Art and Ideas: Identity and the self

Course Dates: 09/01/25 - 13/02/25
Time: 18:30 - 20:30
Location: Online
This course is for students and creative practitioners interested in identity as a creative and conceptual theme. Explore and discuss ideas, theories and work by significant artists and writers to enhance and inspire the development of creative work.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £132.00

Art and Ideas: Identity and the self
  • Course Code: VB645
  • Dates: 09/01/25 - 13/02/25
  • Time: 18:30 - 20:30
  • Taught: Thu, Evening
  • Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
  • Location: Online
  • Tutor: Ian Tucknott

Course Code: VB645

Thu, eve, 09 Jan - 13 Feb '25

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This course is about us and how we understand, express, and explore ourselves through creative and visual arts. Through an engagement with set readings, as well as artistic and creative practices (including your own work if you wish), this course provides an exploration of key ideas that inform and inspire contemporary creative and cultural practice. The course is designed to enhance the thinking that underpins work in the creative arts, and is ideal for those wishing to think, research and make in relation to the world around them and key issues and debates concerning identity, race, ethnicity, gender and other key areas of contemporary identity politics.

What previous students liked most about their course:
“Innovative course for artists! Brilliant tutor, fantastic group! Material covered was approached in a very accessible way.”
“The group and the lively discussions that came out if it which continued well into the evening after the class finished”
“The reading - great material I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise”


This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

Each week will explore a different theme related to identity and the self, including:

- what is identity, and what different ways can we understand this concept?
- what does it mean to have a self?
- representations and creative explorations of identity: race, gender, sexuality and ethnicity
- identity politics and performativity
- the body
- phenomenology and the experience of the self
- technology and identity

Each session will involve a set reading or video (provided as part of the course fee via Google Classroom) which will be used to inform discussion, talks, and exploration during teaching sessions via Zoom.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Read, understand and discuss with confidence a wide range of conceptual, critical and theoretical ideas related to theme of identity
- Recognise and analyse creative practices in relation to identity, the body and related themes;
- Draw on critical and theoretical ideas and texts to enhance your own creative, critical and artistic thinking.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is for those studying or developing their creative practice, whether in art, design, craft, creative writing, performing arts, and those working in the creative sectors such as art teachers, curators or arts professionals. Ideally, you will have some prior experience in one of these areas, or be actively involved in producing creative work through study or independently with a desire to extend the conceptual basis of your work. We also welcome those who may not be practicing, but have an interest and desire to explore the subject.

You will need a good handling of written and spoken English necessary to engage with set readings and for participation in paired and group discussion. Some experience in reading theoretical texts about art and culture would be beneficial, but a willingness to read and engage with theory and build your skills is essential.

You will need access to the internet, so that you can engage with resources on our Google Classroom, as well as participate and interact in Zoom classes.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

This course will be taught via Zoom and Google Classroom, through a mixture of illustrated talks, paired and group discussion, sharing your own examples of work (if you wish), readings and videos, and visual analysis exercises. Each week you will be set a key reading to instigate discussion in class, along with a suggested reflective or creative activity.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You are encouraged to have a notebook, paper and pen to record notes from talks and discussions. You may wish to buy some of the books from the course reading list. All readings will be available digitally, however if you intend on printing the readings you will need to consider the printing costs.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You may be interested in other Art in Theory courses, exploring other themes and ideas in contemporary creative practice such as VB653 Art and Ideas: Time and Memory, or VB648 Art and Ideas: What is visual language?

You might also be interested in art history courses, or philosophy or anthropology courses within the humanities department.

Ian Tucknott

Ian is a cultural theorist and creative practitioner, with 15 years experience of teaching & managing in the areas of contemporary art, critical, cultural and communication theory, and art history. Ian has taught at City Lit for over 10 years, and has previously been Programme Manager for the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design and Art History departments, and Head of School for the Humanities & Sciences. Ian's current interests include creative learning and transformative education; contemporary art and theory; and mental health in relation to education and the arts. Alongside his teaching and management work, Ian is an arts based life coach, creative practioner and poet, and is currently training in Arts Psychotherapy.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.