Perspectives on inclusion: Close encounters of the creative kind


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This paper considers what might be learnt about inclusion as a concept and practice from sharing visual research data within a public art exhibition and associated workshops. The catalyst for the exhibition and workshops stemmed from a project that involved children and young people creating visual images that they felt represented inclusion or exclusion. The project was designed to explore, and rethink, concepts around educational and social inclusion. The images the children created were ‘artified’ to anonymise them and formed the central material for an exhibition held at Tate Liverpool in June 2018. The exhibition was designed to facilitate active engagement from individuals of all ages within the community so that their ‘voices’, perspectives and experiences might be acknowledged and shared in respectful ways (Holt, 2014). The underpinning idea behind this was to display research data as art and generate further data by undertaking “research through art” (Coessens et al. 2009:46).
The article will detail how a range of multimodal methods were utilised to invite a more tactile and emotional engagement from visitors to enhance their experience and encourage them to move beyond passive viewing and participate in a more visceral and embodied engagement (Merleau-Ponty, 1968). The approaches utilised within the exhibition are explored to illuminate how a more active multimodal engagement within educational and public spaces might be encouraged. The article concludes with a discussion around how using public spaces can lead to reinterpreting the ways in which we understand inclusion and marginalisation within society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420
Number of pages435
JournalInternational Journal of Art and Design Education
Issue number2
Early online date7 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2021


  • Inclusion
  • Embodiment
  • Multimodal methodologies
  • community engagement


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