Student scholarship in the arts college context pops up in all kinds of spaces, and this one was found in the Fine Art department’s ‘project space’.
Becky Sumpter is a final year student on HCA’s Fine Art B.A. (Hons) course, where all students complete a piece of independent practice-led-research alongside the traditional dissertation. Becky’s rationale for her project states that it is the:
“culmination of collaborating with others and wishing to learn more about art practice through discussion and self-reflexive research”
She has moved beyond her original idea of creating a discursive studio space to create a network of studio and digital spaces which can be used to support collaboration and discussion.
Last Wednesday she was interviewing the artist (and Hereford College of Arts alumni) Catherine-Wynne Paton.
I will be fascinated to hear more about Catherine’s work, and it will be great to watch the work of Pink Kube as the project develops.
Becky hopes to set up more discussion based spaces too – inviting students and staff to collaborate and discuss each other’s practice and research. You can watch her first informal student interview here, and her interview with Catherine here.
In terms of student scholarship, for me this kind of work embodies the real benefits of practice-as-research. Although the word ‘Fine Art’ still carries with it connotations of the gilt-framed ‘old master’ and meanings of tradition, contemporary creative practice is far more complex and outward facing. It is also inter-disciplinary – making meanings through constant conversations, dialogue and different perspectives.
This kind of work is surely highly appropriate for Level 6 practice – appropriately independent research that supports students in gaining confidence and employability as an integral part of their scholarship. This particular project also speaks to Boyer’s Scholarship of Integration, as Becky aims to bring different disciplines together from across the college.
It was great to see alumni contributing to this process, sharing ideas as part of a wider community of creative practice. Again, this is scholarship beyond the institution – not determined by the learning environment of the studio, but branching out and encouraging multiple perspectives and multiple voices that have the potential to enrich all of our creative journeys.
To find out more about Catherine’s work, you can find her website here or follow her on twitter @wynnepaton.