Nancy de Freitas

Nancy de Freitas is an artist and academic based at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. Her research interests include: the form and language of research reporting; active documentation as a research method; 'material thinking' approaches and professional education models for the design, creative and cultural sectors. She has lectured widely on art and design research practice and material thinking method at host institutions in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Her own installation works have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Conceptually, this work has been grounded in an awareness of immigrant sensitivities and a notion of exile. Philosophically, she explores the human condition in which cultural material such as tradition, memory and identity are preserved, reconstructed, questioned and sometimes discarded as markers of individuality. Her work reveals a broadly felt desire to understand what it means to belong, to have a sense of home and in particular, to understand how memory and forgetting affect this process. In 2012 de Freitas received a Fulbright Travel Award in support of an invitational speaking tour in the USA on the topic ‘Moving Artistic Research Beyond Practice-­‐Led Explanations’. She is currently Editor-­‐in-­‐Chief of the international journal ‘Studies in Material Thinking’.