Merrily Hall

An Investigation of Creative Practice as a Shield for Innate Sensitivity

On this page

The aim of this research is to explore if people who identify as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or are highly sensitive (as is found in Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) or Asperger Syndrome), use creativity as a type of shield to modulate sensory overload. A shield can take many forms and can mean different things to different people. My objective is to define the most universal meanings and explore some of the many forms.

The secondary aim is to create awareness relating to the sensory traits. Sensitivity is a deep vein running through the artist community and it’s that very sensitivity that helps drive creative works and may actually be what is also termed ‘talent’, leading to a better understanding and support for this trait. 

My creative practice will focus on knitting and how this particular practice is used to modulate sensory overload. While knitting is my primary research, information gathered from other creative practices will develop a broader insight into sensory modulation, the creation of ‘shields’ and the relationship between high sensitivity and creativity.

Names of Supervisors: Dr. Paul Harrison & Dr. Blair Saunders 

Normal Location of PhD Candidate: Scotland