Drawing a line; the role of the co-created artefact in engendering solidarity between participants in a restorative justice process.
Through my PhD research, I will investigate the role of the co-created artefact in Restorative Justice processes within the context of my own practice as a maker.
Co-created objects will be formed out of a working relationship between myself as a creative practitioner and a person responsible for causing harm and/or the person harmed, as part of a Restorative Justice process. On completion, the co-created artefact would be gifted (with appropriate consents, risk assessments and ethical approval) to the other person/s involved in the conflict or situation of harm.
I will focus on the act and process of the making and gifting, alongside the role of the maker as enabler and co-creator. In particular, whether those processes can imbue the co-created object with enough significance for it to engender solidarity between participants in a restorative process, even if both parties are not present at the gifting. There is no existing research in this area in the fields of design, craft, the arts or criminology.
I have worked in the arts for 22 years (either as a self-employed maker, project manager and consultant or arts development officer) and as a restorative practitioner for 16. I became an Accredited Restorative Practitioner with the Restorative Justice Council in 2016. In 2008, I co-founded the ‘space2face’ arts and restorative justice project in Shetland. The project merges creative approaches with restorative processes to work with people involved in situations of harm or conflict.
‘Space2face’ was awarded a Restorative Practices UK Award (criminal justice category) in April 2016 and achieved independent charitable status in September 2016. Prior to moving to Shetland in 2007, I worked for the Oxfordshire Youth Offending Service where I was employed in various roles for six years. Most latterly, this was as the Creative Arts Development Worker in Youth Justice (2006 – 2007).