On the Look Out for teachers

Teachers get a tour of APT8 and Asim Waqif’s installation by one of our curators

“The Look Out teacher program is one of the few Professional Development opportunities directly related to art and artists rather than education”. [Look Out participant comment]

Working with curators and artists to develop resources and workshops is integral to the Gallery’s professional development Look Out program for teachers. The collaborative nature of our programming enables us to provide a deeper engagement with the art and ideas of our region and beyond. As one participant commented, “Hearing and experiencing goes far deeper than a self-guided tour or reading about the works…. hearing curators and interacting with artists is invaluable”… and we totally agree.

Recently 102 enthusiastic teachers attended the APT8 Look Out program. They were all provided with resources which included curriculum information and activities to introduce a range of creative processes into their classrooms. The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) is the Gallery’s flagship exhibition, this eighth edition emphasises the role of performance in recent art, with live actions, video, kinetic art, figurative painting and sculpture exploring the use of the human form to express cultural, social and political ideas, and the central role of artists in articulating experiences specific to their localities.

The interactive workshop with artists Julian Day and Luke Jaaniste

The interactive workshop with artists Julian Day and Luke Jaaniste of Super Critical Mass was a highlight for all. “The Super Critical Mass experience –participating and building on new skills gives everyone confidence to try these in the school environment.” Super Critical Mass is a collaborative group and describe themselves as ‘an ongoing sonic arts project’ interested in the creation of ‘evolving sound fields’, the group creates compelling participatory experiences utilising public spaces and temporary communities brought together for the performances.

Yumi Danis (We Dance) is staged as an immersive multimedia installation, animated by contemporary dance and consciously addresses the issues involved in translating and contextualising performance from these regions for a broader audience.

The behind-the-scenes talk about the development of the Yumi Danis (We Dance) project presented by our Curator, Pacific Art was also “extremely informing and engaging” for all. Overall this talk and program provided everyone with “amazing ideas for performative artists and immersive experience.”

Why is this program so valuable for teachers? The Gallery context is both important and useful as teachers appreciate being in a gallery space to partake in a range of activities, they also enjoy the variety of experiences and appreciate the complexity of information they receive and importantly, teachers express enjoyment and value in working exclusively with exhibiting artists. As mentioned in the feedback from the day, “the workshops were excellent – it opened up possibilities for a range of future interactions.”

Teachers participation in a Look Out workshop

“There are always a variety of learning possibilities on offer – audio talks, audio-visual, visual participation and interaction, and both body and kinaesthetic”… the program is always well received, and teachers tell us that the program is “always interesting and gives context to the exhibition.”

So, how do teachers use this information? Our programs are useful in planning school visits to the Gallery. Our recent program provided greater depth to the APT8 artists’ work for students to research and the practical activities enable teachers to consider art as performance. Teachers also mentioned on the day that they would use the workshop materials and ideas with their students “to explore the concept: ‘what is art?’ ”

We received some ideas for upcoming teacher programs in 2016. QAGOMA Learning surveys allow us to plan future events in alignment with teachers’ needs and interests. Supporting non-art trained primary teachers and continuing to engage with artists and curators were comments that were echoed by teachers who completed the Look Out survey, so stay tuned for more programs like these.

Cindy Sherman’s Untitled #462 2007-08, purchased with funds from Tim Fairfax, AM, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation

Our Look Out teacher programs also include exhibition viewings, so if you’re interested in seeing our upcoming exhibition ‘Cindy Sherman’ opening at GOMA on 28 May 2016 don’t miss our secondary teachers exclusive exhibition viewing on Monday 30 May from 4pm. Cindy Sherman is renowned as a chameleon; her own image is at the centre of an astonishing gallery of character studies, developed over decades. Sherman has positioned photography as one of the most important contemporary art forms, expanding on contemporary society’s recurrent fascination with female appearance, narcissism, cults of celebrity, aspirational culture, and emotional fragility.

The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT)
is the Gallery’s flagship exhibition focused on the work of Asia, the Pacific and Australia.
21 November 2015 – 10 April 2016

APT8 Exhibition Founding Sponsor: Queensland Government
APT8 Exhibition Principal Sponsor: Audi Australia
APT8 Education Major Sponsor: Santos GLNG