Curious work: Using art and film to understand children differently – Professor Rachel Holmes, Manchester Metropolitan University
This paper discusses ways I have been trying to think about, and provoke, ways of seeing and understanding children differently over the past 10 years. Across a number of projects in nurseries and schools, at galleries and museums, I reflect on the curious mix of theory, art, film and photographic influences that have found their way into my work as I encounter children, objects and places. The paper focuses on a series of uncanny moments when what would usually seem so familiar, can suddenly become strange – the ‘everyday-ness’ of painting in the classroom, the casual conversation and the playground game slip into spaces of haunting and mysterious flows. Drawing on my use of theory and art and by making short experimental films, this paper seeks to trace the adventures of wild ideas that are always living in research encounters.
Professor Rachel Holmes leads the Children and Childhood Research Group in the Education and Social Research Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research activities in the field of childhood appreciate the complexity of the contemporary worlds that young children, families and communities occupy. Her research works across the interstices of applied educational research, social science research and arts-based research to develop critical trans-disciplinarity that rethinks, questions and challenges the ways babies and children are conceptualised and produced through practices, policy and academia in the 21st century. Professor Holmes’s immersions in post-structuralism, postmodernism, feminism and more recently posthumanism and the new materialisms, enables her work to consider more adequate accounts of the ways that life and social processes and the more-than-human affect the worlds that children inhabit.
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