School of Fine Art


It feels like time to face forward.
An epic time in our wake and a future ahead to create, find and shape.

I am reminded of a video artwork made by a student, which featured a young woman hoola hooping. The hoop seemed to describe a social distance…a personal space…but in its momentum and constant redrawing, it suggested a freedom and potential that re-negotiated the rictus of its framing.

Great art is like this, isn’t it? …a stepping stone that saw you coming and that offers a way to think and act. There is a kind of relief and maybe euphoria in the recognition that our experience is shared whatever it is, and in its power, it is something that makes us richer.

If we are lucky enough, or have had the courage to put ourselves in a position to do something about the things we value, then we are surrounded by various registers of our efforts…the tests and the beautiful failures that are the same bedfellows as our successes. I like your on going attempts of course. Please hear me say that how very proud of you we are that you stayed with it through thick and thin.

This is to say that your work resonates in all kinds of different ways. What may be more particular is how it meets an audience…now and for the future…increasingly something we can choose to create rather than relying on happenstance. The suite of efforts that surround this catalogue are part of how together we will need to re-think our relationships to contemporary art practice, giving new momentum to ideas and experience, utility and social performance.

I can’t finish without mentioning my pride in our staff and colleagues at all levels who moved quickly through familiar and unfamiliar means to continue teaching and supporting you and each other.

Professor Philip Napier
Head of the School of Fine Art