Summer School Foundation
1 July – 6 September / 10 weeks
The Slade Summer School Foundation course is an excellent introduction to the study of contemporary art. It sustains and develops students’ abilities and interests over a ten-week period and offers an outstanding opportunity for an intense engagement with Fine Art practice. The course encourages individual creativity whilst imparting a solid grounding in the practical and the aesthetic. Entry is open to students of all levels and experience, and provides an opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for pro- gression into further or higher education in Fine Art, further independent study and an individual art practice.
The course begins begins with a structured three-week introduction to Fine Art. Week one explores the nature of drawing and its fundamental use for the artist. It introduces students to a wide range of drawing processes and materials in 2D and 3D, providing the opportunity to extend and deepen their understanding of the role of drawing in creative development. These will include drawing based on the body and the senses, memory, language, observation, the experience of architectural space, the manipulation of surface and materials, and an introduction to drawing in relation to time-based work (involving scale, rhythm and sequencing). This week places an emphasis on drawing as an imaginative tool for the invention and generation of ideas.
Week two investigates in more depth the processes of making and the application of ideas. Initially as a group, then individually, students will generate work from supplied and found materials. This project follows the evolution of work from the sculptural to the pictorial and explores many of the stages in between. Students are encouraged to experiment and extend their understanding of form and explore the physical, spatial and imaginative qualities of materials. The emphasis is on developing students’ individual creative approaches, from which they can expect to gain confidence in visual awareness and develop imaginative ambitions for the realisation of their work.
Week three will introduce students to an in-depth exploration of painting. Ideas from the first two weeks will be extended and translated through and into painting. Students will learn to build a painting using formal ideas of tone, colour, temperature, form and scale, as well as working with ideas about pictorial space and paint as material. In these first three weeks students will meet the key members of staff with whom they will work over the coming weeks, and learn about their practice through the lecture programme. By week four students will have some experience of working independently and will have generated a range of ideas and objects, equipping them to source and prepare materials and to generate and develop their own work.
From week four to week ten, each student is allocated studio space to allow for individual studio-based enquiry. Emphasis is placed on exploring personal ideas, sustaining open dialogue with their peers and tutors and experimenting with new and traditional techniques. Students are encouraged to work intensively to develop their own vision. Alongside studio practice there will be a number of optional specialist workshops taught by invited artists from week four to week eight. These can include subjects such as order in space and experimental geometry workshops in 2D and 3D; video sketch and documentation; light projection and image investigation; colour and light: exploring how colour informs our space, perception and imagination; technical research in painting and sculpture: making paint, painting mediums, supports and grounds for painting, making armatures for sculpture, casting, working with wax, plaster, latex and clay; the artist’s book and basic bookbinding; printmaking; photography, and contemporary video practice.
During the course, the History of Art programme includes lectures, gallery visits, artists’ talks and contextual study sem- inars. Students will be able to use the UCL museums of Zoology, Geology and Egyptology, the UCL Art Museum and the UCL Library as drawing and research resources. A rich and diverse extra curricular program will run for the duration of the Summer school that is open to the foundation course as well as students from across our Summer School programme.
Regular group and one-to-one tutorials ensure a student’s progress is closely monitored during the course. Guidance will be provided for students to document their work and record the creative process in preparation for developing their portfolio. The last week is organized around curating a one-day exhibition of work and culminates in a final critique focusing on each student’s strengths and achievements. The critique is usually led by the Slade Director, and is followed by a Private View for students, their guests, and visitors. Post exhibition feedback interviews are also held in the final week, providing a platform for discussion centered on future plans. A Certificate of Study will be awarded, but please do note that this is not an accredited Foundation course.
Extra Curricular Programme
This optional programme is open to all students taking part in our various courses throughout the Summer. It aims to enrich students learning experiences, and to encourage Summer School students to meet and work with colleagues on different courses, as well as Slade students and alumni. There will be a lively series of artists’ projects hosted in the studios, run by a mix of Slade tutors, alumni and recently graduated student interns. These artists will open their studio spaces to Summer School students and invite discussion centred around the work.
In addition to this, mid-week evenings host a regular series of extra curricular events at 5pm, Tuesday through to Thursday Tuesdays This year there will be hour long ‘drop-in’ drawing sessions taught by a range of invited artists, designed to extend the Summer School student’s drawing experiences. Wednesdays Exhibition openings and floor talks are hosted bi-weekly on Wednesday evenings in our exhibiting space. The Exhibition Programme provides an opportunity for students to respond to art immediately and directly, with an eclectic range of mediums and artists. Slade Undergraduate and Postgraduate students, both current and recently graduated, talk about their work on alternate Wednesday evenings. Thursdays A combination of Art History lectures and artist talks run each Thursday, providing an introduction to the varied contexts and histories of fine art.