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Art Based Learning. What Can we Learn from Works of Art?

Art education
Professorship for Art education as Critical Tactics
  • Financier(s): Oxford University Press
  • Started in: January 2021

In this theory based project the aim is to get more knowledge about the possibilities of art as a form of thinking on relevant questions concerning the future.

Art- Based Learning. What Can we Learn from Works of Art? | Photo: Veronique Steenmetser
Photo: Veronique Steenmetser

We start with the question ‘How to meet a work of art?’ Especially focused on what it takes to really meet a visual work of art;  how by centering  on the intimate individual relation between the art work and the spectator to art work will come to live.

The second question is ‘How to listen to works of art?’ We ‘listen’ to the work of art. Objects become speaking objects. In hearing them talk, we have to focus on the details. Close reading is the way to give the object the chance to really get into a meaningful contact with the spectator.

The third question is ‘How to enter a work of art?’ In most cases we are outside the work of art. In really learning from the arts, it is needed to enter the work of art. By doing so, the art object becomes a free and creative space where the spectator suddenly has the possibility to have a ‘creative moment’ were old structures erode, and new thoughts are formed.

The last question on the topic ‘How to give meaning to a work of art ’ A meaningful learning process from the arts can only happen when learning becomes a creative act, when we  integrate the experience of being in dialogue with a work of art in our own life story. The ‘resonance’ of a work of art as an important source for our own creative development. This project is a further exploration of the theoretical framework explained in: Jeroen Lutters, Art-Based Learning: Handboek Creatief Opleiden (2020) and is meant for making easy accessible the theory of art-based learning for a wide international audience. It is closely related to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Art-Based Learning.