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UAL Research Online

Fine Artists are inherently T-Shaped

Robinson, Annette (2015) Fine Artists are inherently T-Shaped. In: Dialogue 03: Fine Art Education Now, 14/12/2015, London.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Robinson, Annette

A presentation/provocation in response to the call for debates about the specific values and characteristics of a fine art education that are most precious, particularly considering the question How does the fine art curriculum support and promote a variety of graduate career paths?

I elaborated on a previous research project for which I interviewed people who had studied Fine Art and diversified into careers outside of the creative sector. During the interviews we discussed the range of attributes that they had developed through studying Art and the value of these in their post college work experiences. We identified specific fine art pedagogies and considered the effect of these on ‘ways of being’ (Carl Rogers 1980). Art students learn to embrace risk and uncertainty and have to use their intuitive, emotional and embodied selves, the nature of the subject encourages ‘mutual responsiveness’ ( John Danvers,Towards a Radical Pedagogy, 2003) One of my interviewees discussed how valuable the ‘crit’ had been for her, highlighting the tools it had given her to manage a team of social workers. This insight helped me articulate these tools to my students. I think as Fine Art educators we should feel more confident in acknowledging the breadth of what the students learn and help students understand this. Whilst of course most are hoping to have a career in the arts I think it is valuable for them to understand the tools they have that are transferable into other careers.

The following quotes are from two participants from the original research.
‘’…art as in Fine art.. worked for me to feel……. it gave me methods and tools to access creative thinking…..I knew that through (it)…the repetition.. manual dexterity.. that eye to hand sensibility that when I went to the work place there were certain things that I was instinctively and intuitively able to do........”
“you go through a process where you have to put yourself into the frame of learning and figure out your relationships to the world……….so . when you go into the world of work you have a set of ..precious tools…”

Catherine Large from the Creative & Cultural skills organisation suggests the necessity for T Shaped workers in the future. The T Shaped worker requires ‘a sense of curiosity..a willingness to go on learning and have a deep understanding of one field with the capacity to adapt to other disciplines’ My presentation proposed that Fine Art students fit this description and that studying a Fine art degree offers multiple career possibilities.

Your affiliations with UAL: Other Affiliations > The Teaching and Learning Exchange
Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts
Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Colleges > Wimbledon College of Arts
Research Centres/Networks > The Centre for Drawing
Date: 14 December 2015
Event Location: London
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2016 15:21
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2016 15:21
Item ID: 9930
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/9930

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