The history of art education is full of utopian visions and creative pedagogies that have proposed new educational methodologies. At a time when art education is under threat, this symposium will celebrate and reflect upon these histories and consider how they can be re-appraised and re-imagined.
This is Just What I Saw
Katarina Hruskova and Sarah Mills develop new work exploring the legacy of the educator Marian Richardson.
Inspired by the archive of influential art teacher and child art movement pioneer Marion Richardson (1892-1946), This is Just What I Saw is a collaboration between artist Katarina Hruskova and Reader in Human Geography Sarah Mills. It combines archival research, participatory workshops with children and young adults, sound, and installation.
Richardson's methods of teaching art were far removed from the emphasis on copying from life practiced by most of her contemporaries. Instead, she sought to arouse children’s visual awareness, to encourage self-expression and to enable pupils to evaluate their own work. Her pupils would sit with closed eyes, perhaps listening to a description, and wait for images to appear in ‘the mind’s eye’. Richardson situated her approach between “training which is discipline and creativity which is art”. Her archive at Birmingham City University provides an entry-point to examine a number of themes relating to the geographies of education and the philosophies, spaces and practices of learning and its material cultures.
Drawing on this, Hruskova produced lyrical, descriptive soundworks that were utilized in workshops led by her and Dr Mills, in which participants produced drawings in response. These have informed the design of a carpet installation, which also includes representations of gestures made by participants. Visitors will be invited to sit on the carpet whilst listening to the soundwork, encouraging further exploration of 'the mind's eye'.
Katarina Hruskova (born 1984 in Ruzomberok, lives and works in Berlin) studied at the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam (BFA) and the Royal College of Art (MA). Hruskova’s work in photography and written/spoken word translates the body’s affective relationship to space by relating an intimacy to the inanimate and inconspicuous. She points out the potency of objects and matter that slip under the radar by way of constant presence and proximity. She creates places of safety to nudge at their borders; she occupies a fragile comfort zone where prolonged stillness provokes action. Recent exhibitions and performances include Useful Photography at the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava (SK), The waning yolk at Swiss Cottage Gallery in London (UK), Porous Whispers at Obroncow Stalingradu 17 in Szczecin (PL), The Skin of the Eye – pt.1 at Vermillion Sands in Copenhagen (DK), Black Tower opening night at Black Tower Projects in London (UK), Sign just under the skin at House of Egorn in Berlin (DE). She has taken part in residencies in NY (Residency Unlimited, 2018 and Brooklyn Langer Residency, 2014), Italy (Residenza Petrolio/ amt_project, 2015), and Slovakia (Banska St_a_nica Contemporary, 2011 and 2014) and was one of the recipients of the 2017 Oskar Cepan Award (YVAA). Her work has been featured in Artforum International, Whitehot Magazine, It's Nice That, Mouvement, Fotograf Magazine and VVORK.com. In 2019 she will take part in the VARP Visual and Sound Arts programme at AIR FUTURA in Prague (CZ) and work on a solo exhibition at Galeria HIT/ Galeria Jozefa Kollara in Banska Stiavnica (SK)