NiTRO + Creative Matters

Perspectives on creative arts in higher education

Edition 16, 2018 – Teaching innovation and attitude change

In 2017 we introduced a new core-degree structure at School of Creative Arts which saw fresh commitment to social engagement, sustainability, the ethics of practice, and enterprise skill development … we developed a new approach to the teaching of art theory and history through praxis.

In November entries will open for the second Footscray Art Prize … a biennial event that rewards local and national artists, whilst seeking to contribute to Footscray’s reputation as one of Melbourne’s booming artistic and cultural areas.

Inside tertiary arts organisations, changes have been taking place, particularly in curriculum design and teaching practice that are reshaping the learning experience for arts students.

Since the Dawkins Reforms, the role of higher education has expanded from focusing on knowledge generation and dissemination to preparing graduates for life beyond the institution. The need for creative arts education to meet graduate employment requirements and service industry expectations thus informs the courses and industry-situated opportunities our programs include and our pedagogical approaches to developing graduates who are industry-ready.

In late 2015, when I signed a deal with Penguin for my debut novel Valentine, one question I got asked over and over again was whether I was going to publish it under my own name or use a pseudonym.

As a Polish-born Australian artist, I draw on symbolically-charged narratives, such as fairy tales and folklore, to highlight the power of sub textual stories in subverting grand narratives of art history … My use of personal mythologies in critiquing established art narrative tropes have been further honed and ritualised through working at a regional university.

In 2016, Deakin University introduced the PhD by Prior Publications in the Creative Arts, as a sub-category of the existing PhD by Publication options.

Diversity. The word is thrown around a lot. As a contemporary artist, I’m witnessing a moment where, more than ever, institutions are being held accountable to certain standards for equity and diversity.

Thirty years ago, I had to repeatedly explain to my grandparents what I was studying at university - presumably, they felt about Design the way I feel when my kids tell me they want to be YouTubers when they grow up. Today, the litmus test for what people think design might be plays out every time I get into a cab.