Research Projects: this is part of what we contribute to cutting edge art debates
This section showcases projects and events, which have been developed by either the MFA Fine Art academic team and/or by current MFA students. We work in collaboration with external universities/gallerists/artists; the UAL (University of the Arts London)'s colleges; and the CCW (Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon) Graduate School, but are also looking to work more with international collaborators.
Practising in Uncertainty Colloquium. May 2014
The geographer Kathryn Yusoff has posed a timely question. ‘What knowledge becomes useful to us in a time of abrupt climate change? How can we creatively practice towards such uncertainty?’
The Colloquium explored how artists both practice, and practise in uncertainty. It focused on how we might create and present artworks which investigate cultural (mis)understandings about biodiversity, landscape or site. This included how audiences might engage with the actual artworks.
This was the first event to take place between the Graduate Schools of CCW and Glasgow School of Art. It was manifested through live links between London and Glasgow; and the artists speaking include Heather Ackroyd (Ackroyd & Harvey), Justin Carter, David Cross (Cornford and Cross), Edwina fitzPatrick, Tania Kovats, and Mark Wilson (Snaebjornsdottir & Wilson). It was created and convened by Edwina fitzPatrick.
Artquest: The Source. Jan-June 2015
This project has involved developing new teaching strategies to support current students and recently graduated students in developing their professional skills.
We have particularly focused on developing writing skills (the artist's statement) and writing concisely for websites; how to be a sustainable artist; and mentoring/mutal support skills.
It was developed by Edwina fitzPatrick, working with Artquest and the 2014-15 cohort of Wimbledon MFA Fine Art students. Click on the images below to take you to the prezis.
Wilding the Edges. March 2015
There has been a plethora of interest in psycho geography over the last 6 years, which has crossed from popular literature into the art domain. The following best selling authors write about the landscape from a personal and itinerant perspective, yet are regularly being referenced by postgraduate students and researchers: George Monbiot, Paul Kingsnorth, Rebecca Solnit. Paul Shepheard, Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts.
They discuss how we are engaging with landscape as culture – specifically where the ‘wild’ and the ‘cultivated’ environments overlap, and this resonated with us. We analysed the social and political implications of these hybridised spaces and explored the distinctions between disregard and allowing environments to follow their own course. How proactive should we be in regards to both the landscape and the city?
Wilding the Edges was an interactive walking tour around the little known areas of Wimbledon exploring the “unexamined places that thrive on disregard” which straddle the city and the countryside. It was followed by a BarCamp taking the themes encounter, experience and enchantment as starting points for a subsequent exhibition at Wimbledon.
The tour guides were Paul Kingsnorth (writer and co-founder of Dark Mountain), Nick Edwards (Cape Farewell), Lucy Orta (artist) and David Toop (artist and writer).
It was convened by Edwina fitzPatrick and Geraint Evans
Re-value student led symposium. June 2015
This student led symposium questioned what value systems were important to artists. It contrasted the experiences of high profile artists and curators and fundraisers with emerging ones.
Speakers included Greg Hilty form the Lisson Gallery, artists Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and Kimiathi Donkor and curator John Hill.
Larsen's Lost Water Exhibition. November-December 2015
The exhibition, curated by Edwina, took place at the Wimbledon Space at Wimbledon College of Arts. It featured work by Edwina, Heather Ackroyd & Dan Harvey, Tania Kovats, Bryndis Snaebjornsdottir and Mark Wilson, and the Raftonauts – MFA Fine Art students Yussef Agbo-Ola, Tim Alexander, Michael Crossan, Susan Walker and Szu-Chieh Yun.
Antarctica’s Larsen Ice Shelf lies between the Bellingshausen, Weddell and Scotia Seas. It also forms a barrier between the Southern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. As a result of unprecedented global warming, the B part of the Larsen shelf dramatically fell into the Weddell Sea in 2002. What has happened to this melted water? Has it reached the Arctic yet? Might we be drinking it?
Larsen’s Lost Water coincided with the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (ArtCOP21). The exhibition focuses on the ways that the relatively uncharted parts of the globe – the Polar Regions and the seas – are (mis)represented, through exploring context and how introducing an alien or unexpected object into a space a ects both components’ readings. The exhibition plays with the dislocated object as cliché, metaphor and metonym in relation to climate change. Ruth Little, from Cape Farewell states, ‘Metaphors allow us to think at different levels of scale simultaneously, linking the minute to the infinite’. However, isn’t there a danger that these metaphorical objects become clichés? These objects and visualizations are impotent as agents for change because - quite literally –‘we’ve seen it all before’ through TV or internet footage.
As few of us have been to the Polar Regions or to the depth of the seas, the exhibition considers the proximity of objects, and how we engage with and witness them. What might happen if the viewer shifts from being a spectator into a witness, because what is happening in front of their eyes is an actuality, not a media representation? As critical writer, James Polchin states, ‘The word witness, as we have come to define it in the latter half of the twentieth century, is more readily equated with the experiences of surviving trauma, investing the act of witnessing with an ethical responsibility.... to witness, especially in the context of historical visual documents, demands not only a speaking, but a speaking out’. So when you are witness to something, you become implicated in it.
The exhibition involved both the actual gallery space and the connecting main reception space. Nothing in the main gallery was captioned, thereby inviting the viewer to witness the space and objects directly. Videos in the main reception area (seen right) unpicked both what the objects are, and how they came into existence.
Now What event. June 2016
This was a public-facing student led event coinciding with the 2016 MFA show. It involved artists Ian Monroe and Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and curators Kirstie Ogg (Director of New Contemporaries) and Kwong Lee.
The dauy involed interactive performances (e.g. miming what an emereging artist might be), and discussions about where artists might be positioned at different stages of their career.
Getting Real: Interactive fieldwork walking tour. July 2016
This was a CCW funded Year of Resilience event for staff and students
Getting Real: Interactive Fieldwork follows on from the Wilding the Edges walking tour. It explored what happens when research and teaching take place outside the academic institution through engaging with proximity, and thereby creating spaces for empathy. Taking ‘fieldwork’ - an established research methodology, wherein the researcher leaves their (enclosed) laboratory to deepen their understanding of their subject at first hand as its starting point; Getting Real asks why do we spend so much time teaching within the art college, when much of the work produced there references the places and spaces beyond it? We call this ‘interactive fieldwork’.
Getting Real’s aimed is create a non–hierarchical shared environment, where recently graduated students, academics and technicians can connect and spent a few hours together outside college. The walking tour aimed to support innovative thinking about how we can be resilient in our personal, creative and professional lives. This will hopefully trickle into what we do next academic year.
The day-long event was led by artists Ackroyd and Harvey.
June 2017 student led public events
This is a practical event aimed at helping you get ahead in the art world. With engaging quick fire talks and open discussion, five leading art world experts will speak on five different topics helping you to get your art work out there.
The 5 topics were:
- Money Matters: The Golden Rules of Selling Your Art
(Rosalind Davis - artist and curator)
- How to Negotiate Empty Spaces with Councils
(Nick Malyan- Empty Shop CIC)
- How to Survive After Art School for International Students
(Koari Homma -Art Action UK)
- How to Maintain Rigorous Academic Research after Graduation
(Maria Ryan - UAL alumni co-ordinator)
- Properly Balancing Art and Life
(Alastair Gordon - Artist and course alumnus)
Exhibition Tour with David Gryn
Saturday 24th June, 2 - 5pm
Renowned curator David Gryn (Art Basel) led a closing tour of the Wimbledon MFA Fine art final show.
June 2018 student led public events