Experiments. Improvisations. Sculpture.
An intensive one week practical and theoretical course aimed at beginners to intermediates who want to explore the material and conceptual language of contemporary sculptural practice, and to discuss and develop their own practice, with an emphasis on experimentation and improvisation.
Students will learn a range of sculptural techniques and explore different materials and approaches. No prior studio experience is necessary, although a basic interest in sculpture as a language and practice is required, along with a dispensation toward contemporary experimental material and conceptual sculpture. Traditional techniques and approaches will be demonstrated and discussed alongside the more experimental and the place of each within contemporary practice will be discussed.
This course covers many aspects of sculptural practice, from handling plaster and clay to thinking about material as metaphor, from participating in William Burroughs ‘cut-up’ exercises to discussing the time-based video sculpture of Francis Alys or base materialism in the sculpture of Louise Bourgeois. The course seeks to challenge, with the emphasis on experimentation, questioning and improvisation.
The course will be taught by practising sculptors, through a mixture of exercises, individual project work, technical demonstrations, talks, gallery visits, and group crits and discussions, in a mutually supportive environment to help in developing your own aesthetic and practice and seeing it evolve through the sessions.
All classes at Blake College of Art & Design are kept to a small number, allowing space for genuine 1:1 tuition, and a friendly, relaxed environment, in order to ensure that you make the best possible progress on your course and can be given guidance on your progression.
By the end of this course students will have participated in the following demonstrations and workshops, project work, lectures, and gallery visits:
Demonstrations and Workshops
• Material Improvisation
• Cutup Exercises
• Plaster and Clay – moulds, casts, units, free form
• Machetes and Models
• Material as metaphor
• Time based work
• Performative work
• The curated object
Students will be set a project, developing the work over the course of the week, and feeding into it from the demonstrations and exercises as well as 1-1 discussions and group crits throughout the intensive week. This will culminate in a group crit at the end exploring idea of curating and display, and the material language of the exhibition space.
Lectures and Discussions
The course will be punctuated by short talks to provide a context for the exercises and discussions. Starting with a short history of sculpture and overview of contemporary practice, lectures will then look at different approaches and artists who are exponents of them (including: Francis Alyis, Louise Bourgeois, Eve Hesse, Phyllida Barlow, Donald Judd, Viclav Tichy, Thomas Demand, Marvin, Gaye Chetwynd, Rebecca Warren, Thomas Houseago, and Paul Macarthy.) Students will be provided with a bibliography for the course.
There will be an evening trip to a gallery opening as a means of discussing work in situ and the students’ response to it.
Each course runs from 10am until 4pm from Monday to Friday and costs £450. Students wishing to take three or more courses can do so for £395 per course. All prices include VAT.
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