What function does professional practice occupy within the Fine Art curriculum in Higher Education?

Dean Hughes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

What function does professional practice occupy within the Fine Art curriculum in Higher Education? In the past 15 years Professional Practice as a credit bearing core component within Undergraduate Fine Art degree programmes has remained a constant in a shifting curriculum. As degree programmes once based upon old modernist vanguards are largely dismantled or homogenized under the historic umbrella of Fine Art, professional practice has retained its essential qualities as a core and validated component. Has the teaching of ‘professional practice’ retained its currency within Higher Education due to its apparent transparency or over identification as a social skill? This paper argues that the professional agenda within Fine Art education is misplaced and is inadequately equipping graduates for long-term learning and participation within the cultural conversation. I argue that instead of Professional Practice continuing to fulfill an instrumentalist function, it could symbolically encompass unanswered and avoided questions essential within the education of artists: How do you keep working when you are alone and not part of a community? Is it possible to be an artist without being part of the art world? How does a personal agenda not inflict itself upon a group? This research draws upon questions collected from final year undergraduate students over a period of 5 years responding to the prompt “what do you not know about working as an artist, that you think you should know?” This research explores the importance of opaque question of this nature in forming curricula that is able to engender necessary questioning of insidious professional orthodoxies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-16
Number of pages16
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Sep 2015
Eventparadox - European Fine Art Forum - Poznan, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Sep 201512 Sep 2015

Conference

Conferenceparadox - European Fine Art Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityPoznan
Period9/09/1512/09/15

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