Soliloquy Methodology: a Cradle for Credible, Practice-Based Research


  • Jocene Vallack CQUniversity



Practice-based research, phenomenology, arts-based research


Practice-based research is becoming increasingly popular with scholars of creative arts, writing and even business studies. The author is currently using practice-based research in conjunction with her original, Soliloquy Methodology, to address the research question: How does my application of Soliloquy Methodology produce insight into the phenomenon of judgement? The practice component, which aligns with a method in the framework of Soliloquy, involves writing, directing and staging a full play about human judgement. Through the practice, new insights into the research question have been gleaned. Debate is now emerging about the validity of practice-based approaches – is it academic inquiry or is it just art? This paper will argue that whereas artists do not need to be able to explain their work (as the work speaks for itself), academic researchers using arts-based methods do. The very nature of academic inquiry requires a solidly aligned methodology to service the research question, along with clearly articulated research outcomes. This paper will look at the academy’s recent attempts to find suitable frameworks for practice-based research and then contrast these with the author’s alternative and original methodology, Soliloquy Methodology. It will argue the latter both compliments the creative nature of the practice and validates the need for academic structure and explanation. Soliloquy Methodology has been developed over two decades as an adaptation of Husserl’s philosophical, pure phenomenology. The author will describe her current, practice-based research that uses creativity - specifically play writing and performance - as a research method. It will demonstrate how this method cradles comfortably in the theoretical framework of Soliloquy Methodology. There is potential for different and new knowledge to be accessed through arts practice. Answers come initially in abstract forms, which must then be interpreted and articulated by the researcher. This paper will emphasise the need for investigators to be vigilant about rigor in their research. It will demonstrate how this is being achieved with reference to the author’s current, theatre-inspired inquiry into judgement. Furthermore, it will detail the research framework of Soliloquy Methodology for possible use in future arts-practice-based projects.