Within and beyond: activating art education in the 21st Century

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The experience of undertaking a PhD by arts-based research opened my eyes to the way people are dis/connected to place and each other. In a world facing enormous challenges, a primary aim was to dynamically re-engage with place and to provoke lived experiences from within country through Immersive Art Pedagogy (IAP) (Burke 2013). As artistic coordinator of the Creative Junction project, an art/environment, health/wellbeing initiative, I sought to connect people of all ages to each other, to places, to stories, to personal expression, to memories; possibilities building on possibilities. The core benefits of this project, endorsed by our State Government’s mental health framework, were to foster social connectedness, economic participation, diversity and freedom from discrimination. Collectively, as a/r/tographers (Irwin and de Cosson, 2004) the experience of being with each other and engaging with place offered community participants openings for further art-based and ecological initiatives.

The Creative Junction project was conceived as a ‘creative world’ within my PhD and prompted my own explorations into IAP through the genre of a photo book. In essence the photo book brought together my inter-subjectivities as artist/researcher/teacher to find multidimensional ways of engaging with place and space. It simultaneously became the practical component of my PhD and sits alongside my exegesis. Post PhD, the “living, breathing, becoming - inquiry” (Springgay, 2008) of a/r/tography now challenges me to look beyond country to broader intra-actions—to think in/with our sea/land assemblages to explore our region through ecological intersections with art education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication5th Conference on Arts Based Research & Artistic Research
Subtitle of host publicationProvoking Research and Social Intervention
EditorsJeff Adams, Anita Sinner, Rita Irwin, Timo Jokela, Ricardo Marin-Viadel, Joaquin Roldan, Fernando Hernandez, Mira Kallio, Kevin Tavin, Jose Paiva
PublisherConference on Arts Based Research & Artistic Research
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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