The Long Lunch: interstitial spaces between creative practice, social learning and radical pedagogy

Dr. Rachael Haynes and Dr. Courtney Pedersen (QUT)
2016 Conference

Pedagogical imperatives have been at the heart of social and participatory creative practice, and therefore an integral aspect of contemporary art. However, the increasingly standardised models of tertiary teaching required by the modern university often struggle to accommodate the radical potential of this creative practice. From our experience as creative practitioners, we recognise participatory art’s ability to enable social engagement, the expression of diverse positions and at times contradictory perspectives, and the occupation of border spaces within and beyond institutional frameworks, making them rich models for art teaching.

In our work as members of the Australian feminist art collective LEVEL, collaborative, dialogic and participatory strategies have formed the basis of our projects in community and public spaces, as well as art galleries and museums. These projects have demonstrated a commitment to non-hierarchical and collective structures. For example, the ongoing public picnics, titled We Need to Talk (initiated in 2013) utilise contemporary feminist consciousness-raising strategies to discuss a range of social issues, while the exhibition, This is Not the Work (2014) curated a selection of community-engaged artist projects emphasising the global pathways of women-centred social networks. In the context of recently reimagining our teaching model at the Queensland University of Technology, we have taken the opportunity to apply what we have learned through these participatory creative projects to an artwork / teaching initiative called The Long Lunch. This paper will provide an overview of the project and discuss the implementation of our strategies of participatory creative practice in a pedagogical setting. This project models the potential benefits of this approach by drawing out the interstitial spaces between creative practice, social learning and radical pedagogy.

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About the author


Dr. Rachael Haynes (QUT)

Rachael Haynes is a Lecturer in Visual Arts in the Creative Industries Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Haynes completed her PhD, an exploration of the ethics of exhibition practice, examining encounters between artworks and audiences in terms of difference, with the support of an Australian Postgraduate Award for research in 2009. Her current research investigates feminist ethics, language and voice, through curatorial projects, solo creative works and as part of the feminist art collective, LEVEL. Rachael is the Director of Boxcopy Contemporary Art Space.


Dr. Courtney Pedersen (QUT)

Courtney Pederson is the Head of Visual Arts and a Senior Lecturer in Art History/Theory at Queensland University of Technology, where she has been teaching since 2006. She completed her PhD, an exploration of feminism, genealogy and social history through public installation art, at QUT in 2005. She has been a practicing artist for over 20 years, having studied photography at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. Her work has been exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria, the Museum of Brisbane, and in numerous independent art spaces. She has been a member of the reviews editorial team for the peer-reviewed Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art and is currently a co-director of the LEVEL feminist art collective, a board member for Eyeline Publishing and Secretary for the Boxcopy Contemporary Art Space board.