The new Visiting Research Fellowship in the Creative Arts was designed by Merton College to initiate synergies between the arts and academia, and to increase the profile of the college as a centre for research and innovation in the arts.
In a world in which our experiences are increasingly governed by external influences, Stiles’ research explores the psychological benefits experienced within the autonomy of creativity, and the important role that plays in education and student wellbeing.
Through a series of workshops about light, colour, and form, Stiles has demonstrated how learning through the experience of creative practice can offer new insights into oneself and one’s own experience of reality. This can be achieved by investigating philosophical ideas about perception, while developing a painting. As Stiles puts it “Working like this encourages you to paint what you feel and imagine, and not what you know. This can extend your vision beyond conventional realism.”
Lightscape features a series of paintings inspired by the environment of Merton College which were used to represent visual metaphors during these workshops, each offering new ways to drive the imagination, highlighting the fundamental links between creativity and psychological wellbeing