International Journal of Art & Design Education

Creative Disruption – A Task Based Approach to Engaging with Original Works of Art

Volume 23.1   2004



This paper examines the value of a task-based approach to engaging with original works of art and focuses in particular upon the experiences of a group of PGCE Art and Design trainees when they visited an exhibition entitled ‘Air Guitar: Art Reconsidering Rock Music’ to carry out given tasks. The extent to which a task based approach might creatively disrupt trainee teachers’ thinking and the nature and significance of such thinking within an educational context is considered, as is the impact of the tasks on their developing understanding of the need for a diversity of approaches to critical engagement. It draws extensively upon selected responses to the tasks and the trainees’ subsequent reflections on the experience. Comparisons are made between trainees’ responses to particular works and references to these works that are detailed in the exhibition catalogue. This is undertaken with the intention of examining the interrelationship between understanding and knowledge when reading and responding to works of art in the gallery context. A further concern is to generate debate and challenge assumptions regarding the nature and dynamics of gallery based activities and contribute to a process of development and innovation in which all participants can play an active part.