School of Fine Art Attracts Largest Research Cohort to Date

The Royal College of Art’s School of Fine Art has attracted its largest research cohort to date.

The cohort, which includes MPhil and PhD students across Photography, Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking, has grown from 24 to 36, supported by five scholarships, a number of dedicated staff appointments, and expanded space at the Battersea campus’ Testbed. 

The scholarships, created by the College to coincide with its 175th anniversary in 2012, made it possible for a greater number of students to start this academic year. An Arts and Humanities Research Council scholarship, meanwhile, has enabled Photography PhD student, Mercedes Vicente to continue her research into the work of sculptor, filmmaker and RCA graduate Darcy Lange.  In an extraordinary move,  The Govett-Brewster Museum in New Zealand facilitated the loan of the complete Darcy Lange archive to the College to support Vicente's work. 

A wider body of dedicated supervisory support has also stimulated development across research. Dr Jaspar Joseph-Lester, Dr Ian Kiaer and Dr Tim O’Reilly are among new Readers in Research appointed during the year, while Fine Art staff including Photography Tutor Rut Blees Luxemburg, Head of Painting Professor David Rayson,  and Sculpture Tutor Denise de Cordova now have supervisory capacity. All meet weekly with research students convened by Research Tutor, Yve Lomax.

According to Dr Trish Lyons, Research Leader for the School of Fine Art who has spearheaded the development, enhancing the School's research resources has helped consolidate the College’s position as a global centre for contemporary art and related practice research.

‘This has really strengthened our position as world-leading centre for research in contemporary art. We have some of the best research students, who already come from established practices of their own. Seeking funding to undertake research at the College has been a key part of our agenda,’ she said.

She added: ‘The School’s specialisms – Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Printmaking and strands in Performance and Moving Image – are supported by well-equipped studios, workshops and highly skilled technicians. The teaching faculty comprises practicing artists, who are research active and have extensive thesis and practice-based research supervisory experience, with expertise in contemporary art practice, post-medium painting, art writing, drawing and recording, critical spatial practice and foundry related research.’