Zara Lily Mc Dermott at the Green Minds conference 4

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Creative Education for a Changing World

Arts University Plymouth recently launched our new strategic plan ‘Creative Education for a Changing World’, an essential strand of which is ‘Teaching for our Time’, capturing the principles that define our approach and method of teaching.
<p dir="ltr">Arts University Plymouth recently launched our new strategic plan <a href="">‘Creative Education for a Changing World’</a>, an essential strand of which is ‘Teaching for our Time’, capturing the principles that define our university’s approach and method of teaching.</p> <p dir="ltr">Founded in 1856 as Plymouth Drawing School and offering a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and pre-degree qualifications, Arts University Plymouth is a new kind of art school for the 21st century, preparing graduates who are uniquely placed to provide creative solutions to the complex global challenges of our times.</p> <p dir="ltr">Professor Stephen Felmingham, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), said: “The arts teach us in a direct and unmediated manner what it means to come into dialogue, be in dialogue and remain in dialogue through the relationship of head, hands and heart. They deepen and broaden the ways we are in touch with the world through our thinking. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The arts are intrinsic to the work of the hands and the materials they form, but also to the domain of the heart, where the encounter with art touches us, moves us and inspires the feelings in us to nurture and care for the world we live in. At Arts University Plymouth we believe that authenticity, fulfilment and kindness are indexical qualities in the process of thinking, making and living. These values are embedded in our pedagogical principles, in what we teach and how and why we teach it.”<br /></p>
Stephen Felmingham 2022 SP edit

Professor Stephen Felmingham, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

<p dir="ltr"><strong>We consider</strong> practice-based research and enquiry in the arts as an authentic dialogue and encounter with the world and its materials through an exploration of their creative possibilities and tacit knowledge.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>We design </strong>teaching that recognises that life is a dialogue between creative aspirations, an encounter with ideas and materials, and the societal resistance that is met along the way. We understand the agency of the arts in providing meaningful life-long learning and the personal fulfilment that brings.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>We understand</strong> that education is the act of turning the student towards the world, to inspire students to want to exist in and care for the world, and to act with kindness as both a method and a means to enact change and deliver positive outcomes.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>We recognise</strong> the need to provide the space, time and resources to figure out what creativity might mean; and to nourish and sustain the student in this challenging space.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>We believe</strong> that the arts provide unique possibilities for encountering and learning through resistance and experimentation, for students with a diversity of interests from the sciences, humanities or the arts, while negotiating the hopes and wishes we hold for the world, the environment and our place within it.</p>

<p dir="ltr"><strong><a href="">Professor Felmingham</a> met with Arts University Plymouth Honorary Fellow <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Penny Hay</a>, Professor of Imagination Reader in Creative Teaching and Learning at Bath Spa University, and with third-year BA (Hons) Illustration students <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Zara McDermott</a> and <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Catherine Witcher</a>, to discuss ‘Teaching for our Time’ and creative education.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Together they debated the importance of creativity in response to wider global challenges and issues, why meeting resistance is important in learning to overcome challenges, and how kindness works in education.<br /></p>
Dr Penny Hay 1 1 1

Honorary Fellow Professor Penny Hay

<p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Stephen Felmingham – “‘Teaching for our Time’ is part of a wider strategy that helps to define Arts University Plymouth’s approach to teaching and our plans for the future, but importantly, it’s a document that captures the work we’ve already been doing for a number of years now. These principles for our staff and for academics joining Arts University Plymouth reflect the values that already shape our curriculum and the ways that our lecturers approach their teaching.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>“Zara and Catherine, you’re both in your third year of studying at Arts University Plymouth. ‘Teaching for our Time’ underpins our practice as educators, but as students you’re most likely to recognise it in things like the Global Challenges Unit. Running at the same time across the undergraduate courses, Global Challenges asks you to consider your creative practice in relation to your community and the wider world, which led Zara to create an award-winning zine about ethical foraging. How have you felt about engaging with themes like these in your studies?”</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Zara McDermott</strong> – “All of the issues that we’re discussing here, about being encouraged to view our creative practice in a wider context, can seem daunting at first. When I heard about Global Challenges in the curriculum and knew that I was being asked to tackle societal issues through my art, at first I wondered, what can I do?</p> <p dir="ltr">“It takes time to think about how as an individual you can respond to these massive global problems. Over time I came to realise that at Arts University Plymouth we’ll be supported to work on our own self-initiated projects and that if we get them right, eventually we can make a difference.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Catherine Witcher</strong> – “The approach of Arts University Plymouth, to encourage us to think of our work in a bigger context, was the reason I chose this university. We’re given encouragement to look outward and to see and approach things differently. Knowing that I’ll be supported and encouraged, and believing in the honesty of this approach, those are the things that are important to me.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Felmingham </strong>– “Global Challenges acts as a signature unit for us. Every undergraduate student encounters the idea of Global Challenges at the same time, through their own subject lens. The project culminates in a number of university-wide expressions, including an exhibition of completed work and a journal to capture the best responses. As an institution we all turn to Global Challenges at the same time and it can be divisive, because some students will always ask why they’re being asked to engage with a project that doesn’t feel like it directly relates to their subject. Not everybody will be at the stage of being ready to take advantage of the opportunity when it's offered to them. What was your perspective?”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Zara </strong>– “I found that you get out of Global Challenges what you put in. You have to have a love and interest for the things you create, and hopefully that passion brings a rewarding result. That's how to make it work for you individually.”<strong><br /></strong></p>
Catherine Witcher 2 Photo by Wyatt Harris

Catherine Witcher. Photo by Wyatt Harris.

<p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Felmingham – “Global Challenges is just one example of the ways that at Arts University Plymouth we try to turn students outwards, to turn them towards the world. Penny, what are your thoughts on the importance of creative students entering into an authentic dialogue with the world?”</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Penny Hay </strong>– “I’ve always been inspired by the approach you take as a university and I agree with that sense of enriching our lives through creative thought and action, not just giving students skills for work, but empowering them to learn skills for life.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Education relates to our human and creative potentials. As you live out daily, we should embrace the complexity and the challenges of our daily lives, especially now, and work together to address them. Making a difference to the quality of everyday life is really important. I believe that is partly the role of artists of all art forms, designers and creative professionals, and is something that’s vital for our future societies. Human creativity informs this notion of flourishing, now and in the future.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The idea of having an authentic dialogue with the world is important. Learning happens during our encounter with materials, and with each other. When we create, we’re negotiating the hopes and wishes of the world. I think it's vital that we put the word ‘care’ back into the notion of what education means.”<br /></p>
Zara Lily Mc Dermott at Mission Mammoth

Zara Lily McDermott at Mission Mammoth

<p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Felmingham – “Educators often talk about finding fulfilment and authenticity, and certainly at Arts University Plymouth we actively talk about doing this with kindness, but kindness is an interesting word to use and not one that you’ll hear as a headline from many universities. What does kindness in education mean to you as students?”</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Catherine</strong> – “I think kindness in education is important, but authenticity matters equally. Kindness is something that we should all practice, but how do we do that? As a student at Arts University Plymouth, the work I’m set and the critical feedback that I receive all come from a place of honesty and authenticity. I feel like that approach leads to genuine, sincere kindness.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Academics and technicians at Arts University Plymouth approach their work with an understanding of human nature. When I speak to my lecturers, they understand that we’re not just creatives, not just students. There’s a lot that makes up each individual and I think that what demonstrates real kindness is having lecturers who take the time to see the full person and not just the student.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Zara</strong> – “I agree with all of that.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Catherine</strong> – “Within our studies, that authenticity and honesty has been very visible to us in the way we interact with our lecturers, the projects and live briefs that we’ve worked on, and overall how I feel about studying here.”<br /></p>
We understand that education is the act of turning the student towards the world, to inspire students to want to exist in and care for the world, and to act with kindness as both a method and a means to enact change and deliver positive outcomes.
Teaching for our Time – Arts University Plymouth’s pedagogical principles
<p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Felmingham – “Penny, should we be looking at the science subjects also taking this approach? Do we think there is something distinctive about creative education that should be offered across scientific disciplines as well?”</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Hay</strong> – “My specialisms lie in the arts, creativity, imagination and education and I believe strongly that creativity is in everything. There's a false binary between arts and science, and I think that whatever we're learning, learning is everywhere, in everything. Creativity is in everything and it's the way things connect, just like a forest. I often use the metaphor of the forest to try and explain his – to learn like a forest, a meadow, an ocean, to quote Nora Bateson.</p> <p dir="ltr">“What I'm pointing out is the challenge of the language that we're using to try and explain and describe a different kind of learning, to describe these different spaces of possibility that allow us all to inquire about ideas that we’re curious about. That’s where intrinsic motivation is vital; if we had a pedagogy of care and compassion there would be more curiosity, and more inquiry.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Catherine</strong> – “I have friends in medical professions and they’ll say to me ‘I’m not creative, I can’t draw’. I say back to them that they problem solve, and within that there is an element of creativity, just as there is in all the sciences.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Problem-solving happens naturally when you encounter problems and this is what Arts University Plymouth teaches us. In our second year we spent two weeks researching issues that interested us and for me that became an opportunity to reflect on where my passions lie. I delved deeper into problems that concern me and used the time as a catalyst to find ways to engage my creative skills to address those problems.”<br /></p>
Catherine Witcher Page From What we Carry Poetry Zine

Page from What We Carry Poetry Zine by Catherine Witcher

<p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Felmingham – “Part of ‘Teaching for our Time’ is based on the idea that a person can’t really understand themselves until they see themselves reflected in the eyes of another. This is one of the reasons that we talk about world-centred education and the act of turning students towards the world. Why do you think that turning towards the world is important and why is it particularly important to students now?”</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Catherine</strong> – “Something that I’ve discovered in my life and in my studies is that I care about advocating for others, which is something that I’m trying to hone within my university education. I believe that it’s important to face the world and try to understand it, because history is a cycle of repetition. There is a lot going on in the world and as illustrators and artists we have the skills to communicate in a different way. Our communication skills can help people to engage with complex issues. We can use our skills to help educate other people about issues that we care about.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Zara</strong> – “I agree that as artists we can help people to connect, with complex ideas and with each other. We have these collaborative skills that can bring people together, and that can give us purpose in our work.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Felmingham</strong> – “One could argue that it all comes back to storytelling. As illustrators and artists, you are storytellers. We can meet the world through stories and doing so can shift somebody’s worldview, but if we want to understand the world better then we should also try to understand stories from outside the Western canon, to better understand ourselves and the ways that others view us.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We’ve had the Mayflower celebrations in Plymouth in recent years, teaching us a very different story about the indigenous populations of North America than the one we’ve told ourselves in history books in the UK. That’s a great example of the way that telling and listening to stories can change the world. Opening yourself to new stories naturally turns you towards wider questions about the responsibility of universities and students to approach local and global connections in new ways. For me, that’s an excellent example of what we mean when we talk about turning students to face the world.”</p>
Zara Lily Mc Dermott poster for knee support

Poster for knee support by Zara Lily Mc Dermott

<p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Felmingham – “Penny, when we talk about world-centred education, do you think it's important for universities to take on this position, to be genuinely world-facing?”</strong><strong><br /><br />Professor Hay</strong> – “Yes, absolutely. And coming back to your point about being world-facing, I really like the way that Professor Gert Biesta talks about being in the here and now, with the world; we're not separate. I think that Professor Andrew Brewerton’s phrase, that art is not a subject to hide behind, is also an important one.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In the face of the current challenges, especially over the last few years, I mentioned the pandemic, but also the ecological emergency and all the wars, it's absolutely vital that we think about turning our universities inside out. We have turned Bath Spa University into more of a social enterprise, not doing things <strong>to</strong> local communities but working <strong>with</strong> them and responding to the key challenges in everyday life. That can manifest in many different ways, but what's been really transparent is how we make creativity visible and how we can be authentic in our processes alongside those communities.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That's where the civic role of universities comes into play, particularly in the arts, but for all universities. I would probably go beyond that and say any civic spaces for learning. So if we're working with universities, schools, libraries, museums and galleries, inside and out, we can have a conversation about what matters and how we can make a difference together. That's a way of embedding more compassion and creativity in education.”<br /></p>
At Arts University Plymouth we believe that authenticity, fulfilment and kindness are indexical qualities in the process of thinking, making and living.
Professor Stephen Felmingham
<p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Felmingham – “I’d like to speak now about the idea of resistance in education. A lot of the work of universities is to promote the student experience and make sure that you have a rewarding time studying with us. As educators, however, we also talk about the importance of students meeting resistance, both materially and conceptually, because growing and learning new skills comes by overcoming challenges. Our model of education is based on knowing that you’re going to encounter resistance and we’re going to equip you with the skills to overcome it. That’s one way of understanding resistance in education, but what have your experiences been as students?”</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Catherine</strong> – “Within my own practice I’ve definitely encountered and had to learn how to negotiate a lot of materials and processes that I had no knowledge of previously, like teaching myself to animate. At Arts University Plymouth I feel like I’ve been given the skills, or sometimes just the permission, to overcome these new challenges.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The best way that I can describe encountering resistance in my studies is that my lecturers have given me the space and time to not know things. This feels like an odd way to describe it, but I’d go to lecturers and tell them that I didn’t know what to do for a particular brief or project, and they’d reassure me that I’d get there, without necessarily giving me the answers. I had to learn how to find my own way towards solutions.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In my first year, I thought that my creative practice was about the technical skills or the tools you use. That my practice was defined by how I did the things I do. In time I’ve come to understand that by learning widely, I’m creating the foundations to apply my own approach in new mediums, new techniques, and the important things are my values and my approach, not whether I’ve used a particular pen.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Zara</strong> – “Your natural inclination, if you try something new that doesn’t work the way you expect it to, is to ask the lecturers why it isn’t working. One of the things that Arts University Plymouth has given me is that the lecturers instead give me the space to ask myself why it isn’t working and learn from the experience. That’s something that I’m going to take with me wherever I go.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Catherine</strong> – “In my first year, I’d always ask for permission to do what I thought needed to be done, and one day my lecturer Jack Viant told me that I needed to stop asking for permission. By my second year I took that advice onboard and before every task, I’d tell myself that I can do this. If you’ve never done something before, it’s okay not to know whether it will work out, or even how to start, but it’s also okay not to ask for help. You can just do, and learn through doing. If you know what sort of result you want to achieve, you already carry the drive that’s going to get you to those results.”</p>
Zara Lily Mc Dermott at the Green Minds conference 2

Zara Lily McDermott at the Green Minds conference

<p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Felmingham </strong>–<strong> “Professor Gert Biesta talks about the importance of interruption and disruption when he writes about education, and that has been very influential in developing our teaching strategy at Arts University Plymouth. Students learn the most at that moment of interruption, when they encounter resistance and learn strategies to overcome it. Penny, what are your views on this?”</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Hay</strong> – “I love the notion of interruption. I think that Professor Dennis Atkinson also talked about an interruptive pedagogy and the place of the event or the student’s encounter with interruption. I think that's a brilliant way to capture the moment of learning, that invitation for creative disruption. The arts are brilliant at manifesting these opportunities and for these encounters and opportunities for learning through resistance and experimentation.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Zara and Catherine, I think you both said it really well, that as educators we should be focusing on telling students that it's okay to not know. It's okay to be uncertain. In fact, it's vital, because if you know the outcome before you start, you're closing down the ideas in the journey. We should embrace the idea of the unexpected and celebrate failure more than we do.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We've got a banner in Bath Spa University that reads ‘Make More Mistakes’. I find it beautiful, because it captures the idea of critical reflection so importantly, for yourself as an individual, but also to find your place in the world by engaging with critical dialogue in response to world issues. These can be personal or social or cultural issues, to engage with ideas that matter to us. So in summary, I agree that resistance in education is a great thing. We all need to embrace more creative disruption.”<br /></p>
Resistance in education is a great thing. We all need to embrace more creative disruption.
Professor Penny Hay, Arts University Plymouth Honorary Fellow
<p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Felmingham </strong>–<strong> “You’ve spoken about being given the time and space to solve problems and that leads me on to my next provocation, which is to ask what your opinions are on whether you think it's important that artists and educators should prioritise space, time and resources in creative education?”</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Zara</strong> – “Coming here has shown me that it’s rare to be surrounded by so many creative people. Being in Arts University Plymouth, inside the building, is something special. Working from home doesn’t give me the same creative energy that I experience here. I love the studio spaces, and working alongside other creatives.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Catherine</strong> – “One of the things that drew me here was the community. Space alone doesn’t make or break what we do as illustrators, it's also the people around you. I appreciate the space on campus for illustration students, also that we’re encouraged to feel like we have ownership of our space at Arts University Plymouth and that's important. Feeling you have a place and space of your own helps you to create your best work.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Felmingham</strong> – “As educators and artists we’ve talked a lot about post-studio practice in the arts, what the role is of the studio or of owning some creative territory. On an arts university campus, you’re often able to take ownership of your own studio space, but also have opportunities to move out into collaboration with your peers and enter a dialogue with your own space and the space of others. Universities are under increasing pressure for space and resources, but within an arts university it's vital to prioritise space and resources, and time to access them, for students.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Hay</strong> – “I agree that it's vital in the arts that we have access to our studio spaces, wherever they are. They could be inside, outside, in the university, or in the city, but we need those spaces to do our best work. That's where we started our conversation, probably 23 years ago, when we set up our charity House of Imagination, which I've just given over to a new brilliant director, to focus on my professorship. The concept of a House of Imagination is a studio space for, in this case, children and people, but really for everybody to explore their own creativity and imagination, to express their ideas in different modalities.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Nearly 14 years ago I co-founded School Without Walls, following a conversation about why we have to go to school to learn, asking why we couldn’t learn somewhere else. The director of the Egg Theatre in Bath invited us to ‘do school at the Egg’ and so School Without Walls was created. Each year we work with a different school and invite a class of children to be in residence, in the theatre initially, or now in the museums or the galleries across Bath, with the city as a campus for learning.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We focus on 3 to 14 year olds, who co-design their curriculum alongside artists and creative professionals. We work together with their teachers, parents, guardians and carers as a community of practice, so all of their learning comes from being in the city. The students are out and about all of the time for a whole term, usually six or seven weeks. As a result they see themselves as creative, engaged learners, where their ideas are respected and their ideas act as the starting point for the curriculum.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The name School Without Walls comes from breaking down the barriers between schools and cultural centres, so that everybody sees themselves as a learner in that context, working together in a very flat level way to kind of dissolve any boundaries or barriers.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We also talk about the space and the time and resources that are needed to invite students and colleagues to explore what creativity might mean. Not only to nourish and sustain the student, but also to create a space that invites those potential creative collisions. The best results come when you're in a space of possibility and space of belonging, a space where you feel you can express your ideas without the kind of judgement that closes ideas down.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We talk about key principles in our work as educators being around space, time and attention. The quality of attending, whether that's the attention to your own artistic creative processes or in dialogue with a colleague or a friend, working through your ideas, thinking through making. Next the notion of dialogue comes into play, with the interaction between the material and the idea of being a maker, expressing your ideas back into the world. I also lean on the idea of the three ecologies, which comes from Felix Guattari, and the idea of the relationship between the mind, society and the environment. Space, time and attention, are vital for artists, students and educators.”</p>
Catherine Witcher 4 Photo by Wyatt Harris

Catherine Witcher. Photo by Wyatt Harris.

<p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Felmingham – “We’ve discussed the ways that ‘Teaching for our Time’ sets out Arts University Plymouth’s approach to creative learning and heard from Penny about the values that we share with Bath Spa University. With so many different universities and different types of universities to choose from, I’d like to ask what you think these teaching strategies might mean for a student who is currently choosing which university to attend?”</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Zara</strong> – “I think that Arts University Plymouth’s approach to teaching should appeal to anybody who takes the time to find out about it. I wanted to join a community where I could learn the skills needed to progress my illustration career, and because of the approach of the lecturers here I’ve got that and a lot more out of my university experience.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Catherine</strong> – “It was important for me when I was looking at different universities to understand what skills I would learn and how the lecturers would approach teaching those skills to me. It’s important to visit universities to help you make a choice, and when you’re there to see if you can see yourself in that space, responding to the way the university approaches ideas.</p> <p dir="ltr">“On an Open Day a lecturer or academic can invite you to join their course and say they're going to do something, but I know now that what matters most is to see the application of it. You have to look for evidence to back up what they’re saying.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m confident that when people come to see Arts University Plymouth, they’re looking at a university that does embody the values that the staff talk about. The values of Arts University Plymouth and the way we’re taught have opened us to so many possibilities. These values are really good things for a student to have.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Hay</strong> – “You alluded to the importance of values and I think both our universities share very clear values that we make transparent through our different spaces, through the dialogues that we have with our students and our staff, through every aspect of the university life. We're in dialogue at the moment with our students about what it means to be curious, what it means to be creative, to be confident in the world, to express ourselves, but also to value our collective imagination.</p> <p dir="ltr">“For instance, Forest of Imagination, which is a long-term project with our university, is all about inviting a conversation about our response to imagination and creativity, but also the importance of our connectedness to nature and in response to the ecological emergency where we're coming up against. Imaginative solutions to the climate crisis are how the values manifest daily, because you can see it in the conversations and the work, you're in it, it's palpable.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That's where Arts University Plymouth and Bath Spa University align very strongly. As universities we both have an openness to these spaces of possibility and experiences, where you know that the staff and students are working together, both believing that everybody should flourish. Our work is, in the end, about humans flourishing.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Felmingham</strong><strong> </strong>–<strong> “</strong>I couldn't agree more. A student trying to choose a university might be thinking about the environmental emergency and responding to ecological change. A student who knows that they want to become an illustrator, but also that they want to make a difference to these global problems, will flow into making a different kind of choice to a student who isn’t addressing those questions yet.</p> <p dir="ltr">“How does art make a difference in that space? How do we put creativity at the centre of that debate to address complex global issues, and not on the periphery? Some would say that the ecological crisis is not a technological one, it's an aesthetic crisis. It’s about our relationship with the world, not necessarily our relationship with machines and technical solutions, but with how we love, care for and nurture the world. You might argue that anybody, scientists, artists, whoever they are, if you've got an interest in working into the environmental challenges we face right now then you need to apply creativity to the centre of that process.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The future for that relies on education and innovative creative education. Teaching has to encapsulate a fundamentally ecological approach to student creative learning and the things that you explore while you're at university.”<br /></p>
Catherine Witcher Still from Hello animation

Still from Hello animation by Catherine Witcher

<p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Felmingham – “As a final question for Zara and Catherine, what advice would you give to a student who feels like they want to come to university to learn to paint, or to work with glass, but they aren’t thinking yet about facing the world or connecting to their community?”</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Catherine</strong> – “Every course is different, and within Arts University Plymouth there are lots of different people, even on my course, who just want to illustrate and who struggle with the idea of Global Challenges or facing outwards to the world. Zara and I embraced this element of Teaching for our Time as an idea, embracing it as part of our practice completely. I think the way that it’s introduced by lecturers and as a concept matters. The suggestion that we should face the world is introduced to us with kindness and understanding, telling us that it’s okay to focus solely on our own art if we want to, but encouraging us to think of it in a wider context.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’d never tell someone what they should or shouldn't do. Not every university or course is suited to everyone who might study there and there is an element of friction if you’re being encouraged to think about ideas that you don’t want to address, but even so, that doesn’t mean that students who want to focus solely on learning to draw or paint shouldn’t come here. Regardless of whether you feel like your creative practice is part of a bigger picture, you’ll still learn the technical abilities that you’re looking for at Arts University Plymouth. For me, there hasn’t been any friction. There’s an undercurrent to my studies encouraging me to place my work in a wider context, and that’s something that has really helped me.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Professor Hay</strong><strong> </strong>– “This comes back to the idea of what you said Stephen about the relationship of head, hands and heart, the idea that it's the whole person we focus on. This is an invitation for not only the development of the individual artist or creative professional. It's about their individual voice, but that voice in the world. If it responds directly to the perspective of art as life, the idea that art is a way of being in the world, then of course they can express their ideas in any way they choose. It's often the unexpected that allows that journey to develop and grow.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Each of the art forms, as we know them, are forever changing course. Leaning from the more historical context of different disciplines, each art form has its own integrity, it has its own processes, but the more that we bring more of a trans-disciplinary approach to learning that we adopt, then students can find their own voice within that and make connections that they wouldn't have thought of, and as tutors we wouldn't have done so either. I think it's a genuine space of inquiry.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Stephen</strong> – “For a person who just wants to paint or just wants to make work, there should be a space not to speak up or speak out. Sometimes we get caught up in the idea that we need to be activists with our art and we need to be radical with it and push things.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Sometimes the message can come through just sitting with the work itself, it doesn’t have to be overt. Sometimes students might already be in the space of wanting to face the world, but sometimes they might not be. They might have not arrived yet in their journey in terms of their concept of practice, and in any case there is something powerful in the agency of art itself that can open a window for the world, to give us a new perspective and new ideas.<br /><br />“Thanks to you all for joining me in this discussion about the things that we value in creative education and what they might mean for students or for aspiring university students.”<br /></p>