This project brought together artists for whom education and learning are subjects of investigation. Through the processes and methodologies of art-making, workshops and participatory discussions, traditional and alternative ideas of education were explored. The Vorkurs exhibition comprised of sculpture, print, performance and text.
Vorkurs is the name of the preliminary course undertaken by every student at the Bauhaus, the educational philosophies that informed the course have had an impact on the way we think about knowledge and learning in the arts and in wider society. Methods used on the Vorkurs course, seen as radical at the time are now incorporated into mainstream art education*. The tension between open, experimental learning approaches and the standardisation and assessed outcomes of a curriculum remain relevant.
The artists and workshop facilitators involved in this project also work in arts education; leading sessions in public and independent art institutions, teaching in state and private schools, or running informal workshops in artist led spaces and community centres. The project also includes a Library of related reading and media.
* The original Vorkurs course sought to challenge conventional learning methods and foster creativity. Students were encouraged to exercise and meditate before using common materials in unusual ways, exploring texture, weight and lateral uses. Lines were drawn between aesthetics and utility, artistic output, manual skills and production.