Competence, craft and crisis in representational art

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

    Bibliographical note

    This paper was presented at the ‘The Representational Art Conference 2012 (TRAC 2012) October 14-17, 2012 Crowne Plaza, Ventura, California. Author's note:
    In contemporary Western and (and increasingly in contemporary Eastern) art education, a great deal of emphasis is paced on the ‘self’ and the expressive potential of the individual as an ‘ insightful creator’. Devane argues that this approach to creativity is ‘one of the most powerful yet corrosive positions of orthodoxy within the art world today.’

    It is envisaged that this research will re-vitalise the debate around the notion of a ‘body of knowledge’ in relation to art practice and how that might impact on the teaching of art. It is the author’s view that the ‘fear of academicism’ is misplaced and that an individuals creative capability need not necessarily be diminished by the acquisition of skills and competencies.
    This research by Devane which is characterised by an ongoing practical examination of painting in response to both the challenges of the digital age and the firm belief in the idea that painting as a discreet discipline might be better understood from an informed position predicated on the acquisition of core skills.
    In order that the research was not simply located in ‘Western- Anglo-American’ models of practice, Devane sought out far eastern exemplars of art practice in order to contextualise the arguments and test the assertions in broader terms. This particular aspect of the research was made possible through British Council Pmi2 funding.
    The originality of this research is that it draws upon international art practice with specific remit to compare and contrast exemplars. As the research is ongoing is too early to make any definitive claim of originality for the project.
    The author has used his own art practice as a vehicle for exploring the key themes associated with: painting, drawing and the importance or otherwise, of figuration in the context of an art culture largely predicated on and influenced by mediated imagery.


    • academic paper
    • artistic competence
    • Figurative Art
    • modernism
    • postmodernism
    • quality in art
    • Representational Art

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