Dr Margaret Brooks is a senior lecturer at the University of New England, Australia. Her research focuses on young children’s drawing processes and the relationships between drawing and meaning making from socio-cultural perspectives. She uses arts-based and visual ethnographic methods to examine the drawing processes of both children and adults. Her most recent work involves collaborations with artists, young children, and art museums around environmental, cultural and social issues. Art exhibitions include Draw, New England Art Museum, Armidale, 2012; Subak with Art, Tabanan, Bali, 2012; Muse, Ultimo TAFE, Sydney, 2012; and Koinobori, New England Art Museum, Armidale, 2014.
The theoretical frameworks from ‘New Genre Public Art’ underpin my artwork. I like to work across disciplines and collaboratively with people around concepts that include things like environmental, social and political issues. I begin by researching the topic, looking for the back-stories, symbols and metaphors. In the studio I engage in processes of deconstruction and reconstruction of the material elements of the project. I am looking for the possibilities the materials hold. Drawing is a critical part of the process. It is through drawing that I come to deeper understandings of the topic.