Dr Matthew Sperling explains more about the emphasis of the BA Creative Arts and Humanities programme on creativity, including a short film where he explains his own creative practice.
People often imagine creativity as a spontaneous, individual capacity for coming up with something new. Think of how a painter or a poet is typically shown on screen, composing their works in a state of furious inspiration, or how an inventor is shown arriving at a new idea in a light-bulb moment.
But creative success tends to come after long study. It’s normally only possible after imitating and learning from examples by other people. After developing disciplined practices, with careful preparation and lots of repetition.
What’s more, the materials that feed into creative work don’t come out of nowhere. All of us are situated in relation to history and society, to other people, creatures and landforms, to the material world and to our own bodily lives. From somewhere among all this, the ingredients for creativity can be found.
On this degree you will learn how to explore and develop your own creative capacities. You will study performance, writing, and moving image, but will also learn how to apply your creativity beyond these artistic disciplines.
You will learn how to work creatively with critical thinking, political commitments, memory, emotion and the unconscious.
You will be given techniques and tools for artistic creation, shown how to work creatively with chance and constraint, and how to improvise and collaborate.
And you will develop habits that make creativity part of your daily practices of living, and help you to flourish, discover and experiment in your life and work beyond the page, stage or screen.