The Change Lab 2018

Monday 30 April – Tuesday 8 May 2018
The Change Lab 2018 | Monday 30 April – Tuesday 8 May 2018 | NCAD Gallery

The Change Lab 2018 : How do we mine and trace the past to make sense of the now? • The School of Education, NCAD, in association with the Ubuntu Network*

Presentations Event :: Wednesday 2 May 2018, 5.30pm – 7.15pm
RSVP Presentations Event ::
NCAD Gallery Exhibition :: Monday 30 April – Tuesday 8 May 2018, 11am – 5pm daily
Official Exhibition Opening :: Wednesday 2 May 2018, 7.15pm

The NCAD Gallery is delighted to host, The Change Lab exhibition & presentations event. The School of Education in the National College of Art and Design, Dublin (NCAD) in association with the Ubuntu Network* wish to invite you to the exhibition that responds to the question, how do we mine and trace the past to make sense of the now?

The Change Lab Presentations Event Programme: 5.30pm Wednesday 2 May
5.50pm Introduction Professor Dervil Jordan, NCAD.
Setting the context: Deirdre Hogan, Ubuntu Network, Fiona King & Tony Murphy, NCAD School of Education.
6.00pm Key note speakers Dr. Jones Irwin, Associate Professor of Philosophy & Education, DCU. Seamus Nolan, Artist.
6.45pm Discussion & Presentations of artwork in the NCAD Gallery space.
7.15pm The Change Lab 2018 official exhibition opening. Meet & greet with refreshments served.


The Change Lab is a critical space for learning, thinking and re-imagining the possibilities of how art and design curriculum in second level can be taught through a development education lens. The exhibition showcases the pedagogical approach and artefacts that the Professional Master in Education teachers created in response to the thematic of LEGACY. The work is made and presented from the situated practice of the artist and the educator, activist. The NCAD Professional Master in Education teachers will utilise the Gallery as a process space from Wednesday 25 – Friday 27 April 2018. The Change Lab exhibition is open to public audiences from Monday 30 April – Tuesday 8 May 2018, 11am – 5pm, Mon – Fri, and all are welcome to the presentations event and offical exhibition opening, Wednesday 2 May 2018. * The Ubuntu Network supports the integration of development education into post primary education and is funded by Irish Aid. For futher information please see the weblink, and twitter feed @Ubuntu_Network.

The Change Lab 2018 Process Description
The Change Lab showcases concerns of Development Education (DE) as part of the Education Department teacher training programme at the NCAD, in conjunction with the aims of the Ubuntu Network. Development education (DE) is an educational process that is concerned with building a student’s knowledge, awareness and understanding of the world that they live in, and how that world is often an unequal one in terms of Human Rights and social justice (social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political, social rights, resources and opportunities). Education for sustainable development extends the context of DE to go beyond the social justice thematic parameters of DE to also include issues focusing on the environment and the importance of maintaining and protecting the planet while meeting our development needs. We are exploring DE and ESD concepts through the lens of Art and Design, so it is important for us to ensure that the art processes and visual research methods, intrinsic to the subject of art, remain to the forefront of this exploration.

The Change Lab 2018 – Catalogue Foreword
Professor Dervil Jordan – Head of School of Education, NCAD

The ‘Change Lab’ project has evolved from the ‘Development Education Module’ within the Professional Master of Education (PME) at NCAD. The participatory and collaborative nature of the ‘Change Lab’ engages student teachers collectively in tackling themes of identity and community, social justice and development education in designing an art curriculum for second level.

Art has always had the capacity to engage the pupil through skills and techniques learnt through working with materials. It also has the ability to reach into the expressive nature of human beings and be a conduit for feelings, emotions and conveying ideas. The ‘Change Lab’ model draws on critical and contextual pedagogies, which have the capacity to transform through engagement with others.  This model of art education extends beyond the self, into an awareness of and empathy with others. It asks whether the art education can sustain its commitment to art as a vehicle for transformation, social justice and citizenship?

For the second year running the ‘Change Lab’ uses the NCAD Gallery space as a testing ground where current modes of art and design education are critiqued and old orthodoxies are dissected, questioned and reconstructed. It is a place where there is an on-going process of revealing and testing out ideas.

Led by School of Education staff members, Fiona King and Tony Murphy, and the Ubuntu Network, the ‘Dev Ed Module’ has evolved into a pedagogic methodology which is very important in light of current reform of the Leaving Cert Art (LC) curriculum. The ‘Change Lab’ at NCAD is one of these ‘imaginative initiatives’ taking place within initial teacher education’ which challenges student art teachers to respond to the needs of the 21st century learner. Art education, on these terms, attempts to address issues of citizenship and social justice, encountering others through attentive living.

The Change Lab 2018 – Catalogue Project Foreword
Fiona King Coordinator of the Professional Master of Education, Lecturer in Education, NCAD.
Tony Murphy Lecturer in Education, School of Education, NCAD.

The primary aim of the Change Lab, housed in the NCAD gallery, is to provide a critical space for learning,
thinking and re-imagining the possibilities of how art and design curriculum in second level can be taught through a development education lens.

The exhibition is the culmination of a range of work created on site in the gallery space by the Professional Master of Education (PME) students. The work responds to the Theme of Legacy and the over-arching question; how do we mine and trace the past to make sense of the now?

As artists, educators and activists we mine and trace the past to formulate new ways of teaching and learning. We imagine and shape the possibilities of the future by drawing on a legacy of visual language that enables us to inquire, question and make sense of the world we live in. A Legacy can go beyond the material to refer to the immaterial, the ideas, the actions, how we are influenced to think and act through the historical, political, cultural and social contexts we emerge from.

Atkinson (2017) speaks about harnessing the nature and force of art practice to create a disobedient pedagogy, a pedagogy that is ‘disobedient to established parameters of practice. Practices of thinking, seeing, making and feeling’ (p.1).
The change Lab fosters learning encounters that considers Atkinsons pedagogy of disobedience to value art practice as a process of the unknown, to disrupt ones thinking, to be bold and to search for authentic visual responses to complex and contested issues relating to human rights, social justice and the environment. It is about the possibilities of changing one’s practice as an educator to ask ‘What does it mean to teach and make art that is of and for our time?

2017 D Atkinson, ART, DISOBEDIENCE AND ETHICS The Adventure of Pedagogy Ethics Education
The Change Lab 2018 – Catalogue Essay – Education is Never Neutral!
Dr Jones Irwin,  Associate Professor in Philosophy and Education.
Co-Chair of the Ed.D Doctoral Programme and Subject Leader in Philosophy for Open Education, DCU.

When the Brazilian philosopher Paulo Freire tells us that ‘education is never neutral’,  he wants us as educators, and as artists, to realise that our work is always situated, that it always takes a stand (even if, or especially if, we deny this fact). Education and art are inherently political, even if we often run away from this responsibility and seek to hide behind excuses or alibis.

In this wonderful exhibition of the PME cohort work under the guidance of Change Lab at NCAD, this contextual dimension is foregrounded – these postgraduate students, in each of their groups, approach their challenge ‘from the situated practice of the Artist and Educator-Activist’.

No pedagogy is ever innocent – Freire provokes us with these words, in 1968, in his text Pedagogy of the Oppressed. He exemplifies a vision of education and politics which has influenced many emancipatory movements since, and right up the present, with various strands of Literacy Education and even the Occupy movement citing Freire as a source. 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the May 1968 events, starting with a student demonstration at the University of Nanterre in Paris and leading to a General Strike of 10 million people across France. 1968 was also to see related developments across Europe and the wider world, from Prague to San Francisco to Dublin.

One of the posters of ’68 stated that ‘the lessons will not be forgotten in ’69!’, and we can see an upsurge of radicality in art and philosophy in succeeding years as emerging from the ‘long Sixties’.

Here, the student work demonstrates an ethical-personal honesty and depth, a subversive creativity, a concentration, a movement beyond the ‘fetishism of activism’ towards a more authentic engagement with the possibilities of socio-political change, in Ireland and internationally. In this, we might say they are continuing the Legacy of progressive educators such as Freire on the one side, and the Legacy of radical art on the other.

To quote another ’68 poster, this is a theory and a practice which admirably aspires to be an ‘Art at the service of the People’.

Context and Collaboration / Key Notes / Biographical Details

DR JONES IRWIN is an Associate Professor in Philosophy and Education at the Institute of Education, Dublin City University. He is also Project Officer for Community National Schools with NCCA and Subject Leader in Philosophy for Open Education, DCU.  He has previously lectured at University of Warwick, UK, and Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick and has been Visiting Lecturer at the Universities of Warwick (2010/2013), Ljubljana, Slovenia (2010), Linköping, Sweden (2010/2013) and Banska Bystrica, Slovakia (2015).  He is also Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life to the University of Leeds, UK in 2018.

His research interests are particularly in the areas of Continental Philosophy, Philosophy of Education, Aesthetics (especially Cinema) and Ethics. He has published three main books to date, including the first text to explore Paulo Freire’s educational philosophy as a whole. He is currently completing a monograph on Existentialism.Since late 2014, Jones has been involved in developing the first multi-belief curriculum for primary schools, with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. It is the first state curriculum in Ireland to include Philosophy as a Strand.

SEAMUS NOLAN is an artist based in Dublin, he is the current recipient of the CAPP commission with Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and Create. Recent works include ‘4th Space’ for Inhabiting the Bageion, Athens,”Proto punks’ with Upstate Theatre projects Drogheda, ‘Free Silhan Oscelik ‘ Mayo Arts Collaborative, ”F**K IMMA’ for ‘What we call love’ Irish Museum of Modern Art, ‘The Trades Club Revival’ which saw the revival of the traditional working man’s club in Sligo, the attempted hijack of a Ryan air flight ‘Flight NM7104’, the refusal to participate Ireland’s recent international art event ‘Dublin Contemporary’ 2011.

The Ubuntu Network was established in 2006 to support the integration of Development Education (DE) into
post primary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Ireland. It is made up of teacher educators from Higher Education Institutions, NGO representatives and partner organisations with a commitment to education for social justice, equality and sustainability. Our collaboration with The School of Education in NCAD affords us with the opportunity to support teacher educators and student teachers to engage with local and global development issues, to see how they are relevant to their subject areas and disciplines, and to understand the value that such perspectives bring to teaching. Our partnership with the School of Education in NCAD has been a considered and valued collaboration over the last decade and exemplifies the Sub- Saharan philosophy of Ubuntu that emphasises co-operation, compassion, community and concern for the interests of the collective.
Deirdre Hogan, Ubuntu Network Coordinator, Dept. of Education & Professional Studies, University of Limerick (UL).

The NCAD Gallery operates as a public venue as well as the public face of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin (NCAD). The Gallery mission is to support contemporary visual arts practice and critical debate in the immediate environment of the NCAD via its curated exhibitions programme, while simultaneously engaging the visual arts sector, local community and wider public audiences. The NCAD Gallery continues to progress a programme inclusive of contemporary visual arts practice across diverse disciplines in art and design with an emphasis on the commissioning of new work, welcoming collegial and international partnerships. The Gallery programme also affords the provision for student-led exhibition making with a research focus instituted through College curricula. The NCAD Gallery is delighted to work with the Professional Master of Education artist/educators from the School of Education, NCAD in association with The Ubuntu Network, in presenting The Change Lab 2018 exhibition and presentations event, responding to the question, how do we mine and trace the past to make sense of the now?
Anne Kelly, Programme Curator, NCAD Gallery.

NCAD Professional Master of Education Artist / Educator 2018 Groups
Deirdre Smith, Amanda Connolly, Francis Quinn
Frances Traynor, Tara Butler Frey, Jacinta Leigh, Pamela Byrne
Aimee Rose Butterfield, Maria Makraiova, Karen Mc Ardle
Serena Scully, Emma Byrne, Emma Moran, Niall O’ Loughlin
Laura Early, Lynn Murphy, Jonathan Donnelly

Monday 30 April – Tuesday 8 May 2018
NCAD Gallery
100 Thomas Street
Dublin 8
Telephone: +353 1 6364200
Opening hours / start times:
1pm - 5pm, Monday – Friday
Admission / price: Free

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