Communities of Practice

  • Anne Eggebert: Senior Lecturer Stage 2 Co-ordinator, Unit 6 Leader BAFA, CSM
  • Janey Hagger: WP Progression to HE Programme, CSM

Brief description of session and activities

CSM BAFA 2 students are encouraged to recognize the potential of engaging in and developing communities of practice as a productive dialogical space for learning and making – to experience themselves as creators of knowledge valuing both subjective and objective strategies for knowing. Participating in learning as a social activity, students are challenged to consider how their engagement with context (in the broadest sense) impacts upon the production of their work and the conditions of its reception, to be responsive to environment and its contingency and open to the comparative methodology implicit in interdisciplinarity.

To support these aims they apply for one of a range of cross-pathway and outward facing projects (choosing one related to the concerns of their on-going practice) during the spring and summer terms (Unit 6 Expanding Practice). Projects with local cultural/research institutions provide practical experience of situations for research and practice and opportunities for a range of audiences to engage with the production of contemporary art. The development of long-term partnerships is constructing a network of opportunity for students and external participants (Petrie Museum, UCL; Iniva; Banner Repeater; Peckham Space; British Library; UCL Art Museum; and Wellcome Collection amongst others).

The focus of this paper is our Wellcome Collection project which widens participation with local school pupils and CSM’s WP progression to HE programme students, for whom BAFA students provide mentoring support. This is an excellent scenario for BAFA students to research and develop their own work as artists/educators. Culminating in a public event at Wellcome Collection all three groups collaboratively show and critique the resulting work. I will also touch briefly on other projects (e.g. at the Petrie Museum of Archaeology, UCL, as this cross-university project has opened discussions towards sic/art collaborative research) and the wider potential of institutional collaborations (e.g. Junction: North London Cultural Consortium).

How will students be involved in the session?

We will aim to bring a number of students to discuss the experience on working on these projects. We would also like to invite WP alumnus who has supported the project at Wellcome Collection.

What will participants take away from the session?

Knowledge of the processes of development and outcomes of collaborations between universities, cultural and research institutions with cross-disciplinary and cross-level student groups.