Panel: Arts Education Recent Research

Activism and Advocacy

Felicity McArdle PhD

In the land that has come to be known as Australia, traces of ochre images have been found, painted on rock walls, possibly as long as 35,000 years ago. The people who made those marks speak to us across time. Through their marks, we have learned some things about one of the most ancient cultures on Earth, a culture that is still alive and flourishing today. Are those images art? And are the people who painted them artists? Is art painted, or painting?
This is an invitation to ask new and different questions — about art, teaching art, and teaching art with young children. How we see and think and speak 'art' is sometimes contentious and always contingent. Why were the images painted on the rock walls? What do/did the images do? Who painted them? Did children ever paint on these rock walls? There are 'rules' for talking about 'Art', and there are also 'rules for breaking the rules'.

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