Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) (Honours) Program
The diversity of art and culture has historically allowed us to chart and map what matters, and what does not. For the most part, contemporary art has been attuned and nuanced to the shifts and changes of the societies through which it formed, so much so, that it often appears to capture the very sense of ‘here and now’, or a spirit of the times. Presently, this is in keeping with capital economies, where progression, or being in the ‘now’, materializes through a preoccupation with continuous motion or change. Perhaps contemporary art and culture could be said to successfully embody a type of unstable and perpetual sense of change, representing and re-presenting indices of newness that parallel society. Consequently, the character of contemporary art is arguably apposite as a method to articulate, understand and re-present our transitional and constantly reshaping times.
In keeping with this, the artists emerging from our honours program locate their work both naturally and purposefully within a certain spirit of flux, creating practices marked by unfolding, open-ended thought and feeling, consolidated by critical frameworks. Mindful of our fluid times, artists emerge from their honours year absorbed by the tensions, conflicts and limitations of how to devise a practice within an historical moment informed by absences and flux. Led by a restlessness to reflect on the insistent change of our times, many of these emergent artists from the honours program appear to focus on the question: how can creative potential, ideas, viewpoints and beliefs, form within practices shaped by the experience of permanent change?
This exhibition enables us to see various artistic approaches and gestures that, through their sensuality and material-ness, are ‘of the world’. In the very best sense, however, as art forms, they are equally set apart to form something equivalent, critical or reflective in order to provide various accounts of our contemporaneity; to make us feel the volumes and the sensations of a real experience of these times. Our honours fine art students exhibit a wonderfully healthy diversity through their impressively ambitious practices, and the School community resoundingly considers that our honours art graduates will richly energise the discourses of our contemporary culture. It has been a great pleasure to work with such bright and aspiring individuals as they form into remarkable and unique artists.
Peter Westwood, Program Manager, Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) Honours Program
dimensions variable. Photo: James Maher
Associate Professor Mikala Dwyer
Dr Kirsten Haydon
Dr Robin Kingston
Dr Drew Pettifer
Dr Steven Rendall
Associate Professor Philip Samartzis
Dr Quentin Sprague
Dr Masato Takasaka
Professor of Fine Art and Associate Dean, Kit Wise
Brooke Babington, curator, Heide Museum of Modern Art
Emily Cormack, curator, Tarrawarra Biennale, Tarrawarra Museum
Léuli Eshraghi, independent curator
Isabel Nuño de Buen (Berlin) in association with the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
Master of Arts (Art in Public Space) (MAPS) Program
MA Art in Public Space (MAPS) is an international leader in teaching and research exploring public and social spaces through public and social practices. MAPS students take a multidisciplinary approach to interrogating public space by engaging critically with urban and regional environments, materiality, performativity, site, location, land, democracy, politics and ethics. The program offers a rich learning experience that is global in outlook and supports project opportunities undertaken both locally and internationally. MAPS staff and students have pursued research opportunities, undertaken fieldwork, artist residencies and presented projects across Australia, China, Turkey, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Colombia and through RMIT Europe.
As a result, students combine theory and practice to engage with issues central to international cultural, political and social debates. With an emphasis on industry and community engagement, students develop conceptual and practical skills to undertake collaborative and individual projects.
Our MAPS community is internationally mobile with students from Australia, China, Mexico, India, Columbia, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand. Our student work across art, design and performance with expertise in visual art, performance, landscape architecture, poetry, sound, fashion, photography, architecture, urban design, engineering, curating, interior design and computer programming. This dynamic enables a multidisciplinary community of practice with students working individually and in collaborations to create fascinating urban interventions, installations, performances, seminars, websites and artists books.
MAPS students and staff also work with industry partners including the City of Greater Dandenong, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Gertrude Projection Festival, Testing Grounds and Melbourne Water to develop capability, test ideas, material and performance practices. From this, our graduating students have worked extensively within site and location specific contexts from the steps of parliament house, the Upfield train line, Atherton Gardens Public Housing Estate, Kyneton Botanical Gardens, Carlisle Street, Balaclava and Instagram to name a few.
We are proud of the diverse achievements and talents of our graduating students who worked with ambition and gusto to create and present these wonderfully idiosyncratic projects. We wish our graduates well in their life, projects, work and fun and welcome them into our ever-expanding MAPS alumni community.
Associate Professor Keely Macarow, Program Manager, MA Art in Public Space.
Associate Professor Keely Macarow
Dr Marnie Badham
Dr Ceri Hann
Dr Gretchen Coombs
Bachelor of Arts (Photography) (Honours) Program
In an era defined by technological, cultural and political dynamism, photography channels a diverse range of active, volatile cultural energies that impact across social, professional and artistic spectrums. The medium is entwined with capitalism—it is a conduit for power, influencing our formations of citizenship, shaping our identities, providing tools for the constitution of the self as well as new expressive languages for artistic practice. As a potent agent of visual culture, photography contributes to an extensive matrix of mutable, discursive influence, impacting on our personal and institutional lives in often covert ways. In the 21st century, the medium is increasingly incorporated into the fabric of everyday life through exposure to advertising, pop culture and social media. Photographic creative practice has been transformed by very recent, technological revolutions which represent shifts in the meanings and cultural functions of the medium providing new opportunities for critical engagement with unstable social, cultural and professional arenas. Importantly, photography’s channels of influence can flow in multiple directions—it can be used to interrogate and unmask the hegemonies that in other contexts it perpetuates.
The ubiquity and hyper abundance of photography in an increasingly visual culture, demands exploration of new practices and critical frameworks, inclusive of, but also beyond a traditional academic focus on categories of fine art. The bachelor of arts (photography) honours recognises the diversity of photographic practices in broad contexts and seeks to cultivate new practice paradigms that respond to a rapidly evolving 21st century. A vision that acknowledges the future and tests the authority of lingering 20th century formations of creative practice and promotes innovation, criticality and entrepreneurial agility. Photography honours is a response to the critical priorities and particularities of the medium.
An honours year is a transformative experience, one in which discoveries are made in personal as much as professional and artistic areas. It fosters an inquiring, questioning approach to the world—an attitude that embraces lifelong learning. 2018 has been the first year the program has run and we’re delighted with our first cohort. Projects ranged across varied areas of practices, occupying a range of novel, critical vantages. Our small numbers cultivated a close, connected, creative community who were mutually invested in each other’s projects and who stimulated each other to excel. We had a great year working with each other, and speak for all when I say congratulations on work well done, and all the best for developing careers and lingering friendships.
Dr Ray Cook, Program Manager, Bachelor of Arts (Photography) Honours Program
School of Art Technical Staff
Jason Wade, School of Art Technical Services Manager
Andre Liew, Senior Technical Officer (Studio Technologies)
Gabriel Tongue, Senior Technical Officer (Digital Technologies)
Pablo Vasconcelos Becerra
Dr. Ceri Hann