Digital Art for Life
A research project which aimed to better understand the social, emotional, and educational benefits of arts programs for young people with autism.
This Department of Education funded project was a partnership between DADAA, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, John Curtin Gallery, and the Curtin University Autism Research Group. Thirty young people with autism aged 12–16 participated in twenty weeks of digital arts workshops at DADAA, plus excursions and activities at the two galleries exploring exhibitions and collections. Curtin University Autism Research Group conducted interviews pre and post to determine impacts on wellbeing, social interactions, and confidence building in the young people and their families.
These fun, engaging, and supportive workshops were led by a team of specialised artists. With only 10 participants in each workshop, there were opportunities to work individually with arts mentors and explore personal interests through visual and digital arts including drawing, collage, photography, filmmaking, and animation. In addition, visits to the Art Gallery of Western Australia and John Curtin Gallery provided opportunities for participants to discover, learn about, and find inspiration in the galleries’ collections.
The workshop component of the project has been completed and research outcomes are currently being analysed, with interim results indicating participants demonstrated increased confidence in their work, communication, and building friendships.
The project finished in December 2022, with a research report and a resource for educators due for release this year.