As part of the research for my main project I have created an anonymous online survey via surveyplanet. With the intention that this would serve as an impetus for creative development and as a source of information on the moral compass of my target audience. I created a 14 point questionnaire, designed to gauge the respondent’s preconceptions on lies and deceit and to decipher a series of moral boundaries which I could then choose to respect or violate in the production of my own artwork and creative responses. I am now in the process of creating a 40 page survey report which analyses these results.
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Over 70 respondents completed the survey and gave me a wealth of information. I was surprised by just how candid people were; the secrets that were disclosed were at times strange and at others downright shocking! I believe the anonymity of the survey played a large role in the level of personal disclosure and in retrospect I could have possibly gone further and asked even more personal and probing questions with a high likelihood of receiving an abundance of  responses but the information I do have is plentiful and has enabled me to pursue some unexpected creative pathways which I could not have imagined at the beginning of this project.

I specifically asked people to divulge the biggest lie they had ever told and although a few people declined to answer, the vast majority used this opportunity as what I can only describe as a confessional. Perhaps it allowed people to elevate a certain degree of guilt by confessing, I’m not sure, but the nature of this divulgence put the information in to an almost religious context. Had I become a sort of online priest to hear and judge their sins? Will my book offer some kind of retribution or penance for these sinners? This can only be speculated upon but it was this line of thought that impacted upon an introductory spread to the topic. Inspired by the ornate stained glass windows of a church the intricate pattern is woven into the typography to represent the complex layers of deceit and the potential for forgiveness that may lay ahead.

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The completed survey report should serve as a vessel to enable responders to check where they might fall on the morality scale; To discover how their views compare with those of others and if they identify with the majority or are more or less forgiving than the next. By examining the data I have been able to establish that people can be incredibly contradictory; very quick to judge yet equally as quick to resort to lying themselves. There seems to be a strange societal paradox where lying is frowned upon yet it is also an everyday occurrence for most people. This survey goes some way to explore that juxtaposition and the subsequent aesthetic is intended to reflect just that.

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I will continue to dissect the information and how I can best interpret, analyse and convey these findings. This is an ongoing process and I am keen to delve deeper in to the murky waters of deceit to discover how this can further enhance the creative aspect of this project.

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