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A language of scribbling and drawing, are the means by which we first represent the world (Dickinson, 1991). These representations are mostly reflections of the nature and environment around, which the young mind first registers (Inwood, 2010). This research is situated in a social environment, as in a nature-centered artist community, and aims to understand how teaching and learning of the indigenous art form, takes place. The knowledge of creating indigenous ritual painting is transferred through generations, within closed communities over ages. In the present time and context, the ritual painting practices have become disconnected from their original context and transformed through the process of ‘artification’ to form ‘commercial indigenous art’. However, the indigenous art and the process of teaching it, is still deeply embedded in nature and narratives, inspite of the influences and interventions of modernization. On one hand it borrows the naturist ideas from the past and on the other, quickly adapts itself to the tastes of the new patrons. It also encourages the new-age artists to withstand competition by creating an individual personal style under the wide umbrella of community art. The study of this art teaching-learning methodology, in an indigenous artist community in transition, would reveal a better understanding of ‘art as a way of life’ giving rise to a ‘culturally sustainable pedagogy’. Thus, contributing to ‘art education’ in the present times.
The research further explores how the different social environments and their diverse contexts; one very closely connected to nature and the other the contrast, one also exposed to formal art education and the other unaware, has an impact on the reception, understanding, visualization and representation of the same idea. Now, how do the social environments and their unique learning patterns influence a child's understanding, interpretation and representation of a narrative, in the child's art? To answer the research question, a series of experiments would be designed and children's art from different art-education backgrounds, analyzed over a period of time.