Art + humanism + societal change

The Italian Renaissance (1400-1600 A.D.) was a period of monumental cultural and social change. The movement saw the resurgence of humanistic values, a philosophy that focused on the potential and possibilities of humanity in shaping the structures, beliefs and activities of society as opposed to a reliance on Christian doctrine. Religious beliefs were not entirely dismissed. Rather, the worth and value…

Children, art & the carnivalesque

This post discusses Bakhtin's term of 'the carnivalesque' in relation to children's programming in art museums. Whilst these radical moments of change offer the possibility of social transformation, I argue that these need to be supported by a system of sustainable relationships that facilitate children's ongoing learning and development. The role of the learning curator is then discussed in relation to constructing and guiding these relationships over time.

Vygotsky on collective creativity & the power of imagination

This post discusses collective creativity, its interconnection with imagination and the potential both of these offer in relation to a pursuit towards empathy and understanding between people. These concepts are not new. Maxine Greene, John Dewey and Elliot Eisner have all discussed them extensively. In this post I will focus upon an article written by the late social constructivist Lev Vygotsky titled 'Imagination and Creativity…

Key Texts: Art, Play, Children & Pedagogy

Below is a selection of five key texts which underpin both my practice as a children's curator and current PhD research. There are many other books and papers that could have made it onto the list. I have written more detailed descriptions of the theories explored in Tools for Conviviality and Simon Nicholson's Loose Parts within previous blog posts. Reggio Children…

The new Tate Modern & art as a reflection of human experience

The new Tate Modern opened on Friday and it is fantastic. I could post an arty picture of the swish new building or write something about it being a new era for modern art in London. Instead I am going to post a visual representation of an intensely meaningful connection between one visitor and the…