YSP is hosting a project, The Art Curriculum, Memory or Imagination
by Artist Oreet Ashery and Curator Anna Colin to performatively explore aspects of the Art Curriculum since the 1940s, such as the use of memory versus imagination in drawing exercises (‘draw a red pepper from your memory’ - or - ‘draw a red pepper from your imagination’) and the implications those evolving educational approaches have on our understanding of art and its agency today.
Across a two day workshop, the artists will explore material in the National Arts Education Archive
at YSP and explore, discuss, analyze, reenact and undertake hands-on art related exercises found in the art curriculum. The group will explore documatentation from the conference Adolescent Expression in Art and Craft
, held at Bretton Hall in 1956, which encapsulated the immense divisions in the art education world brought about by the Basic Design Movement that represented a radical challenge to many of the educational values of the time.
Developed by a variety of teachers and personalities, Basic Design called for the end of an expressionist and representational approach to art and instead introduce a more interdisciplinary, collaborative, abstracted, modernist and cognitive pedagogy that takes its cues from the worlds of science, technology and design, as well as the every day world and popular culture. Basic Design principles have contributed to the accreditation of Art as a certified degree course and have formed the basis of Art Foundation courses in the UK still today. The workshop aims to question and unfold how those turns in art education can be useful when we look at current immaterial and socio-politically engaged practices. Through conversations and practical exercises the group will attempt to articulate their own experiences of art pedagogy and explore where they would like to see art pedagogy going.
Anna Colin is the co-director and co-founder of Open School East and the co-curator of the current British Art Show 8. Oreet Ashery is an interdisciplinary artist and an educator.