Publications

International Journal of Art & Design Education

An Image of Possibility: Illustrating a Pedagogic Encounter with Culture

Volume 30.3   2011

MICHAEL, MAUREEN K

 

An Image of Possibility is an interplay between image-making and interpretation. It explores author-created illustration as an art-based tool for educational inquiry and is designed further to inform the creative research practice of the author. The illustration ‘Meeting People’ is created by the author to render an event of learning and culture pictorially evident. In a description of the process and content of the image it becomes clear that the creation of the image rehearses known ideas and literally re-presents them. However, what is more interesting is that in a critical rereading of the image unintended ideas are revealed to the author. Illustration, the act of drawing and its manipulation, reveals meaning as an active component in research discovery through creative practice. The illustration encapsulates characteristics of Bourriaud's relational aesthetics and Atkinson's notion of the learning event. The ‘truth’ of the learning event is revealed not in the relationship between the students and culture, as at first assumed, but in the relationship between the author/artist and the illustration. From the perspective of the author/artist, the article explores the question: ‘To what extent can illustration illuminate pedagogic encounters with culture?’ An Image of Possibility presents a metonymical representation of an educational encounter and offers illustration as a tool for educational inquiry.