What is ERA really measuring?

Dr. Lyndall Adams, Prof. Clive Barstow and Dr. Paul Uhlmann (ECU)
2016 Conference

How successful is ERA in measuring creative research? The ERA (2015) results would appear to advantage: citations over peer review, traditional research over non-traditional outputs and certain geographical locations over others.  If indeed this is true, what are the implications for the future development of NTOs in this country given the recent article by NAVA (Winikoff, 2016), presenting the debate about the state of play of our art schools as one of survival and loss. The case for survival is one that needs to be closely examined where local and geographical factors are at play.

Art and design schools across Australia navigate a range of cultural and economic forces. The pedagogical and research agendas of the university environment create pressures that art schools need to adapt to—along with concomitant financial and administrative constraints. External industry structures and commercial aims create another set of compulsions. The art and design school is continually asked to define itself against and adapt to the conditions of these environments, a pressure that often runs against the studio’s spirit of enquiry and value as a pedagogical space. In the context of these complex forces, what is the morphology of the art and design school for the 21st century? This paper examines a survival strategy at ECU, a vibrant contemporary Arts hub with an international and national focus in a period where universities are attempting to define their individual identity while at the same time measuring the immeasurable.

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About the author

Dr Lyndall Adams (Edith Cowan University)


Lyndall Adams is a contemporary artist and Senior Research Fellow in the School of Arts and Humanities and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University. Lyndall is an arts practice-led researcher drawing influences from the interface between post-structuralist and new materialist feminist thinking. Her arts-practice articulates the female body; the lived body that is determined and specific though paradoxically in a state of flux, defined and redefined by changing practices and discourses. Lyndall has participated in solo, collaborative and group exhibitions within Australia and internationally.


Prof. Clive Barstow (Edith Cowan University)


Clive Barstow’s exhibition profile includes forty years of international exhibitions, artist residencies and publications in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. His work is held in a number of international collections, including the Musse National d’Art Paris. Clive is Professor and Dean of Arts & Humanities at Edith Cowan University, Honorary Professor of Art at the University of Shanghai for Science & Technology China and global faculty member of Fairleigh Dickinson USA. His recent exhibitions include “Giving Yesterday a Tomorrow” at the Hu Jiang Gallery in Shanghai and recent publications include “Encountering the Third Space” at the University of Oxford UK.


Dr Paul Uhlmann (Edith Cowan University)


Paul Uhlmann is a senior lecturer and coordinator of Visual Arts, Arts and Humanities, Edith Cowan University, Perth. Paul studied art in Australia at the ANU, in Germany (1986-87 DAAD scholarship) and in the Netherlands (International Samstag Scholarship 1994-95). In 2012 his practice-led PhD on painting was conferred at RMIT. He has recently exhibited at Impact 9 in Hangzhou, China and has written on embodied aesthetics. Exhibitions nationally and internationally since 1983; his work is held in many collections including; National Gallery of Australia; Art Gallery of Western Australia; Art Gallery of New South Wales and National Gallery of Victoria.