VA7023 - Studio Practice 2

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What will I learn on this module?

Studio Practice 2 is a semester-long, 30 credit, module, run in conjunction with Exhibiting Practice, which takes place in the second semester of the first year of the MFA. The module continues and enhances the learning secured in Studio Practice 1 and Locating Practice in Semester 1, enabling you to extend and reflect upon on the self-directed studio experimentation already undertaken. Your studio practice is thus refined through formal, conceptual and thematic speculation, culminating in the creation of a resolved body of, publicly exhibited, artwork at the end of Semester 2.

In parallel with the Exhibiting Practice module, which introduces you to a variety of ideological/methodological and logistical approaches to curation/exhibition, you are offered the opportunity to test different methods of production, reflecting in turn on the relationship configured by/through your work with different audiences and on models of post studio activity with which you might wish to engage.

You will be involved in:
• Addressing material and technical decisions
• Testing individual research strategies
• Reflecting on your ‘audience’ and how others may ‘read’ your work
• Considering questions of authorship, originality, social function etc.
• Engaging with critical theories of art-making, visual and material culture
• Establishing which contemporary artistic and cultural discourses are of importance to your evolving practice
• Identifying artists of relevance to your interests
• Managing process based approaches to making and thinking
• Learning about/testing professional approaches to production and exhibiting

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through the continuation of your own self-directed studio-based (or comparable) practice, supported by several complementary teaching strategies. Learning is activated through lectures, seminars (in which you participate by questioning and analysis), one to one tutorials and group crits (in which you feedback to peers / present your own work for discussion). Independent study is also key to your progress. Together these stimulate experimentation and self-reflective learning; enhancing your familiarity with concepts and theories of contemporary practice, building confidence in the analysis of artworks and assisting you make to sophisticated arguments in material, verbal and written form. Your skills in presentation and self-advocacy are developed by the preparation of 1,000-word written submission reflecting on your process, method and influences.


Studio-based group critiques provide feedback from MFA staff, BALTIC curators and peers. Seminars are led by core staff as well as national and international visitors (in person and via interactive technology) and introduce you to key issues and debates, enabling you to acquire and apply tools of critical analysis. A host of field trips and visits provide opportunities to critique the curatorial, technical and interpretative issues determining the presentation and dissemination of contemporary art and opportunities to attend (and contribute to) research events evolved from the PhD community as well as BxNU symposia will link you the extended field of post-disciplinary activity across the arts, sciences and humanities.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported through formative staff feedback on presentations of work in progress through group critiques and individual tutorials. Guidance is also provided on structuring and formulating written statements. Written and verbal feedback at the end of the module will support your academic progress by assisting your reflection on and awareness of your achievements and potential as a learner.

Pastoral support is available through an allocated guidance tutor who can assist you to access other relevant sources of support such as the University Counselling Service or the Finance Section of the Students’ Union Advice Centre. MFA staff work closely with the University disability advisors to ensure that students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties are fully supported. Additional bookable and drop-in study skills support is available through the Northumbria Skills Programme at the City Campus Library and via the e-Learning Portal. In line with the University’s equal opportunities statement, all students that are confirmed with a disability are given every support to enable them to meet their full potential on the course.

Regular group meetings with the module coordinator and course leader offer the opportunity to discuss assessment, practical considerations and feedback on delivery of the course and related matters. All course tutors are readily available via email and tutorials can be easily arranged with any member of the staff team outside of formal timetabled sessions.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

1. Develop and demonstrate a critical understanding of the importance of positioning individual/collaborative practice within the broader context of contemporary fine art.
2. Employ a range of effective strategies with which to establish a sustainable professional practice.
3. Develop attributes of self-motivation, risk-taking and independence of thinking.
4. Creatively develop effective interpersonal skills through communication with specialist and non-specialist audiences.


Knowledge & Understanding:
You will be expected to engage with and develop your understanding and awareness of contemporary and historical and contemporary models of artistic practice and to be able to position your own work in relation to these.

Employment, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

Your employability will be enhanced through self-reflective analysis which builds skills such as reflexivity, emotional intelligence and self-efficacy.

The ability to critically evaluate and act upon different conceptual, ethical and material approaches to the production of art, in line with standards across the sector, is an important factor in gaining future work. You will develop your capacity to utilise different theoretical / methodological frameworks and reflect on the ways you have deployed them in creating work.

An awareness of industry standards for the production, exhibition and communication is developed via staff feedback and engagement with curators, technical, educational, marketing and design teams as part of BxNU partnership. The wider research environment of BALTIC 39 allows students to work alongside doctoral students, staff, professional studio holders and fellowship holders – all with a host of industry and professional experience.


Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
In developing your artistic practice through experimentation you will learn self motivation, independent and lateral thinking, time and resource management and organisational skills.

In considering the methodological design of projects involving different partners and participants - your own and that of others - you will hone your understanding of the ethical considerations and questions of cultural value that attend contemporary art making.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed summatively at the end of the module via two components:
1) (75%) presentation of a body of selected / resolved artwork(s) that demonstrates ability to engage with learning outcomes, the development of ideas and the use of appropriate skills and technologies. Assessors will evaluate your achievements in relation to the module learning outcomes (2,3,4) in relation to: the rigour / energy with which you have pursued your investigations; your ability to resolve ideas, conceptually and practically; the way in which you have managed time and resources and the innovative, challenging or engaging character of the work produced.

2) (25%) a written summary of 1000 words contextualising the formal and thematic developments that have occurred in the practice during the semester. Assessors will evaluate your achievements in relation to module learning outcome 1 with reference toyyour incorporation of a suitable set of references for contextualising your own explorations, drawing on the work of other artists and relevant cirtical texts.

Consideration will also be given to your ability to analyse the successes and failures of the strategies you have adopted in developing your work; identify areas/problems that need further development/ attention.

Formative feedback, provided through tutorials and group crits during the course of the module, will assist you to prepare for assessment by indicating areas/questions for further practical investigation/reflection. Guidance will be offered as to ways of structuring the written component of the submission supporting you to acquire the skills necessary to situate your ideas / explorations within the wider field of contemporary art practice. Verbal and written feedback will be provided after assessment in order to assist you to understand the marks you have achieved and how to develop your learning during the next academic year.

Pre-requisite(s)

Studio Practice 1 VA7022
Locating Practice VA7024

Co-requisite(s)

Exhibiting Practice VA7025

Module abstract

Studio practice 2 is a semester long MFA module which is delivered in the second semester of the 1st year of the MFA course.
You will benefit from excellent studios and technical facilities; all of our staff have significant professional and academic reputations while our partnership with the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art allows access to a range of arts professionals operating internationally.
You will be encouraged to think and act independently, applying disciplinary knowledge to complex issues in an imaginative, sustainable and reasoned manner. Feedback from Northumbria and BALTIC staff supports your development and enhances employability by extending your understanding of professional standards and ways of working. At the end of the module the opportunity for public exhibition within the B39 building offers a means to build networks and enhance wider awareness of your work. Seminars, tutorials and lectures equip you to articulate your influences in a written statement of 1000 words. This in turn prepares you to produce material suited to application for professional opportunities such as commissions, residences and exhibitions.

What will I learn on this module?

Studio Practice 2 is a semester-long, 30 credit, module, run in conjunction with Exhibiting Practice, which takes place in the second semester of the first year of the MFA. The module continues and enhances the learning secured in Studio Practice 1 and Locating Practice in Semester 1, enabling you to extend and reflect upon on the self-directed studio experimentation already undertaken. Your studio practice is thus refined through formal, conceptual and thematic speculation, culminating in the creation of a resolved body of, publicly exhibited, artwork at the end of Semester 2.

In parallel with the Exhibiting Practice module, which introduces you to a variety of ideological/methodological and logistical approaches to curation/exhibition, you are offered the opportunity to test different methods of production, reflecting in turn on the relationship configured by/through your work with different audiences and on models of post studio activity with which you might wish to engage.

You will be involved in:
• Addressing material and technical decisions
• Testing individual research strategies
• Reflecting on your ‘audience’ and how others may ‘read’ your work
• Considering questions of authorship, originality, social function etc.
• Engaging with critical theories of art-making, visual and material culture
• Establishing which contemporary artistic and cultural discourses are of importance to your evolving practice
• Identifying artists of relevance to your interests
• Managing process based approaches to making and thinking
• Learning about/testing professional approaches to production and exhibiting

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full-time

Department Arts

Location Baltic 39, Newcastle upon Tyne

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

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