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Creative visual art storytelling and concept development

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This article presents practice-based research in visual arts undergraduate subjects. Pedagogical approaches in the Visual Arts strand of the Bachelor of New Media Arts (BNMA), School of Creative Arts (SoCA) are outlined as motivational strategies, where stories emerge as the basis for issue-driven projects. Curriculum design was based on the premise that visual artists in a university will access specific software programmes to suit their interests and skills. While students are required to build on skills and knowledge, the lecture programme targets creative art projects with emphasis on conceptual development and digital presentation. Teaching to develop individual pathways in creative arts practitioners at tertiary level has demonstrated benefits and students provided strong appraisal in student feedback for teaching (SFT).

Lectures present ways that artists consider a story, along the lines of a plot or storyboard, providing scope for the concept that the character is to expose. Hull and Katz (2006, Crafting an Agentic Self: Cases Studies of Digital Storytelling, 41:1) refer to storytellers becoming their agentic selves in terms of personal development. One subject combines ideas about storytelling with contemporary visual arts and, in the context of relational aesthetics (Bourriaud 2002), connectivity occurs between visual and issue-driven art. The subject design involves broad issues as well as reflexivity, and merges with the scenario of how artists become involved with exposing universal concerns.

Students demonstrate potential for research in artworks where visual interpretation of characters involves storytelling and documentation. Artists' statements contextualize the work on display. Students reference web links and identify Computer Learning Technologies (CLT) crucial to their work. They write about software and links to online tutorials to explicate new knowledge and technical advancement.
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Keywords: Computer Learning Technologies (CLT); Concept development; Practice-based research; new media; pedagogy; visual storytelling

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: James Cook University.

Publication date: 01 December 2010

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  • The Journal of Writing in Creative Practice is the official organ of the Writing Purposefully in Art and Design (Writing PAD) network. It offers art and design institutions an arena in which to explore and develop the notion of thinking through writing as a parallel to visual discourse in art and design practice. The journal aims to extend the debates to all national and international higher educational art and design institutions.
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