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Making Meaning

11 September – 25 October 2015

From observer, to philosopher, to the creative author.

The culmination of two years of study as an MA student on the BxNU Professional Practice in Education, Making Meaning presented teacher Heather Bray’s explorations into the gallery as a site for research, observation, interpretation and illustration.

Bray’s research is concerned with how students record, interact and engage with an artwork or exhibition. Her work explores how these records can be edited and re-organised through creative acts that can illustrate a student’s understanding and interpretation of an original artwork.

Making Meaning presented how the use of technology can be used as an extension of the learner’s ‘eye’; what they choose to record; and a model of their ‘brain’; what they edit. This can act as a device for teachers to observe student visual engagement and meta-cognitive processes in generating meaning-making.

Making Meaning exhibited a collection of films by a group of students from Newcastle Upon Tyne Royal Grammar School. The works were tangible, digital acts of looking, recording, editing and imagining inspired by the groups’ experiences and observations of Jason Rhoades The Creation Myth 1998/2013 exhibited at BALTIC in Spring 2015.

Informed by French critic and theorist Roland Barthes’ 1967 essay ‘The Death of the Author’ students explored the idea of how separating an artwork’s meaning from the personal, political and social characteristics of its artist impacts understanding and interpretation. The group approached this idea from the perspective of the artist, the viewer, the gallery and the cultural sector as a whole.

Exhibited here are the results of these conversations; a set of six conceptual films that transform aesthetic experience into aesthetic artefacts.