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Sharing & Expanding Skills: Visual Analysis & Art Historical Methods for Art & Humanities Teachers

  • Institute of Contemporary Arts London SW1Y 5AH United Kingdom (map)

A day for arts and humanities teachers to share, expand and practise their specialist skills in visual analysis and investigative methodology in the expanding field of Art History.


Guest speakers: Dr Janina Ramirez & Jeremy Deller.

The informative day was centred around two themes from the new global 2017 Art History A Level specification: ‘Art & Identities’ and ‘Art & War’. Attendees were exposed to ways in which these themes occur in the wider world. Radical Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller inspired the room as he discussed his work in relation to war and conflict, past and present, whilst Art Historian Janina Ramirez illustrated her transition from Historian to Art Historian.

Deller described to us his memorial works ‘It Is What It Is’ (2009), commemorating the war in Iraq, and ‘We’re Here because We’re Here’ (2016) paying homage to those who fought in the Battle of the Somme. Deller’s anti-monuments serve to demonstrate how Art History involves the past, present and future for the public sphere functions as a critical area of engagement.

Expressing her excitement for Art History’s advantage of source material in contrast with other disciplines, Ramirez discussed the wonders of kinetic, literal and visual engagement. Discussing the intersection of visualities with other disciplines, Ramirez took her listeners on a journey from the Dark Ages to the Postmodernist condition that questions and probes what art is.

Closing the talks, Sarah Phillips expressed the subjects’ significance in a nutshell. Our era of saturated images, quick looking and blind seeing, puts viewing deeply at stake. With the skills supplied by Art History we can think differently in order to analyse and communicate effectively.

Hands on workshops were provided to help stimulate classroom learning. Teachers actively worked on case studies exploring European and non-European traditions in art with regards to the themes.

Other speakers included:

  • Gus Casely-Hayford (Director Designate of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art ) 'Rethinking African Art History'
  • Grant Rogers (Artist and Museum Educator) 'British by Design: Signs and Symbols of the Nation State'
  • Munira Mohamed (Learning & Programme Manager, Black Cultural Archives, Brixton) 'The World Wars and their relationship with Independence Movements in Africa'
  • Jonathan Casely (Art Historian and teacher), 'Case Studies: Otto Dix and Steve McQueen's 'Queen and Country'
  • Pippa Couch (Schools Programme Manager, National Portrait Gallery): 'Art & Identities: Portraits, Power & Propaganda'




Who is this event for?

This event is for Art, English, History, Philosophy, Sociology and all other arts & humanities teachers who would like to benefit from a broader understanding of how to use visual imagery and art history in the classroom.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

You can contact us via email at

How do I get there?

Click here to view the available transport links.

Is the venue accessible to all?

Click here to view advice on access to the ICA. Please contact us if you're worried about access requirements by emailing