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2020-21: Sustainable Strategies: Connecting with the Environment and each other, Geelong Gallery

posted on 2021-03-26, 00:00 authored by Merinda KellyMerinda Kelly
2020-21: Sustainable Strategies: Connecting with the Environment and each other, Geelong Gallery



Geelong Gallery


Geelong Gallery

Place of publication

Geelong, Vic.



Recognition, awards & prizes

$4021.58 Grant Geelong Gallery & Costa Foundation $3000 Grant from Melbourne Zoo for loan and activation of work

Research statement

Background This NTRO sits with/in the fields of arts education and posthuman pedagogy. A participatory art activation for primary and secondary students was commissioned by the Geelong Gallery for the Sustainable Strategies Project: ‘Connecting with the environment and each other’. Links were also made to notions of Institutional and personal practices of collection. The research examined how posthuman pedagogy can be adapted to provoke new ways of thinking /feeling/making something new ‘with’ nature, narrative, material, matter and beyond. Critical and creative frameworks for working to ‘undo’ human-centric mindsets and normative approaches to artmaking and responding were explored, mainly through a series of digital encounters due to the impacts of Covid-19. Contribution Participants were invited to explore transdisciplinary modes of human and non-human collaboration and ways of thinking ‘with’ with the myriad of ‘things’ with which they are entangled. Provocations and small instruction-based tasks prompted students and teachers to sensorially attune to, connect and collaborate with accessible environments (home, garden, park, school ground)- to tread softly, to re/encounter, re/value and re/imagine new possibilities for responding and making. This agential realist (Barad:2007) reframing rendered the possibility of all matter as potential material for creating something new in the world. As the activations unfolded, students and teachers worked with the idea that things, spaces, objects and sounds have their own agency in that they perform their contributions in collaborations with humans. Significance This research brought to attention the potentialities of posthuman and new materialist perspectives for generating new approaches, perspectives and ways for young people to respond creatively, collaboratively and sustainably to the rising complexities and uncertainties of contemporary life on the planet. This project also led to a new commission.

Publication classification

JC2 Curated Exhibition or Event – Exhibition/Event


NTRO Major

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