Ian Noble Tribute
  • Alison Barnes
  • I first met Ian when I was a student on the part time MA Typo/graphics course that he ran with Russell Bestley at the then LCP. I had been teaching in higher education for a while and was feeling a little jaded, looking for something to enrich my thinking and practice that I could then take back into my own teaching; little did I know it would have such an impact on my life. Ian and Russ were the perfect double act. Russ dissecting work with systematic precision, almost forensic in his approach, leaving you in no uncertainty as to where the issues lay. Ian, more often than not throwing a grenade, or several, into one’s thinking. Yet the way he lobbed these explosive devices into the conversation wasn’t aggressive. The rapport he developed with students ensured that any criticism was always constructive and was driven by his total and utter enthusiasm for the subject. I am not sure I have met anyone since who has such an encyclopaedic knowledge of interesting things, and a way of using that knowledge to open up a student's thinking. As others have already said, he was a true polymath. 

    Ian and Russ’ support gave me the belief that what I was doing was worth pursuing and pursue it I did, right through to a PhD. On hearing of my completion, Ian responded that he was strangely proud that I had gone over to the dark side. I was never sure whether he meant I had become part of the establishment or that I had begun to dabble in the practice of theory rather than the theory of practice. Either way, for Ian to be even strangely proud of me meant a lot. I’ll miss his passion, his irreverent humour, and our occasional banter, but Ian will continue to inspire me as a teacher and practitioner, even if I may theoretically stray over to the dark side on occasion.

    Dr. Alison Barnes, Lecturer, Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication), School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney