Research students play an important role within In Certain Places. Their creative investigations into the specificities of places developed through their PhD research or the Projects for Places pathway of UCLan’s MA Fine Art course, feed into our wider research practice and, following graduation, some students go on to be commissioned as artists within the programme.
The MA Fine Art Projects for Places pathway is led by In Certain Places curator Elaine Speight and aims to produce creative practitioners whose work can respond to site or place across a range of media. Over the course of one year (full time) or two years (part time), students are guided through the steps involved in developing a successful project in response to a particular place or social context. Depending on the projects, these may include: activities such as mapping, cataloguing and historical research; the logistical issues involved in making working outside of a traditional gallery context; and strategies for finding audiences and documenting and disseminating work. Through regular group seminars, which encourage the sharing of ideas and experiences, students are able to experiment with new making processes and develop their projects within a supportive learning environment.
The pathway is interdisciplinary in its outlook, and students are encouraged to engage with ideas about place, participation and social engagement from a range of different perspectives, including contemporary art, human geography, urbanism and cultural studies. In lieu of a dissertation, students produce a ‘contextual report’, which accompanies their project. As well as detailing the processes undertaken to develop their work, the report also positions it in relation to that of other contemporary artists and to relevant debates about art practice and place. The contextual report is, above all, a creative document, which is intended to be of use to students when applying for commissions and seeking other opportunities following graduation.
As well as Fine Art graduates and other creative practitioners, the course is also appropriate for people from other disciplines who wish to expand their understanding and experience of place, while developing visual responses. This could include community workers, historians, geographers, anthropologists and experts in the built or rural environment.
As well as applications to the MA pathway, we also welcome inquiries about studying a practice-based PhD in association with In Certain Places. For more information about studying with us please contact us.