UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Australian Art Education
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Kathryn Grushka
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Visual methodologies in qualitative research acknowledge that images carry personal, cultural and social significance and are embedded in all our lives. Montage, in the field of visual art education is presented as a tool that allows for multiple visual narrative perspectives or voices through artmaking. It is a powerful inference tool that can work to reveal research findings and foreground the centrality of visual narratives in art education. The performance action of montage construction communicates the researchers phenomenological and is presented as an authentic way to communicate matters of subjectivity in visual art research. This paper presents how montage is used in a mixed qualitative research method to reveal the significance of embodied imaging activities of students that occur in classroom studio learning environments. It locates the use of montage as both a tool in conceptual categorisation and a tool used to capture and reveal the embodied aesthetic world of the student. Montage is used to represent how the students explore their identities through artmaking and how their visual narratives reveal communicative understanding about set beliefs and values. The process of working with montage, as a tool for metareference and the construction of meaning in qualitative research works to both enact and reveal the power of images to support the exploration of youth identities.

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