Ebb & Flow: Shifting Momenta
Julia Morris, Emily Amoraal, Elizabeth Borrill, Sarah Buckland, Megan Cassidy, Stacey Francis, Le Grace, Tyffanie Johnson, Maddison Lewis, Geoffrey Lummis, Josephine Lundy, Persefone Maietta, Mohammad Edriss Sarvari and Shanice Stacey
21 October to 26 November 2017
Official Opening: Friday, 20 October 2017
In its literal sense ebb and flow is about decline and growth, coming and going. For the teachers and teacher educators who present their work in this exhibition, ebb and flow is about the push and pull between teacher and artist identities. It is sometimes difficult to negotiate these identities. In giving your best creative energy to students there is often less time (or inclination) to maintain a personal arts practice. Similarly, maintaining a strong personal practice has potential to send you down a rabbit hole that distracts you from your classroom teaching.
We are all affected by ebb and flow. In accepting our state of flux, we search for moments where our practice can be allowed to regenerate. We search for physical space, as well as temporal space and mental space so that we can be creative. For beginning teachers, it is especially hard to find this space, as there is so much to learn and plan in the first few years of teaching. However, without arts practice we can lose connection to our subject and the passion that first made us want to become art teachers. Graham and Zwirn (2010) speak of master and mentor, that it is essential to be both master of the subject and mentor in teaching practice. Finding balance to practice in both areas enriches our lives and enhances the interactions we have with others.
The work in this exhibition is part of the Teacher as Practitioner (TAP) project, co-hosted by Edith Cowan University and the University of Melbourne. The TAP project explores teacher identity over time, and the impact of arts practice on teaching. In the gallery are works from Edith Cowan University graduating art teachers, as well as past graduates and teaching staff. There is also a digital installation showing works from the Melbourne artists, which are exhibited annually in studioFIVE at the University of Melbourne.
In Ebb and Flow: Shifting Momenta there is evidence of a tension between practice and what it means to be a practitioner. It is this tension that keeps us constantly questioning who we are and what we do. The works produced by the exhibiting artist-teachers is evidence of this reflection and critical observation of self, and the negotiation that occurs in the ebb and flow of ‘artist’ and ‘teacher’.