Students were encouraged to be artists
When students worked with artists they were exposed to the ways of thinking and being in the world that were intrinsic to that practice and to the arts more generally.
Students were thus expected to generate many ideas before deciding on one or two to develop further. They were encouraged to engage in tinkering, experimenting, generating and trying out ideas. They were shown how to experiment with humour, disruptive intent, questioning and gentle mocking. They were required to develop new skills. They were always expected to develop and use their own ‘inner critics’ and extend their expectations of what they could do. They were often engaged in group conversations in which they had to explain and justify the artistic decisions they had made.
Practice, skills development and cognitive challenge were combined with play, invention and sheer pleasure. Students were supported by artists to become more patient, to challenge their taken for granted assumptions, to use the language and ‘stance’ appropriate to the arts practice and to communicate their ideas through a wide range of media and events.
When they were engaged in creative activities, they were invited to leave behind their ‘student’ selves and to acquire a new identity and practices, that of artist.
- Artists deliberately used professional artistic norms
- Artists' expectations were aligned with their disciplines
- Artists did not use fixed outcomes, but open-ended challenges
- Artists used themselves as a teaching resource
A selection of videos from our Vimeo channel on students as artists can be viewed below.