International Journal of Art & Design Education

Negotiating Cross-cultural Education in the Visual Arts

Volume 19.3   2000



This paper looks at the problems posed by a Eurocentric Visual Arts education in Australia. It illustrates the cultural circumstances that created an environment sympathetic to a move away from an Euro-American cultural emphasis towards a more Asian centred programme. It describes how the Western Australian School of Visual Arts chose a conceptual model appropriate to the task of re-aligning the objectives and content of the teaching of visual art theory at the School. The debates considered essential to the development of a course of study appropriate to the evolving of a post-colonial, multi-cultural Australia are examined. The benefits and problems of the Modernist agenda in Australia are discussed alongside proposals that promote understanding of cultural difference. The intention is to produce graduates who are aware of the relevance of cross cultural negotiation in contemporary Australian art and design practice, and who have a familiarity with current theoretical models of cross cultural negotiation and exchange.