UWTSD, in collaboration with Axisweb, provides innovative range of virtual and physical platforms for Fine Art students after degree shows cancelled due to Covid 19


01.04.2020

When Final Year Fine Art students, at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art, had their planned public showcase cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak Professor Sue Williams, the Course Manager in Fine Art: Studio Site & Context, decided she was going to look for alternative solutions.

UWTSD, in collaboration with Axisweb, provides an innovative range of virtual and physical platforms for its Fine Art students after degree shows cancelled because of Covid 19

Professor Williams has forged a collaboration between the UWTSD Swansea College of Art and Axisweb, the primary online platform for visual artists in the UK, (Professor Williams sits on the board for Axisweb). The remit of the collaboration will be to deliver the most exciting possible culmination to a three year degree course and to create a strong base from which the students can launch their careers as artists.

The collaboration will result in, not one, but a whole range expressive platforms for the students work, each of which will be tied tightly into the particular requirements of each individual student. These platforms will include an online presence, social media campaigns and publishing based outcomes.

Professor Williams said:  “With a lot of students facing the consequences of exhibition closures and cancellations, it is important to be innovative and this is exactly what we in Fine Art Swansea are doing with Axisweb in order to support the students through such unprecedented times and to ensure the sustainability of their art practice.

“Visual art is a tool for taking on the challenges of change and social action and through this platform, the Safe House Project is already activating change within the way the students are responding to COVID 19 and its forced parameters. This is the time when all fine art students would normally be preparing for their degree shows, a very important and physical presence within the Swansea community.

“Through Safe House Project we are enabling the students to develop an online presence, it will not replace the exhibition but it will support the students in condensing their processes over the last three years. Not a conventional representation of their work but a continued line of enquiry that enables them to contextualise their work to date, find the right virtual space and be well prepared for their future physical joint exhibition at some later date.”

With the support of Professor Williams and the Fine Art team, all third years have created SAFE_HOUSEPROJECT on Instagram, with the support of Axisweb, where they are showcasing and revealing unique dialogues amongst themselves. A representative from Axisweb is also remotely supporting first and second year Fine Art students with their work too.

Professor Williams added: “Our Fine Art course is where all students learn to work with an expansive range of materials, media, concepts and philosophies. The studios are unique powerhouses for learning a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary opportunities. I believe that students who complete the Fine Art course in Swansea, experience and gain confidence in many skill sets and with the valuable support and profiling that Axisweb offer, they gain further understanding on how to progress into a non-academic life. Through Axisweb the students continue to develop their written skills, to understand the on-line presence within an integral cultural platform. This is a multi-layered support opportunity that reflects the diversity, potentialities and dialogues within the Fine Art world.”

Third year UWTSD Fine Art student Owain Sparnon said: “The Safe House Project has meant I've had to create works in a limited space with limited resources and I've gained so much in doing so. I've been struck by unexpected inspirations which have come from unusual sites and I've learnt not to be selective and to adapt to whatever I've come across.  It's been an excellent challenge and I'm excited to see to where my work will go next as a result of this.”  

Mark Smith, Director of Axisweb said: “Our aim is to help prepare art students with the transition from academia to professional practice. Our programme of work with Professor Williams and Swansea College of Art provides students with access to practicing artists and curators, giving them an awareness of context and understanding of the ways they can develop a sustainable practice. Our work with Swansea College of Art is part of Axisweb’s long term development programme for creating better ways to support students and recent graduates.”

UWTSD, in collaboration with Axisweb, provides an innovative range of virtual and physical platforms for its Fine Art students after degree shows cancelled because of Covid 19

Note to Editor

Axisweb

Axisweb is a platform for Artists. We create the space artists need to support, document and present artistic expression to local, national and international audiences.

A registered charity, founded in 1991 for ‘the advancement of education of the public by promoting and developing the understanding and appreciation of the visual arts in the UK’.

We are independent and self-financed through our growing membership (5,000 + artists), donors and charitable trading operations.

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Tel: 01792 483695

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Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk