Teaching with Enthusiasm, Willingness to Play and Experimental Attitude
An interview with Mark Williams, Head of the Creative Faculty at BSB
Mark Williams joined the British School of Bucharest in 2006 and is now Head of the Creative Faculty. Mark graduated with a First-Class BA in Fine Art from the University of Exeter School of Art and Design, followed by an MA from Chelsea School of Art and a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) from Brighton University. He previously worked as an exhibition coordinator, curator and freelance illustrator. Now a teacher and inspiration for his pupils, Mark continues to create art.
How did you get into Art and what triggered your passion?
I don’t remember getting into Art. I saw art in school as something static to be learned, understood and emulated rather than invented. I didn’t realise that my creativity was an artistic process. One of my earliest memories was when, at 16 years old, my parents went away for a holiday leaving me ‘home alone’. I removed as much furniture from the house as possible, placing it in a giant tower on the lawn. I took the lamps, torches and Christmas lights and covered the structure in them, trailing cables across damp grass. Once dark, I placed speakers and turned on the music and the lights.
How did you decide on BSB?
I arrived in Bucharest by accident after applying for a role on the Italian Riviera that didn’t materialise. I was offered an interview at BSB, got the job and made a very quick life changing decision to accept. I started as a primary school teacher where my interests lay in teaching the youngest pupils with their unending enthusiasm, willingness to play and experimental attitude. Later, my interest grew in other elements, so I moved into secondary teaching.
What do you enjoy most about your career?
I keep updated on teaching developments with UK forums and am frustrated with the level of bureaucracy, sensing a lot of procrastination and unproductive paperwork.I enjoy the level of autonomy and independence that the subjects of Art & Design can offer. We have no rigid curriculum nor prescriptive skillset. This is essential for good practice in teaching the creative process. Art & Design comprises a multitude of processes and concepts, none of which have hierarchal importance and all of which can be ‘crossed over’. The unlimited possibilities hold my interest in teaching Art.
What are some favourite projects in your lesson plan?
I enjoy the potential of collaborative work when teaching but don’t have favourite projects and avoid teaching the same outcome twice. If I have a favourite aspect of the subject it is that it allows for infinite freedom.
What are some of your personal and professional goals for the future?
To continue developing accessibility and insight into Art & Design, to take away the shroud of mystery around creativity and to prove that anyone with a will can produce stunning work. To continue to promote my own work both locally and internationally.
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