John Armstrong (The School of Life) Art as Therapy Abstract: The central function of art is therapeutic: that is, to assist us with the normal emotional problems of life. This can sound strange today but it is a very traditional view. The therapeutic approach to art indicates specific tasks for art education: about what we'd ideally be doing when we're engaging with a work of art, and what we may need help with. The general tendency is away from specialist knowledge of art works towards greater attention to the problems in our own lives. Biography: John Armstrong Global Philosopher-in-chief for The School of Life which has branches in 11 countries. His latest book 'Art as Therapy' was written jointly with Alain de Botton. Armstrong was born in Glasgow, educated in Oxford and London and moved to Australia in 2001. He is the author of nine books, including 'In Search of Civilisation', 'Love Life Goethe', 'The Secret Power of Beauty', 'How to Worry Less About Money' and 'Life Lessons from Nietzsche'. For five years he was Senior Advisor in The Office of the Vice Chancellor, University of Melbourne and in 2014 was a Professorial Fellow at the University of Tasmania. He is now based in Hobart and Italy. For further information about the National Visual Art Education Conference held at the National Gallery of Australia from 21–23 January 2019 visit www.nga.gov.au/nvaec.