Studio Art 01: We, the Contemporary

Studio brief

What is contemporary about painting? That's a question this 2D studio tackles from multiple directions.

How painterly languages and contexts emerge is a trajectory we can observe not just through art, but also via those multi-value networks and relationships we can categorise as culture. Long gone are the days of High Art, where patronage and elitism determined the value of painterly meaning and skill. Now, the stakes are much higher.

The challenge is to give potential to the meaning and function of painterly production – through resourcefulness and the wealth of human knowledge and actions. This doesn't just mean appropriating the familiar, but also to embody and analyse the experiences of making – to find a new art vocabulary to communicate the art practice. Drawing, print, sculpture, craft, movement, performance, sound – these all qualify as making. None are exhaustive in their utility here or in their need for reinvention.

In this art studio, we expect to unearth answers that challenge our perceptions, formed not only through painterly history but also via those current social, economic and political circumstances, which point right at the changing nature of representation and communication. This art studio will look at the presence of digital and virtual technologies in relationship to painting's production, explore the ethics and the legitimacy of painterly gesture and mark-making. This studio's concerns with the contemporary will further venture into the formal and material elements of painting, exploring its objecthood and frontality, the embodiment of content or, indeed, its lack. Our intention is to return to the well-trodden legacies of art (what is modernism, after all? Can we really do without it?) and so to re-align art's legitimacies with the experiences of the now. This will entail asking good, solid questions about the presence of body, expression and subjectivity within painterly practice. Yes, that's human, that’s about us. Which is how we'll reinstate the currency of what it is we mean by contemporary.


Image: Karen David, 'Summer Residency' (2018)

Karen David, 'Summer Residency' (2018)


Course Fine Art BA (Hons)
Painting BA (Hons)
Photography BA (Hons)
Fashion Photography BA (Hons)
Tutors Andrea Medjesi-Jones
Karen David
Where Calcutta House
Small Annex, CA3-04
When Monday 10am - 5pm, Thursday 10am - 5pm

Fine Art


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