Shared Drive envisages a new distribution of students across 5 studio clusters in mixed-year groups.

Each area has a theme, intended to build upon existing media distinctions but also to extend beyond them and emphasise permeability:

  • Book:
    text and image, print and publish
  • Scale:
    sculpture, projection and re-creation
  • Curatorial:
    designation, engagement and exchange
  • Motion:
    speech, performance, sound and video
  • Copy:
    drawing, painting and installation

Individual placement in Level 1, Semester 1 is provisional.

Each area includes shared space for collective projects, research-on-the-premises, lectures and seminars.

The Curatorial space in particular functions as a multi-purpose hub for the programme, accommodating single- and multi-exhibit displays, seminars, and cross-group activities. Some of these aspects are coordinated and managed by the students based in the space.


  • maintains recognition of media and processes in the studio structure
  • steps beyond redundant ‘pathway’ divisions
  • integrates three levels of BA students and MA students
  • offers a shared showcase space for collective activity

11 thoughts on “Space”

  1. I think we might need to have a system that accommodates level one student’s and cossets them a little when they first arrive into the system. If we can do this I welcome the changes suggested.

    1. I agree with you Andrew. In particular, people joining the school straight from A level or equivalent need some sensitive orientation and exposure to all that is on offer so they can access opportunities appropriately across the school.

  2. I think these themes are misleading I would call print = repeat (print/publish/multiple) sculpture = process (sculpture/materials/making), curatorial = reflection (exchange/share/show), motion (great) include, performance/projection) painting = space (painti/drawi/installation)

    1. My thinking behind the themes was simple to broaden how we see the links between the disciplines the programme embraces. they are meant to be highlights or points of focus. I would be reluctant to imply that concerns of space, process repetition and reflection were peculiar to one area or another, as I think they are universal concerns.

    2. I am with Lesley on this one. I have spoken to quite a few level 1’s and many are in agreement that they like the titles Motion, Scale and Curatorial but Book and Copy are perhaps a little constricting.
      Book to some, seems to suggest only that vessel for making work. I understand the idea of text and image brought together, explored in the print studio but I’m not sure book is the correct word for it.
      Copy has also pulled up some issues with the way ‘copy’ is thought about. Many fellow students referred to past schooling (when your asked to ‘copy’ something out). I think some students just feel that we have moved on so much from there, we no longer just copy something. Again, I do understand the importance of looking at other’s work and pulling elements into your own but I’m not sure copy is the right word. Some suggestions had been ‘Process’ or ‘Technique’.
      I apologise for not having more suggestions but I thought I would share some of the feedback so far.

      As for the idea of the programme, the level 1’s seem fairly happy about it all with the ability to have a more open studio experience.


      1. Thank you for this useful summary, Jess. I am glad that people are responding well to the proposals for the programme, and glad even that the suggestion of themes for the studio areas is causing controversy; it was intended to provoke. I fully understand your doubts about ‘Copy’ in particular. It is meant to challenge the cult of novelty, acknowledging that very little is truly new, even as we attempt to find it. We won’t labour the names of studio spaces too much, and whatever we call them in the end, all things will remain possible in all spaces, and it will be what we do there that matters.

  3. When choosing my studio space I was told it didn’t matter where to go as long as it is a space that would work for me and my practice. This is where I had to think about the location, size, tutor and just feeling comfortable in the space rather than thinking about the name of the the area. Naturally the name will effect some peoples work as may feel obliged to create work relating to the words used to label their studio, so perhaps it would be better to simply number them (1-5) or letter (A -E) the studio spaces to allow each student to go to an area in which works for them rather than simply because they do painting they would go to the painting/copy studio. By getting rid of studio labels completely I feel it would open up peoples practices and create a more integrated environment as would allow students to make their choice of studio based on other reasons rather than simply because of the mediums they use fit to the studio name.

  4. I agree with Leanne. I feel the studio space I work within currently suites my practice, but with the proposed changes I don’t necessarily fit into its theme. I understand all things will remain possible in all spaces. But I think some current second years may feel like they have to re-consider the space they occupy so as not to miss out on talks or opportunities that are more relevant to their practice. Would it be possible for all areas to be informed of theme specific lectures/talks that might take place? I understand there is the restriction of space, but I think a more open approach to what is happening in each pathway/theme would benefit everyone.

    1. I suspect we need to balance openness of approach with the family feeling we seem to be achieving in each studio, but I agree that we should consider carefully how to ensure all lectures and talks are available to all.

  5. Can we have a dedicated space to show films in without having to set up studio lights and projectors etc etc? It would help with our practice if we had an area that was also backlit. It wouldn’t have to be too big- maybe about the size of the back installation room in sculpture that is a bookable space but can only be used up to 3 days at a time.

    One of the problems we experience in sculpture is that several of would like to leave our work out in these spaces so we can reflect on our process and what we want to do next: having to clear it away after your time is up 3 days on, is very seriously interrupts the approach to our practice. It is difficult to get hold of the studio lights from the Loans department and moving them to and fro from West to East can’t be good for the equipment. We also need 3 identical projectors so we can screen moving images across a wide space, around walls and up buildings: the present arrangement is very limiting artistically for several students trying to work with film and installations.

    A space for ‘curatorial incidents’ would be great. How do you envisage it being used and would it be first come first served, bookable or designated areas for use? Having tried and failed to get a booking in the West Side Gallery last semester and this semester and being told nothing is available to students until 2016, a new, dedicated space for experimenting and showing work would be a massive improvement on the current situation.

    1. It is important to recognise that we can only re-designate existing space, not create it. Therefore any of the things you propose here, Juliette – the backlit space, the film space, the opportunity to leave work in place for longer than 3 days – all come at the expense of something else. We will only achieve the ‘curatorial’ space by squeezing the individual use of space, as covered in the ‘hot-desking’ discussion elsewhere on this blog. I envisaged such a space being managed by ‘curatorial’ students, as part of their practice.

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