Completed PhD Research

Pen Mendonça
Pen’s practice-based research developed the new mode of Values-Based Cartooning for accessing and representing contemporary social issues. She experimented with this approach through a case study: ‘single mothers storying the absent biological father or sperm donor’. Graphically facilitated interviews and workshops were undertaken with twenty single women aged between sixteen and fifty-two, all pregnant, or first-time mothers of babies. Participant responses were filtered and condensed in to creative non-fiction graphic narratives. The thesis identified the benefits and limitations of Values-Based Cartooning in the researcher-artist’s professional context, and highlighted the politics of creative decision making when applied within a research context. This research may be of interest to visual practitioners, motherhood and comics scholars, research teams, public and voluntary sector leaders, authors and artists.