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  Studio in, Studio outside (2016-17)      

Further information:

The educational studio space is inherently hybrid, serving multiple purposes and formed through an accumulation of histories and ideas. The educational studio is:

  • A space of privacy, but also a space where students are observed by staff and peers

  • A space where students have a sense of ownership, and can assert their developing identity, but it which is also temporarily ‘lent’ to the student and ‘wiped clean’ at the end of the academic year

  • A space of potential rebellion or provocation, but also a space of assessment and institutional protocol

  • A space which functions as a class room, but also makes reference to the mythical studios of practitioners such as Marcel Duchamp, or Francis Bacon

  • A space where both work and identity are constructed


 the professional fine art studio has been well theorized, the educational studio space is less so. It has a more complicated identity and one that is specific to each art school. Despite a seismic shift in where contemporary art occurs, its audiences and artists’ methods, the studio space is still a central part of developing students’ identities as artists, and crucially how they understand their discipline.

Studio in, Studio outside, is a research project looking at the histories, material make up, use, and identity of the educational studio space. The project included:

  • An observational walk around the art school to identify disciplinary vernaculars

  • Students documenting ‘where they work’, not ‘what does your studio look like’, a small linguistic shift which revealed practices which the educational studio cannot accommodate

  • The forming of a collection of photographs of professional studios from across fine art, graphic / product design, and craft – demonstrating historical and contemporary reference points for students  

  • Looking for an equivalent of Francis Bacon’s material and time rich studio existing in the art school, and asking: why a space like this might not exist within the institution

Studio in, Studio outside was a project developed with two colleagues (Dr Becky Shaw, Fine Art, and James Corazzo, graphic design) at Sheffield Hallam University.  A central ambition of the project was to involve a broad range of students as co-researchers to investigate and question the nature of the educational studio space (the project involved students from fine art, graphic design, interior design, and across 1st Year BA, MA and PhD).

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