Art education in India is still largely an overlooked matter. A new online session, titled Contextualising Creativity: Modules of Visual Thinking, Art Teaching and Learning, by art educator and artist Sharmila Samant attempts to break the nitty-gritty of teaching pedagogy.
Through this session, held in collaboration with Takshila Educational Society, Samant looks at how creative thinking can make art more interesting for the young learners. Taking a cue from yesteryears’ creative thinkers such as poet Maya Angelou, classical singer Kumar Gandharva, artist Marcel Duchamp among others, Samant notices the ways art impacts our brain. Samant is of the opinion that she was fortunate enough to grow in the 80s and 90s, when there was no mobile phone.
So growing away from them in a sense fostered her creativity. In today’s modern global times, she says, we face the danger of losing our unique syncretic cultural identity.
“One of the reasons being the growing distance between the arts and people. In the majority of our educational institutions, arts are usually relegated as tools for decorating premises on public occasions such as Foundation day, Independence day, Annual day…The young learners are kept away from any kind of creative expressions.”
Going into the intricacies of art education, Samant says that a creative teacher has to inculcate the ability to use improvisational elements in one’s lessons. “She has to live in the moment, act spontaneously, courageously, as well as confidently, taking the ideas which have arisen from student learners and can change the lesson to finish it in another and arguably a better way.”