Art I have enjoyed in 2014

This year I have tried to take every opportunity to see an exhibition if it is in an area I am visiting. I am recording here some of the exhibitions and art I have seen and enjoyed in 2014.

January

In January I started exploring rhizomatic learning for research purposes. Through this I have discovered lots of drawings related to the idea of the rhizome.

Blog 1

When I used this wonderful drawing in a blog post the artist Mark Ingham commented:

The Image you are using from:http://socialdigitalelective.wordpress.com/groups/rhizomes/ is a drawing I made in 1999-2000 and is a multiple mapping of 12 of my Grandfather’s (The mathematician who supervised Alan Turing, A E. Ingham) transparencies. I call it ‘Boy Pool Rhizome’. More can be seen at my website http://www.markingham.org

More rhizome images that I have discovered in this research can be seen in this Prezi presentation.

February

Blog 2A trip to Denmark with friends. We visited (clockwise from top left) the Johanne Larsen House and Museum in Kerteminde, the Copenhagen Art Museum, the Round Tower Exhibition, and the Copenhagen Design Museum.

 

April

The wonderful Sensing Spaces exhibition at the Royal Academy in London

Blog 3

This prompted a long blog post:

Sensitive Learning Spaces: what architects can teach us

And also in April

Textile 21 at the Macclesfield Silk Museum with Frances Bell and Ailsa Haxell. There was a wonderful exhibition of fashioned silk dresses

Blog 4.2 June

Henri Matisse – The Cut Outs, live streamed from the Tate Modern http://www.fact.co.uk/matisse-live-from-tate-modern . I saw this exhibition in Preston. It stimulated me to write two blog posts: Matisse: life-long researcher and Learning from those who have gone before

Blog 5

And…    The BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery in London, which was a real treat.

Blog 6

And also in June ….the Silverdale and Arnside Art Trail in my local area.

This involves spending the day walking from small studio to small studio (usually in the artist’s own house) or to a slightly larger venue such as a village hall or a hotel. There is an amazing amount of artistic talent in this area of the UK.

Blog 7

July

Visit to Amsterdam and the stunning Rijksmuseum  (Rembrandt and Vermeer) and… the Van Gogh Museum

Blog 8

Rembrandt is one of those artists you just have to see for real, i.e. see the original paintings, in a gallery.

August

Art in the Pen, Skipton, Yorkshire. Over one hundred selected artists transform cattle pens into miniature galleries from which they sell their original works of art.

Blog 9

And …….

Mondrian at the Liverpool Tate. This had me thinking a lot about the relationship between horizontal and vertical.

Blog 10

September

A trip across Europe took in visits to museums and galleries in Zurich, Innsbruck, Vienna and Venice.

ZurichThe Swiss National Museum – a real treasure trove and the Chagall windows at the Fraumünster church.

Blog 11

 Innsbruck – the Cathedral, Imperial Palace and the Maximilianeum Museum

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 16.25.01

Blog 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vienna – Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt at the Leopold Museum 

 

 

Venice – Like Vienna, Venice is a work of art in itself; the architecture, the museums, the galleries, the churches and the Architecture Biennale.

Blog 14

 November

Ai Weiwei at Blenheim Palace, with Frances Bell

Blog 15

Edinburgh – The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art  Blog 16

http://www.inglebygallery.com/artists/alison-watt/

December

Rembrandt live streamed at Fellinis Ambleside  from the National Gallery, London and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Blog 17

A fitting note on which to end my visits for this year.

A difficult task – explaining why I teach

Why I teach

I agree with Gardner Campbell – trying to explain why I teach feels like an impossible task. Not only is there the underlying assumption that we all know what we mean by ‘teaching’, but my many years of teaching experience seems to make the task harder. There are so many ways in which the question could be answered.

Also, like Gardner Campbell, I can remember clearly the exact point at which I realized I wanted to be a teacher. I was at University in my first year studying physiology. Those were the days of chalk and talk. Hundreds of students in lectures looked at the back of the lecturer as he wrote in chalk on a blackboard and we frantically tried to copy everything down. But for physiology we also had a seminar group and we were tasked with giving an individual presentation (no such thing as group work in those days) on a topic of our choice to the rest of the seminar group. We were not given any advice on how to do a presentation. My topic was ‘pain’, i.e. the physical process of experiencing pain. I not only loved researching and preparing this short presentation, but I loved giving it too, and it was a revelation to me that the rest of the group listened, seemed to find it interesting and know what I was talking about. That was the start.

Since then I have taught across all the age sectors, and also been a teacher trainer in Higher Education. My ideas about how to give presentations, how to teach and more importantly how I learn, have of course significantly changed over the years, as you would expect. As others have noted, teaching is about learning.

I wasn’t sure how to approach this task, or even whether to approach it at all. I ended up quickly ‘brainstorming’ the ideas that matter to me, just jotting down words as I reflected over my past experience. I then had to think about how to present these. I wanted to avoid a list (difficult as I am naturally a list person!) which would suggest some sort of hierarchy, but equally I didn’t want a map.

I have been thinking about Mondrian since I went to see an exhibition of his work at the Tate in Liverpool last month.

The exhibition was wonderful and whilst I was already familiar with Mondrian’s work, I had not thought before about the possible significance of the horizontal and vertical lines in his later work for my thinking about teaching and learning. For Mondrian these horizontal and vertical lines related to the elements of masculine and feminine in the world around him. He was looking for balance, equilibrium and harmony, but not symmetry. He was also concerned with space and in particular ‘empty’ space and the duality of opposing elements. For me all these ideas relate to breadth and depth in teaching and learning and the work of the right and left brain (see Iain McGilchrists work on the divided brain). They also make me think about open spaces and multiple paths for learning.

So Mondrian’s painting – Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red 1937-42 – seemed like an appropriate fit for some of my thoughts about why I teach.

This question has been posed in Unit 1 of the Connected Courses. Active Co-Learning in Higher Ed open course. There have been lots of interesting responses to the question. See the Googledoc created by Helen Keegan.