Artists consciously worked with stories
Artists were generally highly conscious of their use language and stories.
They introduced themselves to students by using extended narratives about their lives – they talked about their own school experiences, how they came to be artists and how they practiced their art when they were not working in schools. These narratives served multiple purposes
- to create trust and establish the basis of relationships
- to encourage students to reciprocate with important details about their own lives
- to stimulate further conversation
- to convey some impressions of the artistic experience to come
- to offer a ‘vocational’ story which showed the arts as a possible training/work choice.
Throughout their work with students, artists used narratives of their everyday lives and arts experiences. These were often as a means of illustrating a point. But at the same time they often imparted important values, technical language and vocational information. Students were also encouraged to tell stories to each other and to the artist and to use these in the activities.
Because a story is a narrative form which requires extended ‘telling’ and because it requires extended listening, arts activities often demonstrated different interaction patterns than the more usual classroom environments dominated by question and answer.
- Artists created a rich narrative environment
- Artists connected with and built on children's everyday experiences
- Artists worked with a wide range of everyday and unusual artefacts
A selection of videos from our Vimeo channel on working with stories can be viewed below.