2016 - Volume 35: Number 1
‘Before I realised they were all women… I expected it to be more about materials’: Art, Gender and Tacit Subjectivity (pages 8–20)
This article discusses a critical discourse analysis research activity undertaken with a group of undergraduate primary trainees with an art specialism. The research activity involved the use of two contrasting texts discussing the work of Karla Black, Becky Beasley and Claire Barclay. The article explores how the positioning of the two texts affected the student teachers’ ability to engage effectively with ‘women's art’ on a personal and critical level, revealing some highly subjective views and raising questions around intertextuality; particularly how an individual's understanding of contexts, meanings and histories can inform collective interpretation and highlight existing subjectivity. The article subsequently identifies that although students were keen to talk about careful selection of texts, the benefits of using multiple sources and the risks of intertextual and ‘subliminal’ contamination, they were unable to reflect critically upon their own gendered reading of the texts. It concludes that this may well be a signifier of the problem – that the student teachers did not really see a problem at all.
Constructions of Roles in Studio Teaching and Learning (pages 21–35)
BELLUIGI, DINA ZOE
Various constructions of supervisors and students emerge from education literature on art, design and architecture studio pedagogy. Constructions of the supervisor within the studio and during assessment are considered, with a discussion of the threads which underpin them. This is followed by a discussion of some of the current dominant constructions of the student, and possible effects of these roles and relationships on their engagement with learning. As many of these constructions may be inherited or unconscious, a concern for the agency of those involved to rupture, subvert, rescript or resist such constructions motivates this research, while acknowledging that this may be limited by structural and cultural contexts.
Envisioning the Future: Working toward Sustainability in Fine Art Education (pages 36–50)
CLARKE, ANGELA and HULBERT, SHANE
Fine art education provides students with opportunities to acquire knowledge and skills to respond creatively to their experience of society and culture. Fostering creative ways of knowing, thinking and doing requires studio learning conditions that promote the exploration of embodied perceptions, material sensibilities and conceptual ideas that are provisional, socially constructed and ever changing. Traditionally, art schools provided these conditions unchallenged because they were autonomous. Since the 1980s, however, art schools have been integrated into the academy, and face increasing pressure to meet the institutional demands of being in a university. Some argue this changed status means the academy, with its research and pedagogic traditions, is actually straitjacketing creativity. Furthermore, contemporary art practice has changed as artists are increasingly experimenting with interdisciplinary modes of working.
This article discusses a two-year major change initiative, undertaken within an urban Australian art school, designed to respond to this complex set of changed circumstances. It considers ways to address institutional compliance and viability demands while maintaining deeply held values about how to foster creativity in undergraduate students. The outcome is a new organising structure and renewed curriculum for the largest programme offering in the school: the fine art undergraduate degree. Educational renewal is conceptualised as a creative process and the approach to change is thus adapted from creative research methodologies. By treating pedagogy and curriculum design as a creative process, this change initiative, rather than straitjacketing creativity, has re-envisioned an epistemological framework for undergraduate fine art that will sustain creativity education into the future.
Looking for a Possible Framework to Teach Contemporary Art in Primary School(pages 51–67)
Traditionally, the learning of arts in the Estonian primary school has meant completion of practical assignments given by the teacher. The new national curriculum for basic school adopted in 2010 sets out new requirements for art education where the emphasis, in addition to practical assignments, is on discussion and understanding of art. The teacher must introduce pupils to both art history and contemporary art. As a result, primary teachers would likely serve their pupils more effectively if they reconsidered their current understandings of art education and update their teaching correspondingly. The action research method seeks to answer the following question: how should one change the art education process in primary school so that in addition to practical activities pupils would have opportunities to talk about and understand contemporary art? The article discusses a framework for modernising art education in primary school. Research shows that primary school learners are open to innovation and thus discussion of contemporary art can become a natural part of primary school art classes. The balance between creating and responding is a key to planning the art education processes today.
Do Human-Figure Drawings of Children and Adolescents Mirror their Cognitive Style and Self-Esteem? (pages 68–85)
DEY, ANINDITA and GHOSH, PAROMITA
The investigation probed relationships among human-figure drawing, field-dependent-independent cognitive style and self-esteem of 10–15 year olds. It also attempted to predict human-figure drawing scores of participants based on their field-dependence-independence and self-esteem. Area, stratified and multi-stage random sampling were used to select a sample of 600 10–15 year olds residing in Kolkata city, India. The sample comprised three age-based strata: 10 and 11 year olds; 12 and 13 year olds; and 14 and 15 year olds. Each stratum comprised 100 girls and 100 boys. Participants’ actual age-ranges were 10 years 1 month – 11 years 10 months (first stratum); 12 years 4 months – 13 years 10 months (second stratum); and 14 years 3 months – 15 years 9 months (third stratum). Goodenough-Harris Drawing Test, Group Embedded Figures Test and Coopersmith Inventory were administered for assessing participants’ human-figure drawing, field-dependence-independence and self-esteem respectively. Results revealed significant positive relations among pertinent variables. Participants’ human-figure drawing scores could be significantly predicted by their field-dependence-independence and self-esteem.
Mapping Invitations to Participate: An Investigation in Museum Interpretation(pages 86–106)
LENZ KOTHE, ELSA
This a/r/tographic inquiry delves into questions about participatory art museum practice, specifically seeking to understand the nature of invitations to participate. Utilising drawings, writing and mapping of embodied participation, questions of how individuals are invited to participate in various locations and how these invitations inform the work of art museums that engage in participatory practice are considered. Conditions for participation, including familiarity, personalisation, enthusiasm, playfulness, narrative, uniqueness, sociability and listening, as well as anti-invitations that contradict moves toward participation, are discussed in relation to examples from the study and scholarly writing. The purpose of this article is twofold: first, to share research about participatory practice in various locations and its implications for art museums, and second, to explore the potential of arts-based research methodologies, particularly a/r/tography, for art museum education research.
Six into One: The Contradictory Art School Curriculum and how it Came About(pages 107–120)
This article reports historical research which sought to understand the present-day post-secondary art curriculum through analysing its history in terms of changes in conceptions of art. It found that there have been six distinctive curricula: Apprentice, Academic, Formalist, Expressive, Conceptual and Professional. As a new curriculum has been introduced, it has co-existed with much contained in a previous one. Most of the curriculum changes have taken place in the past 65 years. During this time, there has been a massive expansion in the education of artists and at the same time art schools accommodated first modernism and then post-Duchampian aesthetics. A conclusion is that this has made for a very crowded curriculum. Moreover, despite there being an ever increasing choice of things a student might learn, it appears that there is nothing which all students have to learn. It can be problematic that one part of the curriculum is in contradiction to another part, and moreover this lack of a core raises fundamental, ontological questions about what art as a discipline is.
Subjectivity in Design Education: The Perception of the City through Personal Maps (pages 121–139)
Our mental maps related to the cities are limited by our personal perception and fragmented in the process. There are many inner and outer effects that shape our mental maps, and as a result the fragmented whole refers to the total city image in our minds. To represent this image, an experimental study has been conducted with a group of students. They used mapping techniques to design subjective maps. Maps, in general, are objective, and produced by standardised techniques which connote similar meanings for everyone. In contrast, artists and designers use maps as liberating objects of representations. Thus, using mapping techniques, inventing new ways of narration and gaining new understandings towards the city we dwell in are the basic aims of this study. Final designs can be evaluated as tools to question subjectivity in both design and architectural education.
The Metamorphosis of Industrial Designers from Novices to Experts (pages 140–153)
WONG, JU-JOAN; CHEN, PO-YU and CHEN, CHUN-DI
Professional training for designers is crucial in the field of design studies. The characteristics of novices versus those of expert designers have been identified in the literature; however, studies exploring the issue of professional training processes in the actual workplace are not well developed. Our study addresses the topic by using qualitative research methods along with flexible design. Collected data from the interviewees with different work experience were analysed by open, axial and selective coding. Herein, we argue that the processes by which a designer transforms from a novice into an expert in the industry are constructed through the interaction of several complicated factors. The re-learning inherent in design professions is implemented through knowledge transfer gained from participation in design projects, particularly regarding tacit knowledge. Also, the novice's process of learning and training yields the characteristics and skills that companies and firms require of designers; this process involves a series of disciplinary sub-processes, from destructive to reconstructive, implemented by employers. In these sub-processes, the subjectivity of designers is neglected, leading to the suppression of imaginative expression and feelings of alienation among these workers.
Supporting Creative Responses in Design Education – The Development and Application of the Graphic Design Composition Method (pages 154–176)
LU, HUI-PING; CHEN, JUN-HONG and LEE, CHANG-FRANW
Inspiration is the primary element of good design. Designers, however, also risk not being able to find inspiration. Novice designers commonly find themselves to be depressed during the conceptual design phase when they fail to find inspiration and the information to be creative. Accordingly, under the graphic design parameter, we have developed the ‘Analytic Composition Method (ACM)’ to guide novice designers in gradually breaking through their usual modes of thinking to construct their own methods of composition. This method provides a variety of creative modes for the design field. Three stages are presented in this study. A design method is first constructed based on the results of a pretest and the existing composition methods of graphical design. We then apply the design method to three iterations of graphic design instruction. Lastly, we conduct an expert interview to evaluate the usefulness of this method. The following are the results obtained. 1. Most of the participants tested sought inspiration visually; they usually began their design process from image data and do not use the data beyond imagery. 2. The results of teaching activities show that using this method as a tool for graphic design enables various sources of inspiration to generate different modes of thinking and creative expression. 3. Our method could potentially be used for basic composition training and project design execution. However, the application of this method may vary with different design objectives.