ENGAGE Summer School, September 2015
As well as hosting the event I made a paper presentation entitled ‘CONSTRUCT: A young curators project working in collaboration with the public art collections of the Northern Ireland Office, Stormont, and the Office of Public Works, Dublin’ in: Engage International Summer School Artists and Education: the distinctive role of artists in arts education and participatory practice, at Ulster University, Belfast Campus. http://www.engage.org/summerschool2015
Conference Paper Background
Paper Abstract: During the academic year 2014/15 a multi-disciplinary group of eleven undergraduate students from Belfast School of Art worked with the Northern Ireland Office, Belfast, and the Office of Public Works, Dublin to select artworks from their respective public art collections for a groupshow which would tour to four venues throughout the island of Ireland from September 2015-January 2016. The students had complete control of the shows theme, selection of artworks, catalogue design and its content. They worked with the curators and staff in each of the two governmentʼs departments to understand more thoroughly the role of public art collections andgain a richer understanding of contemporary curatorial practices.
A key component of the project was the studentsʼ examination of the role of the artist within society. The project was designed to encourage and support the students to become active agents in their learning experience. The changing higher education landscape has seen the evolutionof learning and teaching activities, where the learning spaces created for students need notbe bound by physical or time constraints. How spaces are shaped, re-shaped, used and reused can be transformative to learning. Technological advancements have made possible hybrid models of interactive learning; promoting access, collaboration, sustainability and global awareness. While student engagement with public bodies is nothing new within higher education, this project aimed to innovate a new approach to the delivery of writing and critical analysis skills, in a format that was inclusive and equitable for all learners.