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 disciplinary boundaries.
The aim of the course is to provide new possibilities of expression. Students engage with a range of 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. Students will have the opportunity to explore a broad spectrum of approaches including sculptural casting processes, expanded drawing practice, site-responsive intervention, collaborative working, installation or performance art as well as sound and moving image. 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 designed to provoke fresh ways of working with materials and techniques. A supportive and stimulating studio environment is created through regular discussion and students will present work to each other at key stages in each project in order to constructively analyse and reflect on the outcomes together. 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. Critical 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 within the wider context of contemporary art practice. Students spend the final term working on a single self-directed project which forms the basis for the Summer Exhibition in June.
Students will complete the course with a stronger contextual awareness of contemporary art practice and greater confidence in articulating their ideas and responses to art, developed through regular discussion on the course. 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. Upon completing the course, students should feel a renewed sense of confidence in their work and ready to take the next steps in their practice.