International Journal of Art & Design Education

A Romantic/Religious Interpretation of Artistic Reality

Volume 3.1   1984



A critical interpretation of the paintings of Norman Adams, based upon research which was autobiographical in origin. The research was located in an emerging strand of art education inquiry that has been described as ethno-historical, existential and hermeneutic. The research attempted to illuminate knowledge acquired indirectly through informal, personal and highly charged affective contexts and asks in what sense is Adams a religious artist and why are his paintings considered religious or mystical? Adams, the author's former instructor, is not a believer and dislikes institutionalised religion but describes aesthetics and religion as 'inseparable'. The research explicates Adams's Romantic view of artistic reality which is tested against critical discourse in art education literature and is used to reflect upon its implications for art teaching and the author's professional situation.