International Journal of Art & Design Education

Moments of Intensity: Affect and the Making and Teaching of Art

Volume 30.3   2011



Effect often arises unexpectedly within the process of making art (along with other creative activities). In this article I argue for affect as a necessary and constructive dynamic within educational processes specifically for art and design. After a consideration of its recent neglect within art education, I revisit the notion of affect with reference to a number of thinkers who provide different perspectives, but particularly through the lens of the US psychologist Silvan Tomkins. Through him and others I seek to understand how affect can be recognised and cultivated in pedagogic situations. I do so by reflecting on the making and teaching experiences of students following an MA in Art and Design in Education and a practice-based PhD, as witnessed by me (supervisor/co-tutor), as recounted by students and as discussed in post-event conversation/semi-structured interviews.