Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport & Tourism visits Fine Art department at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art


The Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport & Tourism has visited UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art this week (March 11 2019) where he met with students from the University’s Fine Art degree course.

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Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM was welcomed by Professor Sue Williams, Fine Art Course Director and her colleague Professor Tim Davies. He then met with Professor Ian Walsh, Dean of Faculty and Caroline Thraves, Head of the School of Fine and Media Arts, before receiving a tour of the Fine Art department.  During the tour Lord Elis Thomas spoke with students who provided him with an eclectic view of expertise from painting, drawing, video, installation and site-specificity work.

Following the visit, Lord Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport & Tourism commented:  “I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit UWTSD’s Swansea College of ArtIt was a fascinating tour and it’s quite clear that Studio practice is at the core of the teaching here, where students have an opportunity to explore and develop their ideas through a wide range of material practices - painting, drawing, sculptural practice, video, sound, installation and performance.

It was also interesting to hear more about how the relationship between the Fine Art department and Swansea has developed over many years, resulting in a number of UWTSD’s graduates developing artists' studios and gallery complexes in the city.”

UWTSD’s Fine Art degree course at Swansea College of Art has an established reputation of excellence in the visual arts field where the course gives students access to their own dedicated studio space, as well as a range of excellent facilities, including wood, metal and ceramic workshops, camera stores and Mac suites.  Students are taught by internationally practising and recognised artists which ensures the course enjoys an excellent working relationship with local and national galleries and museums, where there are opportunities to participate in residencies, internships and training and mentoring activities to help develop their careers.

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Professor Sue Williams said:

“Today, we had the pleasure of introducing Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas to our Fine Art course here in Swansea College of Art UWTSD. Professor Tim Davies and myself took Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas on a tour of our studios where he met a number of students who engaged him in conversations about their work and greatly impressed him with their enthusiasm, energy and passion.

We were also pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate how the title of the course Studio, Site and Context is indicative of our teaching methods and ethos that in many ways makes our course unique amongst comparative courses elsewhere.

He seemed especially impressed by our provision of studio spaces for each student where they have the freedom to explore and develop their individual practice.

Lord Dafydd is no stranger to all of us staff and felt the teaching of fine art students by lecturers who are internationally recognised artists gave the course its core integrity and he became particularly animated when we as a group discussed the relevance and context of art education as having a pivotal role within culture in its broader sense.

The visit was immensely enjoyed by both the students and staff.”                           

Caroline Thraves Head of the School of Fine and Media Arts said;

“We were delighted to welcome and host the Deputy Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD. The visit provided an opportunity to showcase the excellent provision we have for Fine Art students who study BA Fine Art: Studio, Site and Context and MA Fine Art here at the University.  Programme Director for Fine Art Professor Sue Williams led the discussions and emphasised the importance of Fine Art education in Wales. 

We’d like to thank Lord Elis-Thomas for his time today and the interest he showed in our work here at the Swansea College of Art.”

Professor Ian Walsh, Dean of UWTSD Swansea College of Art added:

“I was very pleased to have the opportunity to meet with Lord Ellis-Thomas today and to discuss the provision that we have for Fine Art practice here at the Swansea College of Art. We’re committed to maintaining a strong focus on delivering the very best experience for our students. Our Fine Art staff are passionate about teaching and provide a supportive studio-based experience to all the students.  Indeed, our Fine Art degree is taught by internationally practising and recognised artists, which draws the professional world closer to the students’ educational experience.”

This year, UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art, has been ranked 16th overall out of all UK universities for ‘art and design’ courses in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.  The faculty secured a total score of 92.9 out of 100 in a range of areas which included ‘student satisfaction with teaching quality’ and ‘student experience’ as well as ‘graduate prospects’, ‘research quality’ and ‘entry points’. 

For further information regarding the University’s Fine Art provision at Swansea College of Art please click on

DET Visit 3

Further Information

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