Course Spotlight: Contemporary Art Practice

Friday,05 July 2024 in  Courses, School News, Spotlight, Staff, Students



We chatted with Course Leader Rachel McBrinn to find out more about the Contemporary Art Practice (CAP) Course.

Tell us about the CAP Course, what is unique about it?

The CAP Course is a year-long, one-day-per-week course taking place on Thursdays. The unique thing about it is that the focus is not on one particular medium, but on interdisciplinary practice. We undertake projects in sculpture, video, site-responsive art, and photography, introducing students to a variety of approaches and ideas in art. Following this, students undertake self-directed projects where they can explore the ideas and processes they are interested in in more depth.

What are you looking for from applicants?

We have students from all backgrounds, ages, and walks of life. Some students come to us very early in their artistic journey (we’ve even had students in their final year of high school!), some come to us after taking a break from their practice for whatever reason, and some students are simply looking to find a community of peers and to inject something new into their work. Because we are only one day a week, the course can more easily fit around other commitments students have, whether it be work, study, or caring responsibilities.

On the whole we look for three things in an application:

Ideas: what you want to make work about, and how developed these ideas are.

Making: your skills and experience in making artworks, how are you able to bring the ideas into practice?

Contextual awareness: your interest and knowledge of other contemporary artists, and how your work fits within a wider context.

Everyone comes to the course with strengths and weaknesses in these three areas, and the idea is that by the end of the course, these three strands are working in tandem to create a really strong foundation for your practice. The most important thing for us is that you come to the course with an open mind, ready to embrace new ideas and really push your work forward.

What do CAP students go on to do?

Some of our students use the course as a stepping stone for further study. This year we have students going on to study at Masters and Undergraduate Level, as well as other courses at LSA. Some of our students will be looking at opportunities to exhibit their work publicly, or undertake artist residencies, whilst others will simply continue to make their artwork with a renewed sense of direction. Following the course, it’s always lovely to see that students tend to remain close with their year group, supporting and sharing their work in progress with each other. That sense of community is what students often say was their most important takeaway from the course.

Applications are still open for 2024-25, for more information and to watch our video about the course click here!

Student Feedback:

"I have loved it all. I have said this before, but LSA and CAP have given me what I have needed; confidence to make the work I want to make."

Strengths of the course: "Part of my reason for coming on the CAP course was so that i could be pushed out of my comfort zone in certain projects. The tutors were all very good at taking the time to really listen to each students approaches to their projects, taking the time to do this makes the students feel more comfortable with sharing the work and in turn, pushing their work further."

Images in order: Works by Samer Abdelnour, Durhana, Laura Campbell


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