Online event: Art as a research tool for sustainable change

January 27 , 1 PM – 2PM

This workshop offers an alternative approach to stimulate students to take targeted action in the field of sustainability. Engelbert Fellinger takes you as a HKU teacher and master student HKU Art Education in an approach and a number of working methods, using art-based research.

Climate change, microplastics, overpopulation, air pollution, water pollution, greed, overconsumption, pandemics, animal and plant extinction. Humans are making a mess of this planet. Traditional education on sustainability outlines the phenomena and causes of environmental problems, but rarely encourages students to take targeted action in combination with their own research and the study and search for associated theory.

This session is for teachers (and students of teacher training courses) who want to make a positive contribution to sustainability by tracing underlying causes together with students and changing experienced situations with targeted actions. We will work with a number of teaching methods and will take a look at testing and assessing the arts-based research of students.

No specific preparation is required from participants. For teachers and students who want to get started with sustainability.

Sign up here!

Free-writing as a research method

Golden Circle, Sinek (2009)

Writing classes

To write a text that expresses your identity as an artist can be a pain. That’s why I provide writing classes for art students to help them with their artist statement. This provides a cover text that can be used for portfolio, graduation, festivals, galleries, exhibitions, pitches and competitions. A well-written artist statement distinguishes and forms an important part of the professional identity.

What inspires you?

As a first step, students write down in 10 minutes, unfiltered, or draw everything that comes to mind when they think about themselves concerning their artistic or professional context.

Then I ask the question “What inspires you?”. A conversation about their purpose (WHY) opens a certain space that remains closed if you limit yourself to describe what you make. What inspires you? is a key to this space and provides the depth that makes you think about your own position and that of others. What inspires you? is an invitation to talk and reveals the inspiration and drive of the maker. Many students share a passion for social and sustainability issues without knowing it from the other. When these insights are shared with the group, new information is added to existing narratives.

Next, I let them sort the harvest according to WHY, HOW, WHAT following the logic of the Golden Circle of Sinek (2009). WHY is about the purpose. The HOW is more about the artistic process and the WHAT is about the artefacts and materials.

The final artist statement or professional statement is a guiding text that students can use when entering the professional world.

PS: What inspires you? works also great as a conversation starter at parties and business gatherings if you want to avoid small-talk.