Maungo Gwapela-Nkgapha

Qxama Khaxa: Green Springbok

Printmaking in Botswana Primary Schools.

My project advocates for Art educators in Botswana and explores how printmaking can be used in primary schools. In my project, I was able to engage children to gauge them using Lowenfield Theory. Working with children was a challenge but fun, especially during COVID19 lockdown period. When doing their prints, the children wanted to share their message of thanks to the NHS.

Michelle Udowu
Tumelo Mafavuke
Nonofo Mafavuke
Olerato Mafavuke

I also decided to extend my knowledge of printmaking and make prints of my own. To investigate how long it takes to learn Printmaking, if it is easy to learn and teach others.

My Work : LINO Printing
Rubber Print

Statement

As an art educator my focus is mainly to improve the Art education system in my country (Botswana). I am interested in the early development stages of learning. At the moment, I teach trainee Art teachers and I want to develop the necessary skills needed for primary school teaching. I have been studying in Birmingham City University for one year where I did my practice in Printmaking. I hope to continue with my practice throughout my professional career and transfer the skills I have learnt to others.

Contact

maungogwapela@mail.bcu.ac.uk
mpgwapela@yahoo.com

Degree

Art Practices in Education

Oheneba Mensa-Bonsu

Theatre is a collaborative art
A production at the South African State Theatre. Photo credit: Facebook.

Theatre and the COVID-19 Pandemic: the implications of COVID-19 on Ghanaian Theatre Practice

Research paper 2020

For this paper, I used theatre practitioner-based interview questionnaires to research the impact of COVID-19 on theatre practice and the alternative presentational forms that can be used to ensure that this sector continues to adapt and grow despite world-wide ‘lock-downs’. Due to my experience and knowledge of Ghanaian theatre, the main case study focus was the Ghanaian theatre and arts sector.

Photo credit: ASASE YAA African American Dance Theatre

Statement

As an international student who saw the worldwide impact of the pandemic whilst being aware of social and economic climate back home in Ghana, I wondered how my home country would brave the storm that is COVID-19. Watching in earnest as the British government took measures to curb the spread of the disease, I wondered how the Ghanaian government was going to handle the global implications of the pandemic and its effects on our economy, especially the arts sector. The Ghanaian art sector (especially the theatre space), an already struggling area is far behind things like STEM education which was seeinga rapid pace of growth and improvement. Hence, this pandemic left the theatre space in a very uncertain predicament. This realisation led me to ask myself a few questions: what would be the new way of theatre in this ‘new-norm’? This was the motivation that inspired me to research more into the subject area.

Keys areas looked at include:

Digital Inclusion
Socio-economic impact
Alternative forms of the practice

Contact

kmensabonsu@gmail.com

Degree

MA Arts and Project Management

Links

Photo credit: ASASE YAA African American Dance Theatre

Yushan Su

Birmingham Chinatown Brand Design and Wayfinding Design

05/2020-08/2020

07/2020 Birmingham Chinatown Photographer Yushan Su

Designer Personal Website please see here: https://ysu398.wixsite.com/yushan

My major project focus on design a visual identity system and a guide icon system. At the same time, I will think about two specific problems, how to create graphic memory for the target audience? And Does continuous graphics is a good way to spread the brand image? I trying to use filed work, photography, drawing, software and reference review as methodology which help me understand the characteristics of Birmingham Chinatown.

The logo inspired by Birmingham Selfridges and Chinese chopsticks and I use red and black as the main colours. I chose IMPACT typography as the English character, Black Body – Simple typography as the Chinese character. Because they give the audience a strong visual effect and a sense of weight so that the audience can be better impressed with the logo.

Birmingham Chinatown Brand Design
Birmingham Chinatown Brand Support Graphics
07/2020 Birmingham Chinatown Photography Yushan Su

Lilli Whitham

Statement

I am an artist and educational professional based in Birmingham. This past year, I have been involved with research exploring the role of public arts and developing ethical engagement strategies for arts organisations. My interest in socially engaged work stems from my working experiences and previous career path in arts education. I view the arts as a powerful political and social tool to express the emotions and struggles of shared human experience. It is important to break down cultural barriers and use the arts to open a channel of communication.

Contact

Lilli.Whitham@mail.bcu.ac.uk

lilliwhithamillustration@outlook.com

Degree

Arts and Project Management

How do arts organisations apply ethics in the public display of art, in order to reflect changes in cultural and social attitudes?

Report, 2020

Following from my research undertaken in Research in Practice and my interest in socially engaged work, I wanted to explore how ethical considerations are applied by organisations in the commissioning and supporting of artists’ work that is participative yet pushes boundaries. The findings from my Research in Practice resulted in the following areas of potential further research:

  1. To examine if ethics can be separated from aesthetics in participatory practice and the impact this has on arts organisations in terms of funding policies and commissioning new works.
  2. To explore the role of the artist in socially engaged practices – should artists be working for societal benefit as educators and facilitators or is the role of the artist to be antagonistic and divisive, to unsettle cultural and societal notions of economy and exchange?
  3. To examine how best is social change and justice realised – through education and representation or politicizing the public?

My current research is following on from this exploratory topic – Can ethics be separated from aesthetics? This question will inevitably have an impact on arts organisations’ decisions regarding curation and programming, funding policies and new commissioning available to artists.

Initially I was interested in how arts organisations considered ethics in commissioning transgressive work and the impact this has on artists producing transgressive work with participants. This proved to be difficult to gather primary research; the topic is sensitive, and participants were reluctant to engage with the research question. My research aims, on reflection, were too binary for this complex subject.

Following the interview with an NAE former creative producer, I became more focused on how arts organisations relate to audiences and the ethics of engagement in museum practices:

  • How does this affect curating decisions, programming and the public display of artwork?
  • How do arts organisations consider ethics when evaluating art for public display, in order to be accountable to their audiences/users?

This led to a re-development of my research aims and finalisation of the research title:

Most of this research has been informed by reading materials, desk research and critical analysis of case studies. More primary research could have been utilised, however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic many arts organisations were closed with their staff on furlough. I received several apologetic replies from organisations unable to contribute to my primary research at this present time. A detailed evaluation of the research methodology is available in the appendix of this report. I have used Harvard referencing. Numbered footnotes are included.

How do arts organisations apply ethics in the public display of art, in order to reflect changes in cultural and social attitudes?

This report examines ethical considerations in the public display of art by arts organisations and museums. First, I have evaluated ethical philosophies and their applications to art, outlining the distinctions between ethics and morality. I have critically examined the ethical responsibilities of arts organisations to audiences as they respond to moral attitudinal shifts and how this can influence decisions on curation and context within temporary exhibitions. Further to this, the ethical duties of arts organisations to be accountable to audience’s social and cultural needs have been considered and how this is reflected through an ethics of engagement, representation and authentic authorship. I have addressed how arts organisations can respond to changes in cultural, social and moral attitudes to re-contextualise problematic biographies and histories of collections using progressive educational strategies of ethics.

 My research has developed an exploration of how four recommendations of progressive educational ethics could be applied within the arts organisation/ museum to respond to social and cultural shifts and contextualise historical art collections on public display (adapted from (Hein, 2010) (Dewey, 1916):

  1. Arts organisations (and practices in the public realm) should question and represent dualisms in order to address social inequalities. 
  2. The goal of education should be further education. Art should provide the resources for repeated and continued inquiry and alternative methods of enquiry; Arts organisations should be spaces for open ended questioning and interpretation.  
  3. Arts organisations (and practices in the public realm) need to reflect, challenge and examine their practices continually in order to respond to the needs of their audiences. This practice should enable opportunities for meaning making and feeling. 
  4. Connect educational work and exhibition programming to life and contemporary struggles in culture and society. Exhibition programming (and art practices in the public realm) should centre life experiences and connect to situations outside the arts organisation that reflect complexities in live human experience. 

Factors such as exhibition programming and audience demographics can influence the social and cultural ethical considerations in the display of contemporary artworks. As custodians of collections, arts organisations need to exercise a certain level of objectivity that enables them to evaluate a work’s contribution to knowledge and education. However, ethical responsibility in their display necessitates consideration of human social interaction. As society’s moral attitudes shift, the contextualisation of collections also needs to be responsive. This research is extremely relevant to the contemporary issues faced by museums, who are increasingly being required to address Britain’s colonial past. I have outlined how these progressive educational ethics can be deployed as a working strategy for a current solution to contextualising Britain’s historical public statues. Currently arts organisations respond to social and cultural changes using reactive practices, how could these four educational ethical principles be used instead to develop strategies of pro-active responsible action and influences social change – to develop activism? Tate is currently conducting a programme of research, ‘Reshaping the Collectible: When Artworks Live in the Museum’ (Tate, 2018), to consider new models for the conservation and management of contemporary works of art. Research on the development of collective memory ecologies, I feel is particularly relevant to the cultivation of activism within arts organisations. Could the four principles of progressive educational ethics be implemented as a framework for the continuous re-interpretation of our collections that proactively challenges historical collective memory, therefore developing and influencing memory ecologies and engaging publics with activism? This topic could be explored further in a PhD proposal.

Yingxin Zhang

” The Gifts for Buddha “

Statement

My jewellery designs take their inspiration from my experience of living in Tibet. I took a cycle journey from Chengdu to Tibet and since then I have had a deep  fascination  of Tibetan culture.

In Tibet jewellery is used more as amulets it is believed that this power comes from the Buddha. My Jewellery designs take inspiration  from this concept of Jewellery being worn as an affirmation of protection I also take ideas from studying traditional Tibetan patterns, symbolic use of colour  and  Buddhist scriptures. 

The five symbolic colours are also central to the jewellery. Blue represents the sky, white represents the clouds, green represents the lake, red represents the flame, and yellow represents the land. This is also a symbolic colour representing the origin of Tibet.

Contact

mudo.zyx@gmail.com

https://mudo.world/

Degree

Art and Design

“THREE ROOMS”

“FROM MANDALA”

Yu Xi

Contemporary children’s comic books-the establishment of outlook of world, value, and life.

Statement

This work collects stories about people’s “appearance”-the troubles caused by it. Based on these real stories, the secondary editing of the stories through myths and fairy tales-these children’s comics are based on the myths and fairy tales of various countries Create a story as a culture background-create contemporary children’s comic book, through the interaction of adults telling stories for children, spread the theme of the work as “Be Yourself”, and establish that each person is a unique and beautiful educational purpose.

Contact

yuxi67997@gmail.com
ins: yuxi.draws

Degree

MA Art and Design

“Mother”

“Somebody to Love”

“Childhood memories”

The above animation shows some stories collected through interaction with the audience. These stories show what happens to people because of their “appearance”. By analysing and reorganizing these real stories, I created this work- children’s comic book.

These stories combine the Chinese myth “Nuwa created mankind” with the Western legend “God gives human life”, and use three different types of fairy tales to convey the concept that “everyone is unique and beautiful”.

“Best Life?”

“Unique”

“Someone’s Love”

The audience can stay in the art gallery to watch these comic stories, or they can buy books for children to read.

Andrei Barkhatov

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Policy of Funding Schemes, Independent Contemporary Art Enterprises and Arts Attendance in Finland.

Research paper, 2020

The stone statues at Helsinki Central Station with face masks early on Friday morning, August 14, 2020. photo by Roni Rekomaa /Lehtikuva
The stone statues at Helsinki Central Station with face masks, 2020. photo by Roni Rekomaa /Lehtikuva

This research paper is an overview of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdown on the contemporary arts sector in Finland based on the information provided by the local art organisations, artists and community members. The paper also reflects on the changes in the sector’s funding strategies caused by the latest major economic crises in Europe.

Statement

As Finland has been the place of my work residency, I decided to use my Research in Practice and Major Project modules to analyse the current state of the contemporary arts sector in the country by conducting a series of surveys and interviews among residents, artists and arts management staff members.

Finland is a country where arts are deeply integrated into people’s lifestyles. Despite the chain of economic crises the country has been through in the last decade, support for the arts sector in Finland has been constantly increasing. The COVID-19 pandemic hit all sorts of arts organisations, artists and art consumers all over the world severely, and Finland is not an exception. The paper reflects on the response of funding organisations and independent art enterprises in Finland towards the pandemic-related crisis. It also assesses the impact of the crisis on the arts attendance among the Finnish residents.

Contact

andrei.barkhatov@mail.bcu.ac.uk
Research Log

Degree

Arts and Project Management

Links