Art Schools: Invention, Invective and Radical Possibilities (2010)
with Royal Collection and the University of Brighton
11- 12 June 2010

Naomi Salaman, Life painting studio, Glasgow School of Art, early summer, 2001 © Naomi Salaman

Investigating the intellectual and spatial legacy of the life-room.

This conference considered the intellectual apparatus and physical spaces that structure art education today by exploring the history and legacy of the life room as both physical and intellectual space, and examining the traditions of looking and approaches to knowledge it established. Speakers included academics, curators and artists. See below for full conference programme.

The conference was organised by UCL Art Museum, the Royal Collection and the University of Brighton in conjunction with Naomi Salaman's exhibition Looking Back at the Life Room at UCL Art Museum. It took place on Friday 11 June and Saturday 12 June 2010


Conference Programme


Conference Programme

  • 9.30 - Registration and coffee
  • 10.00 - Introduction
  • 10.15 - Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci and life drawing in Baroque Rome - Martin Clayton (Deputy Curator of the Print Room, The Royal Collection)
  • 10.45 - A Day in 'the Life': The experience of studying at the Royal Academy of Arts in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries - Annette Wickham (Research Curator, Collections and Library, Royal Academy of Arts)
  • 11.15 - Coffee
  • 11.45 - Drawing the Figure from the Cast and Life - David Jeremiah (Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow)
  • 12.15 - The Redundant Rebus: Reality Checks on the Functioning of the Life Class - Deanna Petherbridge (Professor Emeritus University of the West of England, Bristol and Visiting Professor of Drawing, University of the Arts, London)
  • 12.45 - Discussion
  • 1.15 - Lunch (not provided)
  • 2.45 - Drawing from Objects: A Historical Perspective - Morna Hilton (Head of Learning, Victoria and Albert Museum)
  • 3.15 - When is Realistic too Realistic? - Ed Allington (Professor and Head of Graduate Sculpture, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL)
  • 3.45 - Discussion
  • 4.15 - Tea

Panel: History and Practices of the Slade and Norwich Life Rooms:

  • 4.45 - The 'F' Studio 1970s to the Present - Jo Volley (Senior Lecturer, Painting, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL)
  • 5.00 - John Wonnacott and John Lessore: The Life Room at Norwich School of Art 1978-1985 - Lynda Morris (Curator EASTinternational and AHRC Research Fellow, Norwich University College of the Arts)
  • 5.15 - Don't go in there: Painting in the Slade Life Room 2003-07 - Geoff Stein (Artist)
  • 5.30 Dot and Carry; point and scan - Tom Lomax (Lecturer, Sculpture, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL)
  • 5.45 - Discussion
  • 6.15 - Reception and Private View of the exhibition Looking Back at the Life Room

Transitions in art education 1960s - 1970s

  • 10.00 - Introduction
  • 10.15 - Drawing Parallels between Life and Art: Challenges to the Art School in Fifties and Sixties Britain - Ben Cranfield (Lecturer in Arts Management, Department of Media and Cultural Studies, Birbeck College)
  • 10.45 - 'Audience-free' Practices and the Art School Panopticon - Chris Dorsett (Reader in Art School Practices, Department of Arts, School of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Northumbria)
  • 11.15 - Coffee
  • 11.45 Excavating the British Art School - Matthew Cornford (Professor of Fine Art, Faculty of Arts, University of Brighton) and John Beck (Senior Lecturer, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, Newcastle University)
  • 12.15 - Yurts, Bars and Trailer Parks: Anti-Paradigms for the New Art School - Steven Henry Madoff (Senior Critic, Yale University School of Art)
  • 12.45 - Discussion
  • 1.15 - Lunch (not provided)

Production of the art student as subject

  • 2.45 - A Body in Part (performance) - Yuen Fong Ling (PhD Student, University of Lincoln)
  • 3.45 - Tea
  • 4.15 - Between the Studio and the Seminar: What does art-school's double language do? - Mary Anne Francis (Senior Lecturer Critical Fine Art Practice, University of Brighton and Research Fellow in Writing and Art, Chelsea College of Art)
  • 4.45 - Micropolitics of Art and Economy in the Art School Today - Susan Kelly (Course Leader BA Fine Art and History of Art (Studio Practice) Department of Art, Goldsmith's College, University of London)
  • 5.15 Under Construction: Alternative Art School SpRoUt - Amy Cunningham (Senior Lecturer, Music and Visual Art, University of Brighton), Hayley Skipper (Arts Development Officer, Forestry Commission, Grizedale Forest) and Hannah Chiswell (MA Fine Art, Slade School of Fine Art)
  • 5.45 - Discussion
  • 6.15 - Close


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