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‘You just feel more relaxed’: An Investigation of Art Room Atmosphere

Thomson, Pat; Hall, Christine

‘You just feel more relaxed’: An Investigation of Art Room Atmosphere Thumbnail


Christine Hall


Art educators are increasingly interested in the affective dimensions of pedagogy. This paper contributes by exploring students' reports of feeling more relaxed and less stressed in the art room, data drawn from a three year study of thirty arts rich secondary schools. Drawing on recent scholarship on affect, we suggest that these feelings were in part the result of "atmosphere"-mobile bodies in (1) a curated space, engaged with educational activities associated with (2) a signature text and pedagogy enacted as an (3) isorhythmic practice. We suggest that these three elements of atmosphere not only help us to understand how but also to produce positive feelings about Art, but also have some potential for use in professional reflection on practice.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 28, 2021
Online Publication Date Aug 31, 2021
Publication Date 2021-08
Deposit Date May 5, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 1, 2023
Journal International Journal of Art and Design Education
Print ISSN 1476-8062
Electronic ISSN 1476-8070
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 3
Pages 599-614
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Thomson, P. and Hall, C. (2021), ‘You just feel more relaxed’: An Investigation of Art Room Atmosphere. Int J Art Des Educ, 40: 599-614. which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.


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