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Entitled 'Evoking Intimacy: Touch and the Thoughtful Body in Sculptural Ceramics', Bonnie's PhD had as its specific objective the creation of sculptural ceramics that engage the body's sense of touch beyond the hand. The research explored physiology and neurophysiology (how the body perceives), anthropology (how ceramics are handled and used in different cultures), phenomenology (the relationship between subject and object as understood by Maurice Merleau-Ponty), understanding the “pure experience” of Japanese philosopher Kitarō Nishida, and Luce Irigaray's feminist concepts of the caress. The research outcomes included a 60,000-word thesis; a large body of studio work; six exhibitions; peer-reviewed journal articles; conference papers; a conference poster; and a magazine article.

  • "Kintsugi", Repair: A Method for the 21st Century?, Department of Art History and World Studies, University of East Anglia, May 2021.

  • "The Appropriated Teabowl", National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), Pittsburgh PA, 2018.

  • "Altered States: Appropriation of an Iconic Ceramic Form", Emmanuel Cooper Memorial Lecture 2017, Crafts Study Centre, 28 March 2017.

  • “The Chawan in the East and West: Siblings, Cousins, or Orphans?”, Shima Kara Shima E symposium, Crafts Study Centre, 4 December 2014.

  • “Grounded Sensuality: Art in Well-being”, Well-being 2013, Birmingham UK, 25 July 2013.

  • “Grounded Sensuality: Wellbeing in an Art Setting”, Culture, Health & Wellbeing 2013, International Conference, Bristol, 24-26 June 2013.

  • “Grounded Sensuality: Affective (Emotional) Ceramics”, Earth/Energy, NCECA 2013 Conference (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts), Houston USA, 20–23 March 2013 (to be published).

  • “Embodied Ceramics: Engaging the Body Beyond Representation”, Clay Embodied: Ceramics and the Human Form, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama, 22–23 February 2013 (to be published).

  • “When Subversive Becomes the Norm”, Subversive Ceramics Symposium, Bath Spa University, 9 November 2012 (to be published).

  • Forum speaker, “Performance, Performativity, and Impermanence: Developments in 21st Century Ceramics”, International Ceramics Festival, Aberystwyth, 2 July 2011.

  • “Capturing the Embrace: a sculptural engagement with Merleau-Ponty's "lived experience” ”, Assembling Bodies Conference, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, 4 December 2009.

  • “ “Like hugging an extension of myself”: the creation of artworks that engage the body”s sense of touch”, The Material Body, University of Cambridge, 27-29 March 2009.

  • “Embracing sculptural ceramics: a lived experience of touch in art”, The Senses & Society 4.3, November 2009.

  • “Towards a Touch Aesthetic”, Intersections, Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, 2–4 April 2009.

  • "Touch, Tactility, and the Thoughtful Body: Embracing Well-being through Sculpture" (poster), Classification, Identity, and the Body, Symposium of the Health & Welfare Research Group, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Cambridge University, 13 June 2008.

  • “Embracing Ceramics: A bodily engagement”, Idea & Act: A Ceramics Symposium, Bath Spa University, 7 September 2007.

  • “Towards the Embrace: a case study of an emergent, interwoven research methodology in sculptural ceramics”, New Craft – Future Voices International Conference Proceedings, Georgina Follett and Louise Valentine, eds, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee, Scotland, 4-6 July 2007, pp35-46.

  • “Engaging the Body with Sculptural Ceramics”, Parallels and Connections, University of Sunderland, National Glass Centre, 1-2 March 2007.

  • “Touching the Body: A Ceramic Possibility”, Interpreting Ceramics, Issue 8, (2006).

  • “Touch and the Caress: Scientific Knowledge Applied to Tactile Sculptural Ceramics”, Atoms to Art 1, Research Network for Science + Art for Ceramics + Glass, Manchester Art Gallery, 13-14 September 2005.


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