International Journal of Art & Design Education

The Narrative Approach to Art Education: A Case Study

Volume 23.2   2004



This case study takes as its focus the work of the Fine Art graduate Dumile Johannes Ndita, who visually narrates his experience of life in contemporary South Africa. The artist graduated from Border Technikon, East London, an institution, which teaches the narrative approach. It is the aim of the authors to illustrate how this method enables students to transfer lived experience into image. The three voices in this paper come from different backgrounds. The artist will explain the meaning of his drawings, the teacher will give background information on the community and culture in which he himself and the artist operate and outline teaching methods. Students taught by this method create work that has impact and meaning beyond the confines of the art school. To argue this point, the theoretician will add her voice and reflect on meta-narratives presented in Dumile Johannes Ndita’s drawings. Intricate inter-textual patterns, shared and inter-connecting institutional narratives tie our individual voices to those of the wider community and culture of present-day South Africa and beyond.