Culture Generating and Culture Using

The concepts of ‘culture generating' and 'culture using in the context of art, craft and design education refer to the ways that artists, makers and designers both draw from the prevailing cultural context and contribute to it. 

Culture using’ reflects the role of artists, makers and designers in using and responding to their cultural context, experiences and heritage in their work.

Culture generating’ refers to the influence that art, craft and design can have upon the audience and cultural consumers of the arts.

In doing so they will be shaping, refining and reflecting societal values, attitudes and understanding. Art educators will need to take account of their students’ role as both producers and consumers of art, craft and design. 

Critical and contextual studies are the study and evaluation of art, craft and design from different perspectives. This includes the cultural, social and historical contexts in which artworks are both created and exhibited.

Critical and Contextual Studies include:

  • Critique
  • Looking at Pictures and Objects
  • History of Art, Craft and Design
  • Exploring Aesthetics
  • Principles of Beauty and Taste

This aspect of the curriculum develops students’ capacity to think critically about the works that they come into contact with. They learn to reflect on their creative work in the context of their own times and the work of contemporary artists, makers and designers. In reflecting on the work of others, students should take into account relevant spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues.

Art educators need to make choices about which artists, makers, designers; movements, cultures and creative students study. These choices should reflect the curriculum being followed, the student’s prior knowledge and the planned learning outcomes.

Theoretical knowledge ‘about’ art, craft and design will put students’ practical knowledge and their own making into context.

In constructing a curriculum art educators need to reflect upon the breadth, depth and range of artists, makers and designers they introduce and invite students to study. They will seek to ensure that in ‘learning about art’, students learn to express their own ideas and concerns with confidence and clarity.

Disability arts is a broad term that describes art, craft and design made by disabled artists and artworks that embrace disability-related themes, experiences, and perspectives.

Disability arts may challenge dominant ideas about disability, promoting anti-ableism in curriculum, practice and pedagogies. Disability arts do not show disability as needing to be ‘overcome’, instead helping to shift hidden bias and thinking about disability as something that needs to be cured or remediated.

There is a long history of representations of disability, which together with recent representations, can show how ideas about disability have shifted over time. Disability arts will also develop affective dimensions (feelings, emotions) and an understanding of alternative viewpoints.

The Concepts of 'culture generating and culture using' teaches you to:

a) Develop knowledge, understanding and response to the work of (selected, significant, relevant) artists, designers, contemporary creatives and makers, and disability arts.   

b) Question: What is ‘great art’?

c) Introduce and examine periods, movements, styles, genres and cultures from past to present.  

d) Explore historic, contemporary and global majority art and design – without bias or prejudice – selected to contextualise projects, to inform designing and meaning-making activities, and to inform the creation of outcomes in art and design.   

e) Avoid plagiarism, cultural plundering or uncritical appropriation.  

f) Develop a deeper and wider understanding of artworks studied and contexts in which the work is/was created.  

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