Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been working with my friend and fellow artist, Heidi Lefebvre, on a project that will see us working with a class of Year 11 art students over coming months – essentially visiting artists-in-residence. As these young people embark upon 18 months of crazy activity in the bid to score a mark that may or may not determine their future (I don’t believe it really holds that much power), we are being given an opportunity at the start of this period to open their minds to the possibilities.
Heidi and I both consider ourselves contemporary artists, yet our practices couldn’t be more different. That’s the exciting thing about this project from my perspective…and perhaps my sneaky way of getting her to agree to work with me on something! Yet, as we shoot emails back and forth planning our time with the art students, we’ve found many things on which we agree.
I’m now working through how to present my practice and work to a group of young people who may have a very set idea about what art is; whose exposure to contemporary and new media practice is most likely very limited (not including popular culture); and who perhaps think that all professional artists are art school trained. I’m looking forward to exploring these questions with them and Heidi. By no means to do I feel like the “teacher” here. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn from a younger generation, fellow artists (including the art teacher in charge of our venture) and to creatively collaborate on concepts I probably haven’t ever thought about or been exposed to.
Bring it on!