Journal Article

Drawing social worlds: A methodological examination of children’s artworks


This paper presents one aspect of a sociocultural micro-ethnographic study examining how 11- and 12-year-old children formulate meanings when working with an artist in a contemporary art gallery. My primary focus is an examination of methodological contributions emerging from an imaginative coding and analysis of children’s art. Ninety-nine artworks were created in collaboration with the artist and were organised and interpreted using a constructionist interviewing coding scheme. This unorthodox approach to visual analysis unearthed information that oral accounts cannot provide alone, revealing meanings which would otherwise remain dormant. By intuitively applying the coding framework I expose how participants’ meanings are negotiated by appropriating and re-organising cultural concepts into personalised narratives. As such, artworks reveal participants’ desires, interpretations and intentions, operating as agentic cultural producers as well as unconsciously reproducing visual epistemologies ubiquitous in Western cultures.

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Payne, Rachel

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Education


Year of publication: 2022
Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-02-23

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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