What does it take to make a progressive, innovative and successful art school? Today dramatic changes in the university sector, its focus on utilitarian outcomes, combined with a transformations in art making itself in this post Duchampian age raise fundamental questions about the education of young artists.

My own lineage as an art educator was through RMIT in the 90s. Emphasis was placed on ideas made and making combined with a strong supplement of continental theory influenced by the model stemming from Goldsmiths in London. Many of my peers are still exhibiting at the highest levels from that time. We were taught to avoid generalisations, to focus on particulars, to focus on the audience, to cultivate a set of questions of our own and to do so in as professional a way as possible. The conditions for this education were simple: studio based, focused around the collective, with a generous supportive and critical atmosphere that encouraged radical solutions. As Michael Craig Martin writes:

Radical art is always at the frontiers, always speculative, always too radical to be really understood initially. It changes your frame of reference.

This years third year students are engaged with these questions and are the product of this lineage. They are ambitious and it has been immensely pleasurable to work with them as they define their projects and frame their own questions. They are a determined, committed and intelligent community of artists in the making who I am confident will make a significant contribution outside the institution in the wider art-world and beyond. Third year is the culmination of an educational process designed to create the conditions in which students learn how to learn. The works exhibited range from the intimate to the grand, interrogating both the near and far in multiple discursive ways.

Many thanks to the brilliant artists and educators the students and I have had the privilege to work with this year. They are:
Brook Andrew, Michael Bullock, Cate Consandine, Tamsin Green, Lily Hibberd, Helen Johnson, James Lynch, Tom Nicholson, John Nixon, Rosslynd Piggott, Steven Rendall, Michael Vale and Rosie Weiss.

Leslie Eastman

Programme Coordinator