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This chapter will explore theories of visuality that inform conditions and formations of literacy to understand the impact of the image in thinking, practice and communication in visual arts education. The increase of visual artefacts and the accessibility of production and consumption have implications across a range of disciplines, which blurs the boundaries of knowledge formation. Theoretical constraints locate opportunities for the construction of visual artefacts as objects of knowledge that strengthen the formation of literate activities in education. We are often reminded of the proliferation of images in the world in which we live configured by the constraints of ownership and authorship. Theories of the visual are multidisciplinary and therefore mobilise discourses that are accessed by a value structure that adheres with the field itself. This chapter will outline some theoretical approaches of the imperatives within the field of visuality informed by the arts, more specifically the visual arts, and how these theories devise some of the ways literacy is constructed and manufactured in visual arts education. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the discourses of visual literacy and visual culture to situate the provocation of visuality in art education; and to consider the affordances that a conceptual framework offers to better understand ‘literacies’ in visual arts education. An exploration of visuality provides opportunities to understand the significance of the arts in situating literacy in relation to the visual as object and practice. Through an investigation of artists’ practice, audience intentionality, the artwork as artefact, subject matter as purpose and frameworks that shape and construct pedagogical understandings, this chapter considers literacy practices in visual arts education as immersed in discipline content and ontologically constructed in curriculum formations – where visuality is understood as theory as practice and practice as theory.

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Book Chapter

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