DIY 13: 2016 - Oreet Ashery & Anna Colin ‘The Art Curriculum, Memory or Imagination’

What do we mean by Art Pedagogy?

Project summary

What can we learn from historical changes in art pedagogy and how can these apply to contemporary art practices, especially those which are immaterial and socially engaged? 

This 2-day workshop is set to performatively explore aspects of the Art Curriculum since the 1940s, such as the use of memory versus imagination in drawing exercises (‘draw a red pepper from your memory’  - or  - ‘draw a red pepper from your imagination’) and the implications those evolving educational approaches have on our understanding of art and its agency today. 

We will explore, discuss, analyze, reenact and undertake hands-on art related exercises found in the art curriculum. 


A conference titled Adolescent Expression in Art and Craft, held at Bretton Hall in 1956, encapsulated the immense divisions in the art education world brought about by the advent of the so-called Basic Design movement. Basic Design represented a radical challenge to many of the educational values of the time. 

Developed by a variety of teachers and personalities, Basic Design called for the end of an expressionist and representational approach to art and instead introduce a more interdisciplinary, collaborative, abstracted, modernist and cognitive pedagogy that takes its cues from the worlds of science, technology and design, as well as the every day world and popular culture. Formal exercises looking at point, line, shape relationship, colour and construction were set to expand visual perception and adventure.

Basic Design principles have contributed to the accreditation of Art as a certified degree course and have formed the basis of Art Foundation courses in the UK still now. The two-day workshop aims to question and unfold how those turns in art education can be useful when we look at current immaterial and socio-politically engaged practices.

Through conversations and practical exercises we will attempt to articulate our own experiences of art pedagogy and where we would like to see art pedagogy going. 


The workshop is intended for anyone interested in art, performance, education, pedagogy and the social, political and philosophical trajectories of art education in the UK. We are looking for diverse participants who have a background or an interest in art, education, community or pedagogy.

The application includes writing a short statement on your current practice, or attaching a CV. We also ask you to include a drawing of a red pepper. 

For those wishing to apply from outside the region, the Old Manor House is 5 minutes walk from YSP, charging around £36 per night. Once we have a sense of potential participants we will provide further details regarding accommodation and possible car/lift shares.

Application deadline

19 September 2016, 5pm

Any questions?


Please note that all applications must be done via the online form, rather than being emailed direct to DIY artists.


Dates, times and location

Dates: 7-8 November 2016
Times: 10am - 5pm 
Location: The National Arts Education Archive, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
This DIY is supported by Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The artists

Anna Colin is the co-director and co-founder of Open School East and the Co-curator of the current British Art Show 8. Oreet Ashery is an interdisciplinary artist and an educator. 

Part of DIY 13: 2016 Project List


Yorkshire Sculpture Park
West Bretton