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Fine Art - BA (Hons) *

Our Fine Art degree gives you the support of professionals to choose your own creative journey and flourish as an artist, curator, teacher or working in other creative fields. Situated in our historic Grade I-listed art school, based in Margaret Street, you'll enjoy the freedom, space and support needed to establish your own artistic voice....

  • School Birmingham School of Art
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

Explore this course

Course overview

Our Fine Art degree gives you the support of professionals to choose your own creative journey and flourish as an artist, curator, teacher or working in other creative fields.

Situated in our historic Grade I-listed art school, based in Margaret Street, you'll enjoy the freedom, space and support needed to establish your own artistic voice.

There are no set pathways to learning and this means you’ll have genuine freedom to experiment in any media appropriate to your ideas.

What's covered in the course?

This course encourages you to experiment in or across painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography, installation, film and video.

You'll be supported throughout your studies by our experienced and talented tutors and technical staff - all professional artists in their own right.

As well as learning important skills for your future career development from our practical and professional practice modules, you’ll also be introduced to the context and curation of art.

You will enjoy our close links to the Ikon Gallery, Ort Gallery, New Art Gallery Walsall and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and be inspired by the studios and galleries set up by former students, such as The Lombard Method, Grand Union, Stryx and Ort Gallery.

The course concludes in a public professional exhibition of your practical work supported by individual websites.

Why Choose Us?

  • Birmingham School of Art is celebrating 130 years of art at Margaret Street – its Grade I-listed building has been the inspiration for countless artists and practitioners of international reputation over the years. There has also been a multi-million pound investment in facilities for photography, casting, woodwork, metalwork, silk screen, etching, 3D printing, laser cutting, and printed and constructed textiles.
  • You'll instantly become part of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media’s 6,000-strong student community, and you will  be supported by our highly experienced staff, who are all nationally and internationally active artists.
  • You will curate exhibitions, have the opportunity take part in work placements and exchanges, and go on national and international study visits.
  • Each year the onsite project space, the International Project Space (IPS), will be the hub for a series of residencies, exhibitions and events, and we will work with a number of local, national and international partners to deliver a range of projects with our students.

 

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Facilities and Staff

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.

Birmingham School of Art (an impressive purpose built Grade 1 listed example of Venetian Gothic architecture) was the first major renovation project undertaken by the university (£5.5m refurbishment). The School provides an incredible resource for the production of art and its associated fields of study. The building has a range of facilities available including studios, workshops, specialist art and design library, bookable spaces and lecture/seminar rooms.

Our staff

Rebecca Court

Head of Undergraduate Studies

Rebecca Court works across a range of disciplines including performance, installation, photography, printmaking and sculpture. Her practice challenges the role and potential of the physical presence of the viewer in the exhibition space in the construct of staged participation and acknowledged/ unacknowledged co-collaborative production. She is Head of Postgraduate Taught Programmes at Birmingham School of Art.

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Stuart Whipps

Senior Lecturer in Fine Art and Art and Design

Stuart Whipps is an artist based in Birmingham, UK. He often makes work about things he doesn’t understand and doesn’t know how to do. Recently this includes restoring a 1979 Mini with the assistance of former British Leyland workers, training to make geological thin sections at the University of Birmingham, and propagating Begonias at West Dean in Sussex.

He has exhibited his work across the UK and internationally and is the recipient of a number of awards. He works predominantly with photography and video with occasional forays into sculpture.

Selected solo exhibitions include:

  •          ‘If Wishes Were Thrushes, Beggars Would Eat Birds’, DCA, Dundee, 2020
  •          ‘Reflections on the Death of a Procupine [sic], UH Arts, Hatfield, 2019
  •          ‘Isle of Slingers’ Spike Island, Bristol, 2016
  •          ‘PCS’, Ithuba Arts Gallery, Johannesburg, 2015
  •          ‘Birth Sprins, Death Falls’, Flat Time House, London, 2013
  •          ‘Why Contribute to The Spread of Ugliness?’, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 2011

Selected group exhibitions include:

  •          ‘Things Things Say’ Fabra i Coats: Contemporary Art Centre of Barcelona, 2020
  •          ‘The Lie of The Land’ MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, 2019
  •          ‘British Art Show 8’, 2015 - 2017.
  •          ‘4.543 Billion. The Matter of Matter’ CAPC, Bordeaux, 2017
  •          ‘Relatively Absolute’, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire, 2013.
  •          ‘East International’, Norwich, 2009.

In 2005 he won the Observer Hodge Photography Prize and in 2009 he was the joint recipient of the East International prize.

More about Stuart

Dr Linda Stupart

Lecturer in Fine Art

Linda Stupart is an artist, writer, and educator from Cape Town, South Africa. They completed their PhD at Goldsmiths in 2016, with a project engaged in new considerations of objectification and abjection. 

They are interested in the possibilities for writing and making discrete grounded encounters with different kinds of bodies (of knowledge, objects, affect as well as corporeal bodies) as a way to think through less alienated ways of living and thinking together. This comes out of encounters with feminist art, postcolonial, ecological, queer and affect theory, as well as embodied and object-based critical institutional encounters. 

Their current work consists of writing, performance, curation, sculpture, drawing, and installation and engages with science fiction, environmental crises, magic, language, desire, and revenge.

More about Linda

Alis Oldfield

Lecturer

Alis Oldfield is an artist whose practice is inherently multidisciplinary, using varying means to immerse the viewer in constructed worlds. Focussing on willing suspensions of disbelief, her work plays with the fictions we create for ourselves. Revealing their own construction, these worlds cultivate friction between fiction and reality – examining the edges of belief.

More about Alis

Lee Hewett

Lecturer in Fine Art and Art and Design

Lee is an artist, designer, researcher and lecturer who works across a range of disciplines including sculpture, books/publications, web technologies, photography and moving image. Lee has worked on a range of funded research projects, edited journals and also has teaching experience covering a broad range of levels and subject areas including Fine Art, Art and Design and MA modules. He is currently undertaking a practice-led PhD at the Royal College of Art.

More about Lee

Gareth Proskourine-Barnett

Lecturer and Level 4 Co-ordinator

Gareth Proskourine-Barnett is an artist, researcher and lecturer. His multi-disciplinary practice investigates our relationship to place, documenting landscapes and environments altered by human intervention. Since graduating with an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins in 2011 he has worked on a range of self-initiated and commissioned projects, taken part in artist residencies and delivered workshops internationally. Alongside his personal practice Gareth collaborates with other designers and writers on publishing projects under the name Tombstone Press. His work has been exhibited at museums and galleries in the UK, Russia, India, Thailand and the USA. Gareth has given guest lectures about his work at institutes including the Royal College of Art, Brighton University of the Arts and Silpakorn University in Bangkok. 

Gareth is currently working towards a PhD at the Royal Collage of Art in the department of Critical and Historical Studies. His practice-led research looks to cyberspace to provide a territory in which the ruins of Brutalist Architecture can be excavated and (re)imagined to (re)claim and (re)locate the utopian ambition of past gestures.

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Dr Catherine Baker

Associate Professor

Dr Catherine Baker studied Fine Art at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design followed by an MA in Drawing at Wimbledon School of Art, completing her PhD by Publication in 2012.

As a practising artist and researcher, she has lectured widely and participated in a number of international drawing initiatives including being invited to be International Artist-in-Residence at the prestigious National Art School in Sydney, Australia. Her contributions to publications on drawing and drawing research include books, journals, exhibitions and conference outputs. Her early research involved working within scientific domains with neuroscientists with whom she shared an interest in the neurobiology of the eye. Baker’s research involved investigating the active process of drawing as a physical and perceptual encounter, this work involved working with a vision scientist measuring eye movements. Her interest in this encounter as a phenomenological consideration developed as she investigated the relationship between the observer and the observed entity.

Baker continues to be concerned with the interface between Art and Science and is currently International Guest Editor with a colleague form the University of Bristol for Leonardo, the world-leading organisations for Art, science and Technology.  After being invited to undertake a residency at a cutting-edge Clinical Research Imaging Centre in 2010 her research began to focus on interdisciplinary approaches that crossed into health and the geosciences. Her work has been widely exhibited, including; Australia, Italy, Germany, China and across the UK featuring in both art galleries and at major science festivals.

As a senior academic Baker has taught in a number of UK HEI’s, holding positions of leadership in both research and teaching practice. Central to her own research and her approach to learning is interdisciplinarity. Baker has worked across multiple disciplines throughout her career and is currently leading a project in Scotland working with a leading printmaking institution, horticulturalists, a human geographer and an award-winning paediatric spinal surgeon. This ambitious multi-partnered project signifies her ongoing awareness of the value and impact that researching across boundaries can provide. Amongst other outputs this work will be realised through two substantial exhibitions in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2020.  Along with her project in Scotland where she is PI she is working with young music composers in Birmingham to develop an audio work using the sounds of diagnostic imaging processes to accompany recent film work involving patients.

Since 2015 she has worked closely with Kimberley Foster to form a collaborative drawing practice Inappropriate Collisions and a student-centred drawing programme The Drawing Exchange. This partnership allows for an ongoing critical questioning of drawing practices and the boundaries of collaborative practice and instruction.

More about Catherine

Jennifer Wright

Senior Lecturer in Fine Art

Jennifer Wright is an artist and Senior Lecturer, with an extensive history of visiting and examining Fine Art courses in England and Holland. Trained as a painter, but now working in a range of handcrafted and digital mediums Jennifer has exhibited both in the UK and internationally since graduating from the M.A. Fine Art course at Birmingham.

Jennifer has developed an expanded art practice that has included site-specific installation addressing design and pattern in domestic interiors. She was co-founder and co-curator of The Pattern Lab, an artist collective researching the history and application of pattern in art and design with a focus on textiles and concern for working with archives of different kinds. In particular, this research addresses how such processes are used in or shape contemporary domestic environments. Her work involves using a variety of media, investigating how various processes translate images or information differently. Research into contemporary technology has also lead to an investigation of mediums and media from the past, continuing her interest in archival material and developing her interest in media archaeology.

Jennifer has works in collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum London and The Whitworth Museum and Art Gallery Manchester.

More about Jennifer

Esther Windsor

Senior Lecturer in Fine Art and Art and Design

Esther has taught in Fine Art Theory and Practice for fifteen years. She is a curator, artist and writer and has curated at Camerawork Gallery and Darkroom, The Photographers’ Gallery, the ICA and The Royal British Society of Sculptors. Esther established two art school galleries, the waiting room, University of Wolverhampton and mirror, LCP London. She was director at Hull Time Based Arts and Co-directed, with Dallas Seitz, an artist led space 1000 000 mph, London. Her research looks at political subjectivities, femininity, re activated psychoanalytic texts and the exhibition as art work.

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John Wigley

Associate Professor Academic

John Wigley is a graduate of the Sculpture School of the Royal College of Art and scholar of the British School of Rome, with interests in film and object making, exploring temporality and ‘still lives’. He has exhibited in the UK, Europe and USA. 

He is a working artist, a maker and assembler of objects. He is interested in both the role of an artist and the intellectual and physical space required to develop and sustain a practice. 

He teaches into the undergraduate BA (Hons) Fine Art course on the first and second year Establishing and Developing Practice modules, as well as the final year Professional Portfolio module. He is also module leader for two new modules: Collaborative Project and Collaborative Practice. They introduce interdisciplinary practice, where the cross-course sharing of knowledge and skills ensure that students have the experience of working effectively in ‘mixed’ teams. It involves some innovative learning and teaching, including the use of online teaching platforms.  

More about John

Yvonne Hindle

Senior Lecturer in Fine Art

Yvonne Hindle is an experienced painter. Her most recent series of paintings, “Somewhere Adrift” and “Almost, Nearly, Not Quite” sit between representation and matter. Yvonne graduated in 1987 with an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art. Her RCA graduation exhibition was awarded a major travel award from the Painters and Strainers Guild London.

Shortly after graduating, Yvonne was the founding member of the Grand Union Studios on Vyner Street, close to where she lived in the ACME artist’s studio and housing association on Beck Road in Hackney, East London. She also had a workspace for many years at the ACME studios on Carpenters Road, Stratford, East London.

Yvonne was a regular visiting Lecturer on a number of Fine Art courses in the country before being appointed as an associate Senior Lecturer at the University of Northumbria in 1992 and soon after became acting Head of Painting in 1993-1995. She is currently based in Birmingham and is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Art Birmingham, Institute of Creative Arts.

Yvonne has been exhibited nationally and internationally and works collaboratively on projects and exhibitions as well as independently.

Recent exhibitions include:

  • 2016 “Annuale” New Art West Midlands, Article Gallery
  • 2016 “Super translations”” Gallery North Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • 2015 “Simply Painting” Inverness Museums and Galleries
  • 2015 “Simply Painting “Peacock Gallery Aberdeen
  • 2013 “Until it Breaks” Article Gallery Birmingham
  • 2012 “Diamond Armour” Article Gallery Birmingham
  • 2011 “Working Against the System” Gallery North
  • gn.northumbria.ac.uk Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • 2011 “Working Against the System“ part 2; Transitiongallery.co.uk London
  • “Somewhere in the Distance” Bangkok H Gallery Bangkok
  • “Lost Horizons” Article Gallery, Birmingham

More about Yvonne

Dr. Lisa Metherell

Senior Lecturer in Art and Design

Lisa holds a B.Soc.Sci. in Media, Culture and Society, an M.A. in Fine Art and a Ph.D. in Art and Design. Lisa is an artist and lecturer specialising in the relationship between practice and theory within Art and Design.  Her funded research through art practice PhD: ‘Glittering Orientations: Towards a non-figurative queer art practice’, was completed in April 2014.   Lisa is currently directing her attention to what slips by exploring (dis)orientation and how we might experience provisional embodiments through encounters with non-representational art. Her work is particularly informed by the tensions between queer theory and phenomenology and how what we 'know' might be usefully troubled by what we 'feel'. Other interests include fabulation, secret languages, vulnerability and critical design. She also writes about werewolves.

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Franziska Schenk

Senior Lecturer in Fine Art

Franziska Schenk is an artist and researcher with an MA in Fine Art (with Distinction) and First Class Honours degrees in Fine Art (Birmingham City University), and in Art Education (Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt). A well-qualified, experienced Lecturer in Fine Art at Birmingham City University and Honorary Research Associate at the University of Birmingham.

She is initiator of, and principal investigator on, funded art and science projects focusing on the conversion of nature’s iridescent colour to the painter’s palette – thereby introducing flow, dynamism, transience and an evolutionary element into painting.

More about Franziska