A neglected area of publishing in the visual arts is that of women's perceptions and strategies for sustaining their careers as artists. This book reports on research which investigated the formative life experiences of nine women and how they perceived their positions as students, artists, art teachers and family members in relation to the discourses dominant in their lives. The study aimed to identify new discursive practices undertaken by the women to contest their positioning. It used feminist poststructuralist methodology that acknowledged the notion of constitution and positioning of the subject in discourse. This innovative methodology is valuable for researchers in a range of disciplines not only in studying careers of women but also other marginalised groups. Because of the reliance on the women's voices, the text contributes rich pictures of women's lives and their attempts to negotiate their careers in workplaces they described as "battle grounds". Consequently the text has a wider appeal to readers interested in women's careers and art practice.
Obstacles to careers reported in the literature were confirmed by the experiences of the women who were able to challenge and restructure constraining discourses. They utilised a range of strategies to negotiate obstacles and, based on the women's experiences and the literature, the author is then able to propose further possible strategies.
Dr. Penelope Collet completed her Bachelor of Education (Honors First Class) at Deakin University, Geelong, Australia and then her PhD at La Trobe University, Bendigo in 1998. For the last three years she has been co-editor of Australian Art Education, the national journal of the Australian Institute of Art Education. She is Lecturer in Art Education in the Faculty of Education at La Trobe University Bendigo, where she is also Acquisitions Curator of the Fine Art Collection in the Faculty.
Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction; 2. Art History; 3. Representations of Women in the Arts; 4. Language and Research Methodology; 5. Asking Women's Questions; 6. Towards a Feminist Poststructuralist Methodology; 7. One's Own Voice; 8. Mainstream Discourses; 9. Negotiating Interpretations; 10. Contesting the Mainstream Discourses; Bibliography; Index