Remembering, Reflecting, Returning: A Return to Professional Practice Journey Through Poetry, Music and Images

Our composition brings together poetry, music, images and personal narratives based around the experiences of an occupational therapist, Karen, who following a family career break, returned to her profession. Our work demonstrates collaborative research practices and illuminates our experiences and journeying as practitioner-artists/researchers/teachers.

This autoethnographic inquiry employs bricolage, drawing on theory and hybridized methods, inspired by the notion of ‘returning to practice’. The conversations of Karen and Katherine (mentee and mentor) as qualitative data, analyzed, interpreted and made accessible through poetry and images – along with Peter’s musical and autobiographical compositions – explore possibilities to re-examine and share alternative avenues of scholarship and theoretical understanding, not least in redefining what contribution to knowledge that artistic processes and ‘artwork’ makes methodologically, pedagogically, aesthetically, and therapeutically. Our intention is to engage the reader-viewer-listener to (re)think, take notice, disrupt, re-examine and extend personal meanings about return to practice journeys, enabling each of us to benefit and be (re)inspired.

We recast aspects of ‘knowing and experience’ metaphorically, to consider and express our sense of being and becoming in the world. Importantly, we seek to explore how arts informed ways of knowing and learning about the self and other can serve to enhance our students/researchers/practitioners learning experiences.