Title

Art and ecology : a visual exploration

Date of Award

1-1-2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Judith Dinham

Second Advisor

Dr. Tony Monk

Abstract

Within the broad theme of art and ecology, local ecological issues were explored through studio practice involving digital imagery, print making, and mixed media. The frame of reference for the creative project included a discussion of the representations of natural, social and cultural environments' by visual artists. As an art educator interested in developing "best practice" including interdisciplinary approaches across the curriculum with an emphasis on visual arts education, the researcher explored the connections between art and ecological concerns. The Curriculum Framework for Kindergarten to Year 12 Education in Western Australia (1998) provided a sound basis for action. In particular, the Values Outcome, Environmental Responsibility and the Present and Future Condition, Global Environmental Issues have significance for this project. Further, The Arts Outcome, Communicating Arts Ideas is a reminder to visual arts educators that ideas, thoughts and feelings may be transformed into art works. In the primary school setting, engagement with ecological issues has the potential to involve students in both group and individual projects. As an art maker, the creative arts project draws on an area of personal significance. The property, Toodyay Gums, at Lot 11 on the Northam/Toodyay Road, in the Avon Valley, north east of Perth became the site for investigation, research and the generation of artworks. The roles of art educator and art maker are brought together in a research question that forms the 'focus of the Creative Arts Project; To what' extent does visual arts practice give rise to a fuller understanding of ecological issues and new insights into a specific site? Documentation for the creative project takes the form of an exegesis, journal entries, visual diaries, and art works. The techniques of print making, digital imagery and mixed media provided the means of representing concepts and layers of experience. The art works produced during the course of the Creative Arts Project were exhibited at The Churchlands Studios, Edith Cowan University, 12•19 December 2002.

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