Imagination, Creativity and Innovation

Imagination is said to be the source of all human achievement. We engage in innovative creative practices which allow us to connect with each other and have deeper experiences.

colourful womans face painted on building

Creative practice brings together thinking and feeling: it allows us to connect with each other and to create new things with the shifts and changes in our society and culture. Our research and creative practice explore the world as it is and how it might be. Using a variety of media and art forms we produce new ideas and experiences that permit us to explore human beliefs and values.

Adelaide has unique and internationally recognised artists as well as academics who seek to combine creative practice with scholarly research to produce innovative outcomes. At The University of Adelaide, our researchers are interested in capturing, creating and enabling people to tell their own stories. We capture stories so they are not forgotten and create stories to connect with people. By enabling people to tell their own stories in compelling ways we create greater engagement, impact and acknowledge the roles that stories play in shaping life experience, goals, and values.

Our researchers use diverse approaches in order to map multiple perspectives including digital media, audio spatialisation techniques, historic and contemporary empirical research and field recordings, conceptual and theoretical analysis, augmented reality, and specialised on-location composition. One focus of our research and creative practice is on the creation of new music, stories, poetry, and other artistic forms to express historic and contemporary narratives and identities. Another area of our research looks at the ways creative arts and creative practice are understood, taught, and valued in diverse settings and cultures, including communities, museums and galleries, and public spaces.

The effect of the work done by our researchers has been wide-ranging and significant, particularly within the local communities and organisations we have collaborated with. From Indigenous communities, a variety of galleries and museums, and local government organisations, to the OzAsia Festival and the Adelaide Oval; our collaborations have benefited the Adelaide community on a sociocultural and economic level via cultural representation, tourism and economic renewal of underused spaces.

Our key researchers in this area:

  • Professor Brian Castro - Creative writing. Brian is an award-winning novelist and essayist, internationally recognised as an author, critic, and reviewer.
  • Professor Aaron Corn - CASM/NCALMS. Aaron does collaborative research with Indigenous musicians, festivals, and heritage collections to engage with intellectual traditions that remain fundamental to Indigenous cultural survival, to produce new approaches to curatorial policies and practices among memory institutions around the world, and to inform contemporary Australian engagements across cultures.
  • Professor Tom Hadju - Sia Furler Institute for Contemporary Music and Media. Tom’s expertise lies in strategic creative technologies, innovation, and digital disruption, drawing on his extensive international experience reshaping the role of music in film, television, and advertising industries and in scoring films, television programs and commercials, records, and art installations.
  • Professor Jennifer A. McMahon - Philosophy. Jennifer investigates the philosophy of art, music, literature, dance and film with particular focus on the imagination.
  • Professor Jennifer Rutherford - JMCCCP. Jennifer creates interdisciplinary work that fuses the humanities and social sciences in experimental writing and visual representations, particularly in terms of narrative, memory, and place-making for individuals and cultures.
  • Dr Luke Harrald - Composer/Head of Studies (popular music), ECM. Luke produces immersive story telling through sound art via creation of new music and immersive sound installations to tell both historical and contemporary stories.
  • Dr Aaron Humphrey - Lecturer in media studies. Aaron’s research combines critical analysis with creative practice to investigate the relationships between images and texts, and between media and society.
  • Mr Stephen Whittington - Composer/Head of Studies (sonic arts), ECM. Stephen is an Australian composer, pianist, teacher, and writer of music; he performs various genres including experimental, traditional, and popular music, and does work with film and multimedia.

Our research groups working in this area

Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree with us?

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