Contemporary Art Practice

Contemporary Art Practice

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9.30am - 4.30pm

Course Days



North Junction St. Campus

Term Dates 20/21

10 Sep - 27 Jun 2021

Course Staff

Leesa French Contemporary Art Practice Course Leader & Tutor
Rachel McBrinn Tutor Support

This is a studio based fine art course with an emphasis on enquiry and experimentation.  Critical and practical engagement with ideas, materials and processes enable students to consider what it means to be making art in the 21st century.


The Contemporary Art Practice Course is ideal for anyone who has been making their own art and would like to develop their work beyond traditional and disciplinary boundaries.

The aim of the course is to provide new possibilities of expression.  Students engage with a range of traditional and non-traditional materials and processes, developing and refining their ideas through making art. They are encouraged to experiment and understand the unique properties of materials and how media, technique and form can be used to communicate ideas and meaning. Diverse disciplines including drawing, printmaking, textile working and sculpture are combined and explored to achieve novel and exciting outcomes. Students can broaden the scope of their work through site specific, collaborative, installation or performance art as well as sound and digital media. Thinking and making develop side by side with creative decision-making, problem solving, risk taking and discovery.

The course commences with a series of projects examining how to employ fresh ways of working with traditional art materials and techniques while introducing new and unexpected media. Individual and collaborative projects are undertaken and are an opportunity to present work to other students and constructively analyse and reflect on the outcomes. As the course progresses, an extended personal project allows students to select media and techniques that best express their ideas. Studio work is supported by lectures, visiting artist seminars and gallery visits that reflect major developments and diversity in contemporary art.  Examination of strategies, concepts and innovative practices employed by contemporary artists is essential to students developing an understanding of where their own work is situated in the context of contemporary art practice and culture. Students spend the final term working on a single project which forms the basis for the Summer Exhibition in June.

Students will complete the course with a greater understanding of what it means to be a contemporary artist practicing today. They will be able to apply a fresh way of thinking to their ideas and will have challenged themselves to produce a range of work in previously unexplored disciplines and media. 

Course Terms and Conditions

‘It’s exciting, it’s stimulating, it’s challenging, it gets under your skin, you think about it all the time, it explores lots and lots of new ideas’