Call for Papers

National Visual Art Education Conference 2014

Connecting Classrooms, Curriculum & Collections


21 - 23 January 2014


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Keynote Speakers

Shaun Gladwell - Artist

Sydney-born Shaun Gladwell is one of Australia's most significant artists, whose iconic images that critique personal history, memory and contemporary culture, have made an extraordinary impact both locally and internationally. His work references both street culture and a highly sophisticated apprehension of cultural history. Working across video, performance, painting and sculpture, his subject matter extends from 'self-portraits' that depict the artist engaged in various extreme sports, through to investigations of athletes and their dynamic relationship to the urban environment. Gladwell's videos conjure complex ideas and associations; his works are illuminating studies of the human form in motion.

Gladwell completed an honours degree at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, and undertook postgraduate research with the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales. He was awarded the Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship and conducted associate research at Goldsmiths College, University of London, in 2001-02. He has undertaken an Australia Council studio residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris as well as other residencies and commissions in Europe, North and South America and in the AsiaPacific region. He has exhibited widely in the past tenast ten years throughout Australia and in the United States, Canada and Europe.

He has had numerous solo exhibitions and importantly, he represented Australia at the 52nd and 53rd Venice Biennale in 2007 and 2009. His work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Artbank, Australia, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney, the University of Technology, Sydney, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, NZ as well as corporate and private collections in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

A Gesture for your function:  The Skateboarders Guide to the Universe. 

This presentation will offer excerpts of video to illustrate Gladwell's research into contemporary habitats. These works depict the body used as an instrument to explore and test one's immediate environment.  Within many of Gladwell's videos, the body itself is a stylus tracing and marking both urban and desert surroundings. 

One field of thinking that has motivated his work over the past 15 years  is the complex and varied notion of function.  How do urban and non-urban environments function and what is the potential for using (or misusing) these spaces creatively? The subject of function has always been part of artistic discourse–from the ideological 'use' of art through to ruptures within 20th Century, where art questioned its own social function etc. Gladwell will offer his influences and anecdotal thinking on urban design and utility.

Fiona Hall - Artist
Fiona Hall (b. 1953) is one of Australia's leading contemporary artists. She emerged in the 1970s as a photographer, graduating from East Sydney Technical College in 1975. During the 1980s Hall increasingly worked across diverse range of art forms. Her ever-growing repertoire includes sculpture, painting, installation, garden design and video.

Hall's choice of material, and the way she uses it, is critical to her art. Working across a broad range of media, she produces extraordinary works that often transform mundane man-made materials and objects into organic forms with both contemporary and historical resonances. Her art works are painstakingly crafted with an attention to detail that emphasises the beauty and fragility of the natural world while engaging with issues concerning the environment, colonialism, consumerism and globalisation. Her work engages with contemporary life in intriguing ways, created at times reflecting a distinctly Australian perspective. Hall's visual aesthetic can be alluring and confronting, encouraging the viewer to contemplate the politically charged messages which underpin it.

Hall's work is represented in every major public art collection in Australia. She exhibits regularly in Australia and overseas. In the last decade, major retrospectives of Hall's work have been held by Heide Museum of Modern Adern Art, Melbourne, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane and The Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (both 2005). Fiona Hall: Force Field at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia (2008), toured to City Gallery, Wellington, and Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand. She has also completed several important public commissions. In 2012 she was selected for dOCUMENTA (13), one of the most prestigious surveys of contemporary art, which takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany.
Dr Emily Pringle - Head of Learning Practice and Research, Tate Gallery, London

Emily Pringle trained as a painter and worked for many years as an artist, educator, consultant and researcher in a range of cultural settings in the UK and internationally.  She has a particular interest in the role of the artist in education contexts and in developing creative research and evaluation models. Her publications include 'What's with the Artist? Researching Practice with Visual Arts Practitioners'inResearching Creative Learning Methods and Issues (2011) and 'The Gallery as a site for Creative Learning' in The Routledge International Handbook of Creative Learning (2011).  She is currently Head of Learning Practice and Research at Tate Gallery, London where she is responsible for strategic programme development and overseeing research and evaluation.  She is the editor of the recent publication ‘Transforming Tate Learning'.

Speak to me! Dialogues with art in the gallery context

Finding ways to engage with modern and contemporary art in the gallery context can be both liberating and challenging for educators working within and beyond the museum.  How can we find a way in to art works that seem either conceptually or formally impenetrable? How can we begin to develop meaning by entering into a dialogue with the work?  What are we learning? How do we know if the experience is any good? Drawing on approaches adopted within Tate as well as theories of learning in museums and using specific examples of programmes in action in the gallery, this presentation will address these and other questions and outline ways to connect with art and develop a language with which to construct and articulate positive learning 'events' in the gallery.

Ron Ritchhart - Senior Research Associate, Harvard Project Zero and Fellow, University of Melbourne

Ron Ritchhart is a Senior Research Associate at Harvard Project Zero and Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His current research focuses on developing intellectual character, making thinking visible, and enhancing school and classroom culture. Ron's research and writings, particularly his theory of Intellectual Character and his framework for understanding group culture, have informed the work of schools, museums, and organizations throughout the world. Ron currently directs the worldwide Cultures of Thinking project aimed at facilitating effective learning in classrooms, schools, and organizations. Details and practices from this project can be found in Ron's latest book, Making Thinking Visible.

Learning About, With, From, and Through Art

At Project Zero (Harvard Graduate School of Education) we believe that art is a powerful medium for learning.  Art can engage, inspire and create opportunities for deep exploration and connection. For educators wishing to tap into the potential of art to advance students' learning, it is often useful to have tools to structure students' learning   about, with, from, and through works of art. Thinking routines provide just such structures by scaffolding and directing students experience with works of art, helping them to look closely and giving them the tools to dig deeply. In this interactive keynote, we explore four thinking routines well suited to connecting classrooms, curriculum, and museum collection.