International Journal of Art & Design Education

Inspiration into Installation: An Exploration of Contemporary Experience through Art

Volume 25.2   2006



This article discusses the ways in which a fine art department has successfully enabled pupils, staff and the local community to gain access to exciting and wide-ranging art experiences. Through the creation of temporary installations and exhibitions the art department at Trinity School regularly becomes a gallery resource centre for part of the year. Children across all key stages create art inspired by artists in residence (including an artist teacher) in response to challenging contemporary issues. In 2005 three collaborative installations were produced in response to a potentially disruptive phase within the educational establishment. ‘Sleep-Eternal Rest’ involved pupils’ contributions to the installation, gallery visits and the study of different artists’ work. For the exhibition ‘Flesh, Fur and Feathers’, a resident artist worked with students in response to a hanging deer, game and a table laden with fruit. In a building about to be demolished a group of recently graduated artists collaborated on an exhibition entitled ‘Somewheretogo’. This collaborative partnership led to art becoming a central resource for different curriculum areas as well as PSHE. The success of the venture led to pupils’ own work becoming an accessible artistic resource, to which they themselves could respond. As well as avoiding the potential limitations of exam-driven targets and assessment, it became a source of enrichment in personal, educational and creative terms.