Effective start/end date18/01/21 → 31/03/22

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


  • A/R/Tography
  • Creative practice
  • Teaching


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