Staff, C. and Cureton, P. (2009) The life of Paolo Uccello: drawing transitions through curriculums. Paper presented to: Transitions: Learning and Teaching Conference, University of Northampton, 13 May 2009.
Art curriculum frameworks are loaded with certain preconceptions, values and hierarchies for both tutors and students. The value of realism within drawing is the pinnacle of this pedagogic hierarchy, unchanged from platonic mimesis, and the story of Pygmalion to Renaissance approaches to perspective, as in the alleged case of the Florentine painter Paolo Uccello who was suggested to be addicted to perspective systems, to slavish photographic reproduction in the modern age by artists such as Robert Cottingham. The authors argue that within such hierarchies barriers to alternative approaches to drawing are established and only corrected at a higher education level through more rigorous intensive and plural schemes of work. Thus huge transitions between levels are opened particularly at Level 3 and Level 4. Analysing curriculum frameworks and drawing on art historical case studies and reflections from drawing workshops across all ages, the authors are to make the case that we need to move beyond the historical strands of realism, where new inclusive and more plural approaches are included and built. From this diagnosis the authors propose a series of frameworks for corrective action which is geared towards addressing what appears to be a widening gulf in drawing curricula and art education. Ultimately, such an undertaking is geared towards enhancing reflexive independent learning and achievement