Drivers of Creativity: How Theory Can Inform Contemporary Practice in the Art School Curriculum and Beyond

By Howard Riley.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 13, 2014 $US5.00

This paper discusses an innovative strategy for the integration of theory modules, termed “drivers of creativity,” with the studio practices undertaken in the MA portfolio of courses in fine art, photography, visual communication, and textiles at the Dynevor Centre for Arts, Design, and Media, Swansea Metropolitan University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Wales, UK. It argues that at the heart of the creative process, there lie tensions which drive much—if not all—creative activity in those disciplines. Such tensions emanate from dialectical oppositions which impinge upon all producers of artworks of all kinds, first between notions of individual identity and the “mores” of the social group; and second, the dialectical opposition between the natural environment and human cultural constructions and interventions. These two dialectical oppositions inform the structure and content of the two theory modules undertaken by all first-year students on the MA programmes. The paper is illustrated with a range of visual examples, illustrating both the author’s and students’ practices motivated by the drivers of creativity modules. Evaluation of the quality of the project work is informed by a general criterion: the degree of balance evident between two factors, introduced and explained as “conceptual intrigue” and “perceptual intrigue.”

Keywords: Drivers of Creativity, Perceptual Intrigue, Conceptual Intrigue

The International Journal of Arts Education, Volume 8, Issue 2, June 2014, pp.33-41. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 13, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 611.166KB)).

Prof. Howard Riley

Head of School of Research and Postgraduate Studies, Dynevor Centre for Art, Design, and Media, Swansea Metropolitan University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea, Wales, UK

Howard Riley is a professor of visual communication and the head of the School of Research and Postgraduate Studies at the Dynevor Centre for Arts, Design, and Media at Swansea Metropolitan University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Swansea, Wales, UK. He studied at Hammersmith College of Art, Coventry College of Art, and the Royal College of Art, and holds a doctorate from the University of Wales in the pedagogy and practice of drawing. He has taught drawing and the history and theory of art in Australia and Malaysia, as well as the UK. He has published widely in the areas of art pedagogy and visual semiotics, and his drawings have been exhibited in Australia, Finland, and the UK.