International Journal of Art & Design Education

Critical Theory and Visual Practice in the Art School

Volume 18.2   1999



This paper reflects upon the recent debates concerning the relationship between theory and practice in British art schools. Much has been done during the last two decades by artists, academics, writers and exhibition curators to bridge the traditional polarization between thinking and making. Underlying this venture is the keenly felt conviction that our task as teachers is to work with our students to develop creative practices which make a difference - particularly in ways in which we articulate our sense of self in a wider social and political context. The formerly inward looking reclusive art school culture is now inhabited by groups and individuals who are engaged in the everyday concerns of consumer culture and are committed to harness creative production as an agent of change, and reject the notion that art practice is divorced from theoretical concerns.