Creative practice as a process for “defamiliarization” (hooks, 1995, p. 5) and generating relationality.

Year: 2021

Author: MacGill, Belinda

Type of paper: Symposium

Art education provides many disorientating dilemmas that are built in and through creative practice. Complex and violent histories and current neoliberal practices of standardisation and homogeneity can be wrestled with through art that may disorientate both educators and students who consider these complexities whilst creating works that represent these problematics. Art education “can induce certain forms of stumbling off-line” (Lewis, 2018, p. 309) that provide opportunities for the disruption of students’ knowledge resulting in new orientations and new possibilities for realignment. Deleuze (2004) terms these moments of opportunity encounters that can occur as a result of constellations of ideas, dialogue and art making as praxis. I work with pre-service arts education students around themed problematics such as the integration of pluralism with art making activities as an enactment of knowledge production, where the artefact is the basis of the contribution to knowledge (Candy & Edmonds 2018, p. 63). This constellation as praxis gives rise to the triangulation of cognitive, aesthetic and affective moments as new encounters. The impetus of my work as an art educator is to encourage students to generate art work that is reflexive, relies on dialogic meaning making and provides opportunities to turn towards (Biesta, 1994) new ways of understanding the world. This practice is made explicit in the ‘crits’ where students unpack their entanglements with materials and share their reflections about the themes whilst creating artworks/artefacts. Dialogue opens as a result of disorientations that occur through making that opens frontiers of possibility theoretically and affectively. Holding responsibility and the implications of such a pedagogical approach with students whilst they transition epistemologically from binary ways of knowing within a “terrain of defamiliarization” (hooks, 1995, p. 5) requires a strong ethics of care (MacGill 2008). Equally, drawing out the connections and solidarities provides new ways of thinking, being and enacting a socially just framework for education.