Meet your Course Director: Andrew Gillespie
MA Art and Design: Interdisciplinary Practices
Could you tell us about what you do?
I am an artist based in Birmingham. My work explores the application of print and the possibilities of appropriated imagery and objects. I also run a curatorial project called Recent Activity, which is currently based in Digbeth. I am an active practitioner, engaged in dialogues in the city and further afield. My practice directly feeds into my teaching and vice versa.
What teaching approach do you take as course leader?
Independence and ambition are crucial for students undertaking an MA. I aim to develop these qualities through studio work, collaboration and dialogues. Initiating conversations across the school, university and the city will help students maximize the potential of their practice.
What is the philosophy of your course?
MA Art and Design Interdisciplinary Practices aims to challenge your existing practice and push your work and ideas in new directions. The course accommodates a deliberately diverse cohort, with students arriving with a range of skills and interests. The course hopes to nurture this, developing practices with multiple strands of investigation.
If you had to name one thing about your course that makes it distinct, what would it be?
MA Art and Design Interdisciplinary Practices provides the scope and potential for your practice to transform across an range of disciplines.
Why is Birmingham a good place to study ?
Birmingham is brimming with activity and full of potential. The city has great sense of community and a friendly, inclusive cultural landscape. With HS2 on the horizon, Birmingham is currently in a state of change, providing lots of exciting contexts for artists and designers to explore and exploit.
Being lcoated in The School of Art at Margaret Street is also hugely beneficial. The home of a foundation course, two undergraduate courses and five distinct MA courses, there is always something to see and someone to talk to.
Why do you believe its good to do a MA and why might students want to do your course?
An MA will develop your critical thinking and test your practical making. Pushed by your peer group and tutors, an MA will propel your ideas and work into new areas, providing skills applicable to any career.
What can students do to help prepare them for the course?
Totally immerse yourself in your interests – explore as many landscapes, sites and contexts as possible. Visit lots of exhibitions, galleries, concerts, libraries, workshops and try to develop dialogues with your peers.