This site is a static archive of Process Arts, an open online repository of arts learning resources that was active from 2009 - 2017

Open practice Stories Further Education perspectives

Open practice Stories Further Education perspectives

In retrospect, a characteristic of my work "pre-Fellowship'  seems to be one of a traditional way of working in a very prescribed and formulaic way according to the needs of a vague job description, laid down at some indeterminable distant point in the past. Possibly the 1990s, but equally possibly, the 1980s or indeed some time before that.  Much of the unspoken rationale was one of tried and trusted repetition; the consensus being that students would develop their 'own' ideas as part of an academic program of study, and the workshop for example, was the place to go to, to process materials according to plans, designs or sketches.  I could have happily described my work then, if asked, as a 'machine operator, with some responsibility for health and safety'. With the recognition of creativity into my role that the UAL Fellowship ( as a by product) introduced, it became possible for a wider series of connections to be made and influences to be acknowledged, the result of germinations from years of working with students ideas, across a range of discilplines.   

The coincidence of the Fellowship with the amalgamation of WCA into the University meant the potential sphere of references was significantly expanded. Part of the research process was to discover how problems were solved in other colleges and workshops. The collaboration with Process Arts as an OER meant that the scope of the was wider still, the objects, that were in effect 'research outcomes' could be seen by a potential very large audience, while crucially the format encouraged comments, feedback, while allowing connections to be made across the boundaries of subjects discipline, materials, context etc. 

The initial ideas and research has so far germinated apart from the objects themselves, web images and text, poster and postcards, induction content, a materials library (Chris I should photo this, its incomplete, but looks good...), lecture slides, and general reference for a Widening Participation and an Artscom English Plus course. 

A consequence of this Fellowship was the focus on student use of workshops in art school for a recent PG Cert dissertation, while in progress is a book that assembles sketches made to communicate ideas in the workshop.  In starting on a new course from scratch at the Progression Centre in 2011, the same day as the students and with no facilities in place, the idea of introducing the students to the technical possibilities of the course proved both daunting and a challenge to everyones faith and imagination. With just two benches in place, a select few of my cube and sphere objects provided the focus of the unscripted inductions. This was not an induction as I had conducted so many times before focussing on technique and safety, but rather on the possibilities of at this early stage in the students learning, of exploring shape, form, color texture etc. without the preconceived confines of the art disciplines. The 'anonymity' of the objects became useful to illustrate several ideas separate from the conventions of 'the balsa wood model', 'the metal sculpture,' 'the ceramic vessel' etc.', while their very amorphousness and uncertain identity allowed a for an open discussion on why workshops can be useful to art students, rather than precisely 'how' they are useful.  

To be able to talk discursively and honestly, but hopefully with an engagement that comes with work made by oneself ( i.e. not flip charts, not power points, or mere 'props') encouraged the alignment with the course objects of challenging preconceived assumptions about art disciplines. For the audience, large groups of young, with a high proportion of overseas students, this approach proved effective in reassuring, encouraging ideas in a manner that was neither intimidating or overly didactic. The overriding message to the students was one of 'Its up to you. It'll be your work and your ideas".

Paul Lindley

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
This Work, Open practice Stories Further Education perspectives, by plindley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.