NiTRO Creative Matters

Perspectives on creative arts in higher education

Edition 23, 2019 – Mythbusting: the real role and contribution of creative arts

I would like to explore the myth that creative artists cannot play a part in the major debates of our society. For years we have been writing, talking and presenting on what the creative arts are and how they can work in the university system … Although there is much more to do, we might be able to change course a little. I believe that we do not need to justify ourselves as much now and that we should instead address the pressing issues of our world to fulfil one of the historical roles of the creative artist,

With current trends and transformations towards an increasingly dynamic mediascape and disruptive innovations, there has never been a better time for Creative Arts research. As the new marketplace for immersive technologies and entertainment at the Marché du Film, Cannes XR demonstrates, graduates who have an understanding of how to apply their emerging media and screen production skills into creative concepts, will have a number of prospects in the job market internationally.

Now most art & design programmes have been usurped into a graduate model there is impetus for academic institutions to quantify and rank creative enquiry through endorsing practice based research outputs. In many cases, universities that champion the modality of valuing of the practice based method do so as something innovative and pioneering … adopting this approach as novel is to ignore a millennia of practices and investigations that adopt a practice based research methodology and as such devalue the approach by presenting it as up-to-the-minute rather than a valid and time honoured technique.

Myths and stereotypes surround all disciplinary groups to some extent. Images of mad scientists in white lab coats destined for careers in shiny new corporate buildings owned by SPECTRE are acknowledged as cartoon fictions, as is the belief that starvation in an attic is essential training for a good artist.

The process of determining creative works as rigorous productions of new knowledge is complex. As artists-academics, we assert that practice-led research is distinct from other disciplinary research, in the very form of rigour and evaluation processes in which these creative works require … We therefore, emphasise creative research as holding its own creative rigour, encompassing complex intersections of academy and industry.