Valerie Oliver: Exploration of how visual art can be used to prepare marginalised youth for a positive future using mixed human inquiry methodologies

Bucks New University logoValerie Oliver posterThis research reflects on the Fine Arts impact on young people engaged within educational institutions, the criminal justice system, and organisations in our communities.  Sadly, regarding the Fine Arts, gaps are apparent due to discourse of past and present diversity with sub cultures within our society.  The study identifies a need to establish the value of how Fine Art offers theoretical and practical methods, which would strengthen and increase educational resources for future sustainability.

The study obtains an understanding of Fine Art in regards to the social and cultural transition beginning with the Enlightenment period in the17th century including Foucault’s research and theory contained in his thesis of ‘Discipline and Punishment’.  It also identifies the success of the Arts in the Barlinnie’s special prison unit.  The project further explores society, social exclusion and the individual in order to determine what effects the Fine Arts have on the individual’s self-efficacy and community art projects.

The methodology used was action research combined with using human inquiry methodologies. The research focused on a group of individuals who were involved in a programme, ‘The Learning Alliance Entry To Employment’. The programme was designed to help young offenders secure gainful employment.  The researcher is a practising Fine Artist and has extensive experience in community arts.  Contemporary art methods were used to teach skills that conveyed a better understanding towards how an individual processes ideas and then continues through the development stage to reach a tangible outcome.