neil cummings


Sculpture classWe began, students, staff, experts and others as Exhibition Experiments.

The initial idea was, through collaboration and practice based research, to trace a history of radical exhibitions, and make an exhibition. Through weekly seminars, workshops and events our project morphed into prospectus, as our interests incorporated art education, and our own experiences of trying to perform it. 

The etymology of the word prospectus suggests to ‘look-forward’ into the future.

Of course, to pro-spect we need to trace past patterns and events, to establish where we can look from. An archaeology of art education lead us to the foundation of the first public Art and Design School of 1837, which had an exhibited collection at its heart.

Exhibitions and art school education art intimately bound.

prospectus installation detailWe traced parallel histories, encompassing a Government School of Design, Chelsea College of Art and Design, the site on which it now stands, Tate Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum, chronology as an exhibitionary dogma, radical art institutions, paradigm shifting exhibitions, breakaway pedagogical models, and much else besides.

Fragmentary, biased and anecdotal, our histories were recalled and reanimated; disciplinary and panoptic forms of education clashed with the discursive and newly dialogic.

prospectus has tried to embody our evolving research interests. We have worked cooperatively across courses, dissolved and reconstituted hierarchies, learnt through making things and making things happen.

prospectus was no ordinary exhibition, nor was it an ordinary education.

prospectus was generated by the enthusiasm and dedication of Neil Cummings, Taneesha Ahmed, Francesca Baglietto, Holly Black,Grazyna Dobrzanska-Redrup, Maria Georgaki, Courtney Grifiths, Laura Henesser, James Hedley Harper, Narasha Hoare, Amy McDonnel, Daisy McMullan, Lishi Meng and ISD students, Stamatina Liagki, Sam LO Mingshum, Feng Shao, Antoana Petkova and Laura Blenkinsop.

Thanks to Prof. David Garcia Dean of CCW Graduate School and Blanca Regina for the time-lapse moving image Prospectus document


Easelsprospectus public programme 

Tuesday 22nd May 14:00-16:00

 Prof. Stephen Farthing - 19th Century Life Drawing

Limited places, arrive early to avoid disappointment

 Wednesday 23rd May 11:00-12:30

Dr Malcolm Quinn - Enemies of the People: Henry Cole and Art Education in Britain


Contemporary Consciousness-Raising: Feminist Art Practice Now

This closed workshop will be based on the Consciousness-Raising Rules published by WEB (West East Coast Bag) in 1972. Comprising of no more than 10 women, the group will discuss a revised set of rules which encompasses contemporary questions of feminist art practice and their relation to the original suggested topics. In keeping with the historical format, only women will be invited to attend, and the workshop will take place in a private and enclosed space within the gallery.

Please note that due to restricted numbers this is an invitation only event.

Thursday 24th May 18:00-20:30 

Assembly (Private View)

Friday 25th May 14:00-16:00

Prof. Stephen Farthing - 21st Century Life Drawing

Limited places, arrive early to avoid disappointment

Saturday 26th May 11:00-12:00

not sureDelphine Bedel - Institut des Hautes Etudes en Arts Plastiques

Artist and teacher Delphine Bedel attended the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Arts Plastiques. In this talk she reflects on her experiences of the school, the role of Pontus Hulten the schools founder, and its lasting influence on contemporary art. Keeping the legacy of the Institut alive is part Delphine's practice as an artist, and she in engaged in ongoing research around the school, seeking to rethink and recontextualise it through her own class notes and other resources. 


John Beck and Matthew Cornford - The Lost World of the Local Art School

As the British government effectively privatises higher education in the arts, humanities and social sciences, this talk tours the monuments that remain (and some that do not) of the last great era in state-funded training in art and design in the UK: the time between World War II and the absorption of art schools into polytechnics and universities when institutions intended to provide artisanal training became the autonomously regulated spaces where much of British popular culture was produced and disseminated.

As recently as 1984 Simon Frith and Howard Horne could still write that in Britain 'every small town has its art school'.

This is no longer the case; while in 1959 there were 180 dedicated art and design institutions in the UK, now there are only a dozen left.

The rest of the buildings have been quietly forgotten, renovated as luxury apartments and social housing, adapted as annexes of other, larger institutions, abandoned to the elements, or demolished. Combining image and text, this talk explores the abandoned reuses sites of British art schools as the ruined markers of a lost future of unregulated creative practice.

prospectus installation detail14:15-14:45

Fay Nicolson - (In Search Of) The Perfect Lecture

I find lecture theatres fascinating.

Every time I enter one I get drawn into examining the space: its shape and scale, its age and decor, the carpet, the lighting, the handrails, the lectern...

I have been thinking a lot about lectures recently, and the spaces that they occupy. In terms of ‘space’, I mean the architectural space that contains and conditions discourse.

I also mean the wider contextual space of the lecture within models such as the college, university or museum; or the space in which meaning and narrative form, whether through a monologue, conversation or argument.

The lecture is an elusive formality.

Defining relationships, structures and spaces it attempts to establish boundaries between audience, speaker and subject that may reinforce robust narratives, encourage new meanings, spark associations or disintegrate in the chaos of mis-communication.

Where is the lecture's place in academic and creative practice and what are its possibilities as a model of communication and performance?

As an artist, Fay Nicolson traces relationships between form and content whilst pursuing an interest in the politics and aesthetics of structures and connections between art, education and documentation.


Naomi Salaman - Looking back at the Life Room

European Art academies or fine art schools set up between 1500 and 1900 had life drawing at the centre of their curriculum and the life drawing room as their significant pedagogical space.

This overlap of what was taught and what it meant institutionally was what the project Looking back at the Life Room sought to collect and investigate.

The project will also be used to think about at the present, where the absence of any clear pedagogical or intellectual centre in fine art education is hard to articulate.

Art Handling

Monday 28th May 14:00-16:00

Linda Sandino and Maria Georgaki - Education Through Objects

Dr Linda Sandino and Maria Georgaki will present a talk and handling session, Education Through Objects.

After a short induction to handling by David Garnett of Camberwell College of Arts Conservation department, the group will explore themes such as 'taste' and 'haptic' versus 'occularcentric' learning, and 'embodied knowledge' using objects from the I.L.E.A./Camberwell Collection.

Participants are invited to bring along for discussion a personal object, which they consider to be 'in good taste'.

Tuesday 29th May 14:00-16:00

Dave Beech - On the Apparatuses of Dissent

Dave Beech


See the time-lapse moving image Prospectus document, read the press release or see the original proposal
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