Ben Cain and Janette Parris
Studio Art 04: Open Field
Open Field event, Central House (2017)
The Open Field studio provides insight into how artists actually ‘practice’, how they work. One of the key reasons for establishing this studio is for students to be able to share in and observe resident artists’ working processes - the practical and the theoretical development of an artwork and that artwork’s contextual hinterland.
Open Field events are included in the BA Fine Art and MFA Fine Art’s timetable. A small group of students from a range of the Art studios will be assigned to Open Field for each residency period. The assigned students will work as artist’s assistants, will take part in the Open Field parallel program alongside their regular studio work, and will be responsible for helping to organize Open Field events.
Open Field sets out experimental learning scenarios which privilege collective practical investigation, work-related learning and methods of working which are sensitive to context. That’s a responsive and dexterous form of education for The Cass art students. At the same time it offers the chance to learn about professional practice in creative industries through first-hand experience. For the artists ‘in-residence’, Open Field offers time and space for re-evaluating an art practice and for considering ways in which contact with our Fine Art course might influence their work as artists and teachers, as well as access to highly skilled technicians and sophisticated production processes.
Open Field at The Cass is unique within Fine Art courses in the United Kingdom and represents a serious interest in investigating the future of learning within this field. What’s particularly progressive about Open Field is its commitment to supplementing the student experience through direct contact with practicing artists, and the unique opportunity to observe and take part in the development of their practice in the studio.
The parallel program will include workshops and seminars that are specifically tailored to the concerns of the artist in residence.
During each residency period Open Field will host the following events:
An introductory artists’ talk by Open Field residents.
Two participatory events for BA/MFA students.
Parallel program events run by The Cass staff.
A residency closing event during which residents present the work developed during the residency period.
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