“Arts-based research represents an effort to explore the potentialities of an approach to representation that is rooted in aesthetic considerations and that, when it is at its best, cumulates in the creation of something closer to a work of art.” Tom Barone, and Elliot W. Eisner

Arts-based research is a mode of formal qualitative inquiry that uses artistic processes in order to understand and articulate the subjectivity of human experience. It is largely employed in fields such as education, healthcare and therapeutic studies to denote a methodological approach which incorporates elements of creative arts to form an interdisciplinary model of investigation for social sciences. 


The researcher is not necessarily author of artwork, the research objective is the effect caused by artworks on social environment, producing knowledge in ideas, theories, methods and new data (social science), research output would be a text. It has been used as one of several tools to elicit information and for the analysis of data and so it serves as an enrichment to the palette of tools used in qualitative research. It has been used in the presentation of findings and so occupies a space that could be responded to and evaluated as both art and research.

Drawn from ‘Art as Research’ section of James Bulley & Özden Şahin (eds.) Practice Research - Report 1: What is practice research? and Report 2: How can practice research be shared?. (London: PRAG-UK, 2021) and Mick Wilson and Schelte van Ruiten, eds. SHARE handbook for artistic research education. ELIA European League of Institutes of the Arts, 2013.




Tom Barone, and Elliot W. Eisner. Arts based research. Sage, 2011.



Susan Finley, “Arts-Based Research,” in Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research: Perspectives, Methodologies, Examples and Issues, ed. J. Gary Knowles and Ardra L. Cole (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2008)


Patricia Leavy, (ed.) Handbook of arts-based research. (Guilford Publications 2017).


Shaun McNiff, "Art-based research." Handbook of the arts in qualitative research: Perspectives, methodologies, examples, and issues (SAGE Publications 2008): pp 29-40.