Prize winner!

The Graduate Art Prize was established in 2013 by ARTIQ and Herbert Smith Freehills. This year they shortlisted 22 artists from 100s of UK wide applicants.

Two MA Fine Art Digital students were shortlisted, Janet Waring Rago and Betty Leung.

The winner was announced at the opening of the exhibition at Herbert Smith Freehills offices in central London on Thursday 7 November…

and the winner is…

Betty Leung!

Betty wins £2000, a £500 art materials voucher from Great Art and 10 hours of specialist mentoring from ARTIQ.

Betty uses an AI (artificial intelligence) tool to combine two images, creating a third image which is printed onto fabric shapes. She is interested in exploring the interconnected themes of human behaviour, personality traits and the story of the self.

The Interpreter IV
various sizes – digital print on fabric, wire

Betty is the second winner of this award from MA Fine Art Digital after Clara Durán won in 2015.

The other MA Fine Art Digital graduate shortlisted, Janet Waring Rago had 2 of her large oil paintings selected:

Huge congratulations to both Betty and Janet.

Despite this and other great successes of this course, sadly the powers that be have decided to close MA Fine Art Digital at Camberwell College of Arts. (May 2020 update) After some long and very exciting discussions the great news is that the course is now moving to Central Saint Martins! Uniquely this course is delivered online with students living anywhere in the world. This is the longest running online course at the University of the Arts London having started in 2004, that’s before youtube even existed!

Low Residency 2018 – day 1

February 2018 – start of the latest Low Residency intensive 10 days.

We began with an inspiring and challenging talk by artist, performer and Camberwell College of Arts alumna, Jess Thom. Jess is also known as Tourettes Hero.

Quoting from their website: ‘ is a place to celebrate the humour & creativity of Tourettes.
It’s not about mocking or commiserating – it’s about reclaiming the most frequently misunderstood syndrome on the planet and… Changing the World One Tic at a Time’

Jess talked about her verbal tics, the strange and unusual combination of words that she often comes out with as a ‘random creativity generating machine’ and these were the trigger for collaborative group work for the rest of the day.

However before we got to the making, Jess discussed the ‘social model of disability’ which is in contrast to the medial or charity models of disability. The medical and charity model says people are disabled by their own impairments or differences, but the social model says people aren’t disabled by their impairments but by a failure to consider difference in the way society is organised. Jess gave an example:

‘…it’s not my tics that mean I can’t call up my Internet service provider to sort out a fault, it’s their voice-activated system that disables me and means I can’t do it myself.’

The new building at Camberwell College of Arts did allow easy access to the lecture theatre for Jess in her wheelchair, however the Fine Art Digital studio is in the old Victorian original building of the college and is completely inaccessible to a wheelchair. The good news is that the main entrance now has a long ramp instead of our old steep stairs.


So we used Toutetteshero’s tics as provocations and triggers for art making. Small groups of 4 could each choose one of more tics and create animations, films, sound or images. We had a premier of this output at 17.00 in the canteen on a large screen.

Low Residency 2017 – day 10

The final day was spent exploring some practical issues related to artistic practice and ways to address challenges.

Firstly Hannah Breslin, artist and Student Employability Practitioner at University of the Arts London ran 2 sessions looking at successful application writing for artists and what a good artist CV/Resumé looks like. After many years of applying for funding and competitions, Hannah was able to share insightful and valuable advice.

We concluded the Low Residency with an adaption of an experimental group tutorial structure that Jonathan first introduced last year. Through a guided series of steps over about 2 hours, groups of 3 students considered areas in their practice that were a problem, a challenge or not working. After sharing this in their group of 3 the other 2 group members had to simply ask open questions and not give any advice or direction. This encouraged the one sharing to listen to themselves for advice and insight. Hard to describe in this written format, it was much better to experience the session. One participant said the structure asked of generosity and understanding from those listening, rather than critique and judgement’ and that it effected (positively) both the person questioned and the questionee/s simultaneously’.

We concluded the intense but highly enjoyable 10 days with pizza in a nearby Italian restaurant.

Low Residency 2017 – day 9

A day at Tate Modern in the Tate Exchange education space. A drop in digital maker event was happening all day with several MA Fine Art Digital students involved in presenting work. Alongside this we also ran a 3 hour workshop for students and anyone else who wanted to attend, called ‘What happens if we push this?’

From an unprecedented rate of technological acceleration to climate change, fragile economies, humanitarian crises, and shifting demographics: we live in precarious times. It’s easy to feel lost or despondent in the face of our situation, but as artists and designers we have the chance to imagine a better world.

What Happens If We Push This? will explore how to breakthrough the inertia of despondency, and develop a range of responses to two of the biggest challenges facing society today: The future of energy and the future of work. Join subject experts, artists and designers to collectively make images and objects that address these challenges. You will be guided through the process of thinking, making, and doing, using methods from design-thinking to rapid prototyping.

You don’t need to be clairvoyant, mid-career artist or a climate scientist to attend this workshop. It has been created with everyone in mind. We encourage you to come and challenge yourself, in the spirit of solidarity and progress.

We started with a series of provocations and then a making session to explore the ideas further, facilitated by David Cross (Reader in Art & Design), Dr Charlotte Webb (Artist. Researcher. Bot matchmaker.), Jake Rees (Curator, futures researcher, meme-lecturer & writer), Andrew Simms (economist, author, analyst & campaigner) and Jonathan Kearney (runs this MA course).

Low Residency 2017 – day 8

Day 2 of the collaborative workshop with South Kiosk gallery in Peckham. Three groups pushed their ideas and by the late afternoon we gathered together to experience their interventions into the space. There was lots of use of the unique environment of a space built inside the gallery space. The great sound system that had been installed for the exhibition was used along with loads of mesmerising visual effects.

The very limited time meant students had to work quickly and some only saw their ‘completed’ work for the first time at the public showing. This lead to excellent discussions and feedback on each of the approaches. Two groups used the installed projectors and even added another one to reflect of the mirror effect walls, while another group blindfolded each person and invited us to experience sound and light without seeing.

Low Residency 2017 – day 7

The start of a 2 day collaboration with South Kiosk gallery in Peckham. Their current exhibition sees artist & architect Sebastian Kite build a large space within the gallery space, creating a immersive visual and surround sound installation.

After an introduction to the gallery, their previous projects and the current exhibition by gallery directors Ben James and Dave Charlesworth; Sebastian Kite talked about his installation and his influences.

Students were then invited to form groups and develop a collaborative intervention in the space over the 2 days of the project. Day 1 saw lots of experiments that slowly developed into potential ideas.

To be continued tomorrow…