Save Camberwell MA Book Arts (the only course of its kind in Europe) from closure.

Recent news

Update from David Crow Jan 2019

Fine Art Portflio Developments – The future of Book Arts content at Camberwell

28 January 2019

* Book Arts & Fine Art

* The academic rationale for the new Camberwell Fine Art offer

In recent years Fine Art has increasingly questioned the role of discipline specificity and has seen an increasing dissolution of boundaries between subjects.

The portfolio review at Camberwell has taken a different approach, by retaining a ‘meta–modernist’ approach to disciple, understood in terms of painting, drawing, sculpture and photography. This approach allows students to foreground a ‘material’ based approach while at the same time exploring the boundaries of each discipline.

The text/image/sculptural artist’s book has always been located within fine art practices, and this has often intersected with illustration.

In the reconfiguration of the fine art portfolio, aspects of book arts are currently being incorporated in both fine art and Illustration.

While the structural/conceptual practices of book making will not be taught specifically, the material based approach to fine art will continue to explore concepts of structure, poetry, print, photography, sculpture and performance

These aspects will form part of a broader postgraduate fine art pedagogy at Camberwell.

The MA will take a student centred approach, which will enable students to identify the scope of their practice and they will be supported accordingly. Historically there has been a strong interface between printmaking and book arts and again, the ‘book’ may form part of the outcome produced by some students.

While some aspects of the content will be incorporated in the new proposed postgraduate pathways, the highly specialised discipline specific approach to Book Arts will
not be developed.

The position
• EFT: MA Visual Arts: Book Arts (suspend pathway from 2019/20)

• MAVA Fine Art Digital, Book arts and Printmaking EFTs and DL mode will no longer recruit as MAVA pathways from 19/20. Existing expertise and content will be embedded throughout the MA Fine Art pathways being developed to start in 19/20.

• The pathways will be suspended pending the completion of the new MA Fine Art programme.

* Communication and engagement with staff and students
* We met with Arts SU on 21 May 2018, the day before we announced portfolio changes across Cmabwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon to staff. At that meeting we clarified the forthcoming changes to the portfolio, including the changes to the Fine Art programme. When we met the new Arts SU sabbatical office bearers on 12th July 2018 we referred to our 21st May meeting and the headlines of the portfolio changes.
* Where there significant future changes to courses are planned, all students across Camberwell, Chelsea nad Wimbledon were written to in September 2018 explaining this suspension and reassuring them that their course experience would not be affected.
* The Fine Art Course teams have drafted the new Course and pathways and these were considered by the Validation Committee on December 6th.
* The next stage of the process is to develop in detail tcourse units. Students will be invited to feed into this process.

What the changes mean for the future of the subject and for students

• Although it will not feature as a standalone pathway, we remain committed to retaining Book Arts content wthin the
future MA Fine Art offer. Students will be involved in the
discussion on how best to achive this.

• The College will maintain a digital archive of book arts work
The first iteration of the new PG programme is being put forward for validation in 2018-19. Pathways are being developed in painting, drawing and printmaking, to start in
19-20. which is publicly accessible

• A handling collection featuring a selection of artists books produced in the college will be available to future students

• If students need to resit any units over the next two years they will be supported in doing this.

• If an applicant had requested deferred entry they will have been offered an alternative course.


Cat Miller
3 years ago