The role of spirituality in art education (2014)

Syed Gowhar Andrabi

About this exposition

Spirituality reigns supreme in art. Known as the driving force of art, spirituality is art's expressive vehicle as well as a special voice. Human history of arts has never been devoid of spiritual content; artists studied the relationship between art and the spirit for decades. However, during the nineteenth century, technological advancements temporarily eclipsed this relation. Thanks to the radical changes in the progress of arts, spirituality in art resurfaced again (Efland 1990). With the material advances falling short of human expectations in understanding the reality of self, 'arts began once again to be proclaimed as important sources of spiritual insight necessary for the welfare of society' (Efland 1990, p. 51). In view of this, many questions started to gain momentum in academic circles. Such as, when and how does spirituality manifest in art? Is spirituality in art and art education purely a religious concern? Is there a spiritual impetus that fosters creativity? While trying to explain these questions, researchers confronted a few more enquiries of equal importance. For example, what is the connection between spiritual and art education and why has this branch of art (spiritual in art education) received less attention in academic literature and art rooms (London 2007)? This study aims to shed some light on these questions and following on the findings, analyse (a) the role of spirituality in art and art education; and (b) how an artist-teacher can deal with the issues of spirituality in art making and classroom practices? For clarity, the essay initially focuses on spirituality, its position among children and art education. Next follows an investigation of the role of artist-teacher in nurturing the spirituality of children through art, including a brief account of my art practice. Finally, conclusions are drawn about my understanding of spirituality and the learning experiences of my students in the light of the aforementioned questions.
typeresearch exposition
last modified07/06/2014
share statusprivate
affiliationUniversity of the West of Scotland
licenseAll rights reserved
published inResearch Catalogue

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