NiTRO Creative Matters

Perspectives on creative arts in higher education

Edition 11, 2017 – The Next Generation

As a visual artist, my practice led-research is into frontier scientific technologies and computational aesthetics has resulted in transdisciplinary outcomes in the field of 4D Microcomputed X-ray tomography. Yet when I took my first permanent academic position as a part time lecturer in Foundation Studies, in 2015, I became responsible for convening and teaching a first year life drawing Figure & Life, a 12 week observational drawing course using a life model in a studio environment.

Creative artist Louise Richardson, 23, said it was her father’s death from cancer that made her realise she wanted to follow her passion.

To work strategically can connote corporate, neoliberal ideology, selective professional networking, and economically motivated notions of efficiency that tend to exist in conflict with the ethos of the creative arts. But being strategic can also describe how we work creatively within our circumstances to enable a project to come to fruition.

“We are very visual people, could you imagine a world without colour or without any pictures, without any lettering, without any drawing, literally a blank world?’’

For Deakin University graduate, visionary artist Marta Oktaba “When you strip it back to a blank world of just grey blocks all around us there is still form, there are still lines and it is still something.”

Suf St James creates artworks completely within the social media app, “Snapchat” to challenge how women are subjected to abuse online. “This is the work people seem most interested in,” Suf said.

Victorian College of the Arts  at the University of Melbourne is moving into a new generation of Actor’s Training. We have taken the current Theatre Practice degree and divided it into a BFA in Acting and a BFA in Theatre. With the competitive nature of the entertainment industry, we feel it is our obligation to equip our students with the mastery of skills applicable to contemporary theatre and film.

In our current climate of Higher Education funding cuts, academics are dealing with many tasks and additional administration as part of their job. As the pressures on academics mount, part-time and casual positions in academia have become the rule rather than the exception

Jessica Schwientek is known by her fellow artists as a “dirty photographer”. “I was always getting told off by how dirty and filthy my negatives were,” Jessica said. “I didn’t realize at the time that my lecturer did a similar thing . . .”

After completing and thoroughly enjoying my Honours research project I was inspired to pursue a career as an academic. Having now been awarded a Master of Arts in music performance (100% research) and after picking up small amounts of casual academic employment, I’d like to share my experiences so far to hopefully shed some light on the process for those considering post-graduate research.

Catherine Holder, past student, author and performer, is sitting at the share table at Corner Café, a popular lunch spot at the Burwood campus of Deakin University.

She graduated with Honours from her Bachelor of Creative Arts, Drama, in April this year and is here to catch up with members of the Arts Faculty and to borrow some props for her show at The Owl and Cat Theatre, Richmond