Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Anthony Monk

Second Advisor

Dr Judith Dinham


This study explored the transcending experience as described by visual artists that sometimes occurs during the art-making process. The exploration was conducted within a philosophical framework informed by the researcher's practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM). From this perspective, transcending is related to personal, inner (subjective), and ephemeral aesthetic experiences which never-the-less make a powerful contribution to the visual artist's experience of the creative process and to a lesser extent, the final product. The focus of the study was on the identification and documentation of the personal and subjective aspects of art-making. The study consisted of two parts; (a) this written thesis that elucidates and supports the argument, and (b) an exhibition of paintings, drawings, and journals which represent a personal narrative. The research questions for the written document are directed towards extracting artists' statements that describe the nature and benefits of transcending during art-making. Document analysis techniques were employed to study the writings of a variety of artists and to create a mosaic of insightful commentary. As a visual arts educator, the significance of the study related to the benefits of the art-making process for students of all ages. Both the exhibition and written document are presented to demonstrate that art-making and the viewing of art can provide access to silent (inner) experiences of the human mind. Strengthening the students' spiritual/aesthetic experience through art-making may bring the benefits of personal enrichment for some students by promoting the development of stronger self-concepts and self-esteem. This study presents research about an aspect of visual arts education that has to date been largely ignored. Arguments for the development of self-realization and a fuller understanding of the aesthetic experience may contribute to a case for strengthening the place of the visual arts within the curriculum.

Included in

Philosophy Commons