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Fine Art Work-in-progress Show Represented as Open House Weekend

This year, in Fine Art, rather than transporting the work into the gallery spaces in Kensington for two weeks, students will show their work over a weekend, within their studios, workshops and seminar rooms – within the spaces in which their work has been made and debated. 

The shift in staging is proposed to help students better to understand and articulate the point at which artworks become public, encouraging the idea that the artwork is in some way public even before it is made and remains in production long after it is exhibited. The open house setting challenges preconceptions about how an artwork might go out into and circulate in the outside world.

The WIP (Work-in-progress) Shows provide an opportunity for first-year students at the Royal College of Art to show their work at the start of their second term, to learn more about each other’s work, and to begin to gauge a broader range of responses to their ongoing practice. Students are encouraged to experiment with a range of approaches towards display and to make as few assumptions as possible about how their work should be exhibited.

Furthermore, in working this way, students may develop an active understanding of what it means for an artwork to be shown, seen and talked about, and how that process can depend not upon a fixed boundary between the private and the public, but on numerous instances where the artwork comes in and out of view, and thus is capable of generating multiple engagements.

Experimentation is encouraged, and may be evidenced through a range of responses: from students clearing their spaces and turning them into versions of a gallery, through to those who might leave them very much as they are, and those who might play with or even fake some idea of display. Some students may experiment with a sense of collectivity and collaboration in their presentations, while others may choose to foreground the nature of the event of the open house over the weekend as something of a social gathering.

The Work-in-progress Show will retain its character as an MA first-year event and as an opportunity for MA first-year students to show their work to each other and the public. Studios will however not be delimited and so there will be some evidence of second-year work in and around the studios.

Visitors to the Work-in-progress Shows will have the opportunity to see the students’ work at a range of stages of development, and to gain a better understanding of the processes our students employ and the spaces in which they make.


The Fine Art Work-in-progress Shows will be held in the Fine Art studios in the Dyson, Sackler and Sculpture Buildings, Battersea.

Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 January 2015
Opening hours: 10am – 5.30pm
Admission free