Meaning Making and Interpretation through Personal Mandalas in the Context of Visual Literacy

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientific


In the phase of educational trajectory, with experiences of bridging margins from youth to early adulthood, identity processes are critical, and the need for self-expression may intensify. The involvement of visual literacy stimulates students to explore avenues for responsive creative expression and facilitates the growth of their self-confidence as expressive and creative thinkers. Self-confidence can be learned through informal and formal learning in early years of education, which may manifest in later years. This research investigates the significance of creative freedom and self-expression through the visual analysis of artworks produced in a workshop under the theme ‘Visual Literacy’. The paper reflects on one of a series of five artistic experiments that was implemented in the Arctic city of Rovaniemi in Lapland, with students from the University of Lapland in Finland as part of the AMASS European-wide testbed, a Horizon 2020-funded research project that included 35 experiments. This multi-layered qualitative study presents the findings from a participatory art-based research approach that elicits students’ creative expression through their personal mandalas. Artworks collected from this creative process were assessed using the interpretive phenomenological analysis method. Supporting youth through arts-based interventions and motivating them to communicate their feelings and perceptions can be an integral part of students’ creative development. Hence, this study aims to verify that, through visual literacy, the students were able to judge the effectiveness of telling stories, sharing experiences to facilitate meaning making, creative and critical thinking, and refining their interpretation for learning purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2021
MoEC publication typeNot Eligible
EventNordicom: Nordmedia Network Conference - Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 18 Aug 202120 Aug 2021


Internet address

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design


Dive into the research topics of 'Meaning Making and Interpretation through Personal Mandalas in the Context of Visual Literacy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Citation for this output