The Cycle of the Creative Quest

Cecilie Meltzer 1

Workshop on Tuesday 10 June at 9:15-12:00 and 13:00-17:00

Presentation on Conference Day on Wednesday 11 June

Submitted by

Cecilie Meltzer, Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway


The purpose of this paper/workshop is to present “The Cycle of the Creative Quest”, a model I’ve created that explores the often unnoticed, but yet powerful transformational processes that takes place through the creation of art. The question raised is whether the use of art-based methods and awareness of developmental stages throughout the process can further deepen the individual and/or group consciousness, and bring awareness towards the tacit knowledge that has taken place during the production. Similarly if new individual and group insights and ideas might appear if we are attentive towards the impulse to action, share experiences from the production of the artifact or the artistic expression and reflect upon both the creative process and the end result, either tangible or intangible. In this way the process of being creative and learning can as Dewey (1933) suggests be part of “a developmental spiral where the learning from one cycle stimulates the beginning of a new cycle etc. and thereby providing us with a process that allows us to reconstruct our knowledge and skills in light of new experiences”.


With an educational background as an artist, art psychotherapist,  and teacher in special education, I am interested in the interface between these practice fields; fields that deal with the issue of being in touch with one’s own creativity, one’s opportunity for development through creative activity, and the learning process that occurs during the course of this work. My experience of working with various teaching, learning and supervision styles both at the course in Creative Communications and in other fields of study has confirmed to me the value of a teaching method that includes arts-based learning as a methodological tool in professional educational courses. I have found that this form of learning can enhance the learning process, release latent resources and opportunities, and help clarify what restricts and hinders development and change.

My research focus is aimed at writing text and designing models that describe the relationship between art-based learning, experiential learning and how art-based learning can promote change and development processes in schools and working life.