Exhibition and Conference Showcases Research from RCA Arts & Humanities Students

The RCA is hosting the 2019 National Association for Fine Art Education (NAFAE) Research Student Conference Living Research: The Urgency of the Arts, on 15 March. The event brings together researchers across disciplines, developing creative methods to explore terms that demand urgent enquiry. It is followed by the opening of the RCA School of Arts & Humanities MPhil/PhD research exhibition, which features work from 39 artists and practice-based researchers across the School.

Conference: Living Research: The Urgency of the Arts

Digital print on carpet by Gareth Proskourine-Barnett
Conc(re)te, Gareth Proskourine-Barnett 2019
Digital print on carpet

The NAFAE Research Student Conference is comprised of six strands of thinking, each brought together or inspired by a single word, with contributions from RCA research students, alongside students from universities across the UK and internationally. The categories used in the conference – Collaboration, Documents, Entanglement, Environment, Me and Reenactment – are also the titles of  current research groups within the School of Arts & Humanities. 

These groups, which change yearly, offer staff and students the opportunity to cluster around an idea or issue. Research students select a group based on their own research interests and attend weekly sessions led by senior academics and with input from a wide range of research-active staff.

The conference will explore what arts and humanities research has to offer in our current socio-political climate. Rather than just considering how research outcomes might be applied or instrumentalised, it considers how research more broadly might lead our interactions with and understanding of the world, exploring alternative ways that arts research methods and practices might be put to use in our contemporary moment.

Exhibition: There's something lurking in the shadows that might be interesting

Painting by Seungjo Jeong
Interface T6, Seungjo Jeong 2019
Acrylic on linen

The conference is followed by the opening of There's something lurking in the shadows that might be interesting, an exhibition which features work from the RCA School of Arts & Humanities MPhil and PhD researchers. Taking place in the Dyson Gallery in Battersea from 15–23 March, the exhibition showcases the wide-ranging enquiries of 39 students. Speaking to the ‘search’ in ‘research’, peering into the shadows in order to expose something to light – the exhibition is a call to the overlooked, the subtle and the raw.

Curated by MA Curating Contemporary Art alumna Linda Rocco and organised by Senior Research Tutor Dr Chantal Faust in conjunction with the NAFAE Research Student Conference, the exhibition will be inhabited by research in different stages and forms. Artworks in various media – from painting to sound, moving image, sculpture and performance – will present nascent ideas and intentions, reimagined experimentations and grounded practices.

Questioning the dissonant nature of displaying a wide range of artistic processes in the same space, the exhibition highlights what is common to the figure of the artist as researcher, and the personal reactions that can occur when presenting the product of an investigation to wider audiences. 

Find out more about Research Degrees in the School of Arts & Humanities and how to apply.