I began as a painter/designer/arts educator. I retrained to teach dance, managing to make lots of choreographic mistakes over 15 years. Over the last 20 years I have explored digital technologies.
I spent all my working life trying to maximise hours in the day to attend to all things education. Now I’m ‘retired’ I suddenly have the opportunity to do other things; creative things, domestic things, political things. Anything and everything takes my interest (pretty much). So I’m finding plenty to do, see, contemplate and critique.
Who knew that I would have a garden? Who knew I would find myself attracted to knitting in all its forms? Who would have guessed I would find such inspiration for making in domesticity? Who knows where any of this will take me? (I’m surprised at who I have become).
This blog’s purpose is to talk me through these changes. And I’m learning to accept the direction I’m headed in. No angst, no pressure, just loving what I’m learning!
Hi Deidhre, I’m trying to make contact with Chris to talk to him about his LEGO building. I’ve tried various means and now I’m down to my last bid – could you give him my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you see this and feel inclined 😀
Sure Jeremy, I’ll let him know you are trying to contact him Cheers Deidhre
Hi I read what you were talking about in terms of the Australian curriculum (http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/the-arts/visual-arts/rationale)
It would be great to discuss further what you think of it. I’m still in process of reading it all.
And I really wonder how this curriculum is experienced in the classroom.
I think that creating cookie cutter art when younger year 10 below is good to learn/reflect on history and good to learn techniques and skills.
I find at university techniques and learning skills are not taught. So many artists are leaving university and making art that is duplicate their teachers work, eliminating the student’s visual voice as result of being branded. And also Traditional skills are cast aside and people skip ahead to contemporary practices with total disregard and lack of understanding of the past.
I found it weird that overall the curriculum is… is barely promoted by Visual Artist Educators…in their video.
Thanks for the interesting comment. So much of what you are saying has been thrashed out for years in curriculum development and as much as we try different things I’m not sure that we ever get it right. I think the Australian Arts Curriculum lacks coherence because so many voices had to be accommodated. I agree with you—I’d like to see what is being taught as a result! I’ve tried to write some dance units of work (early progress on my site dancing capital.com) and ended up just writing the way I would for the NSW curriculum. That’s OK if you know another curriculum back to front, but it’s probably a lot harder for beginning teachers to work out how to program without that knowledge.
I remember in primary school doing cookie-cutter art but then having a fabulous teacher in Years 5/6 who opened my eyes to ideas of creativity and how to say something important and individual when making art (Thanks Mr Yeff!). My secondary school teachers were amazing as well so it is no wonder that I ended up in the arts. I learned how to build and trust my ideas and made some progress in resolving them into art works. Now I’m retired from full-time work I have the time to build some significant technical skills and I’m loving it! But I still believe that teaching techniques without ideas is craft of a fairly low order. We have to teach kids ways to think differently about what they are doing (the learning skills you are talking about), so that they can find their artistic voice.
I’m not sure how to address your comment about tradition/history vs contemporary practice. Art practices are (more than ever before, in my opinion) bound to technological, political and cultural changes which are so swift that it’s hard to keep up with. Great teachers are able to weave all that together so it makes sense for students. We need these great teachers to show others how it can be done.
I’m very sad to hear that students at tertiary level aren’t being challenged. I guess 3-4 years is not really enough time to build a unique art making practice. I hope they are leaving with at least the desire to keep working at it!
Thanks for the rare opportunity to have a chat about this stuff—it’s been a while!
PS What sort of art making practice do you have—I’d love to hear about your work
Hi Deidhre – It would be great to catch up with you here at NAISDA. Would you send me an email please to email@example.com and I will forward you an invitation to our mid year show.
Lovely to hear from you Jennifer! Yes, I’ll send you an email.
Hi Deidhre, good to catch up on what you are doing. We had a great trip to Japan this March-April. Photo is so beautiful. Love W&R
So lovely to hear from you Winnie! Let’s do lunch and talk all things Japanese!