Professional practice

Professional Art Practice Courses in London & Online

City Lit’s advanced professional practice area offers a range of one-day workshops, which you can pick and mix to design your own programme of learning. New for autumn 2020, these will provide the skills and knowledge you need to take your creative practice further, (as well as some that might pique your interest), in the following areas:

Technical fundamentals and skills: the core technical competencies and underpinning technologies and processes we rely on: how to document, archive and present your work at its best.
Business and commercial skills: working with clients over a brief; promoting and selling your work; running studio or a creative practice; safeguarding your intellectual property; getting to grips with finances; costing your time effectively.
Theory, research and knowledge exchange: how to talk or write about your own work, including statements for applications; research questions and methods – of particular interest to those interested in theory, and in formal research.
Society, culture and ethics: the social dimensions and contexts of art and design. This covers artistic communities, making work consistent with your values, and examining art and ideas in historical and contemporary contexts.
Presentation and delivery: technical skills in creating presentations, structuring proposals and presenting to an audience. It’s all about communicating – clearly, confidently and effectively.

Many of these workshops are available for enrolment now, with many more coming in the next few months, all designed and delivered by many of our most experienced tutors across the School of Visual Arts. They will enhance your capabilities and support your learning on other courses you are currently studying, and you can sign up for just one, or as many as you like.

Keep checking back as the number of workshops and subject coverage increases. You are certain to find something that will help you.

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  1. Artist talk: Emilia Netto - Inspiration and the design process: how the design process can lead to unique outcomes
    Course Date:  Mon 28 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Join Emilia Sutherland Netto, designer and maker behind the jewellery brand Ember & Ore. Emilia has a BA Hons Contemporary Crafts degree from Plymouth College of Art. She has worked in the jewellery industry since 2012 in various manufacturing capacities and has taught jewellery making since 2013. More recently she has obtained two diplomas in CAD/CAM with an emphasis on jewellery manufacture. Emilia believes in using a mixture of modern and traditional manufacture and design techniques to achieve highly detailed and sculptural outcomes.



    In this talk Emilia will discuss the sources of inspiration behind her work and the various stages of her design process. With useful approaches, techniques, and a live demonstration this talk will be valuable to all with an interest in art and design.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £5.00 Senior fee £5.00 Concession £5.00
  2. Artist talk: Hilary Rosen - Greek Mythology in paint and print
    Course Date:  Mon 28 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Hilary Rosen trained at the Royal College of Art where she was a prize winner. She lives and works in London. On leaving the Royal College of Art, she has taught at City Lit and various arts schools around the country. She has a studio in East London and exhibits internationally as well as having work in many national and international collections. Hilary teaches watercolour, oil painting and drawing (including life drawing and painting). Her subject matter for her work draws from a number of themes, including cityscapes, still lives and the relationships of people to one another. She explores these themes through the media of oil painting, drawing and printmaking. Hilary is inspired by Greek Mythology, and this talk is based on her own work and that of other visual artists who have explored this subject through their work. In this talk, Hilary also discusses the construction of the monoprint by combining lino prints, stencils and layering.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £5.00 Senior fee £5.00 Concession £5.00
  3. Artist talk: Adam Hogarth - DIY culture in Contemporary Art
    Course Date:  Mon 28 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Influenced by the DIY ethos associated with 1970's Punk culture, Adam Hogarth will talk about its legacy and the way it has helped influence his outlook on making artwork.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £5.00 Senior fee £5.00 Concession £5.00
  4. Artist talk: Carol Justin Wilhide - A history of Japanese woodcut
    Course Date:  Tue 29 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This inspiring talk by artist and printmaker Carol Wilhide Justin will introduce you to the fascinating history and development of Japanese ukiyo-e prints during the Edo period. Find out about how Japan was almost totally cut off from the rest of the world for almost 250 years and uncover the beauty of their ukiyo-e prints that were eventually opened up to the West in 1865. Discussing selected prints this conversation will explain how Japanese ukiyo-e prints electrified contemporary artists and paved the way for Modern Art.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £5.00 Senior fee £5.00 Concession £5.00
  5. Artist talk: Bettina Reiber - Painting in the Wild
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 1 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    I paint outdoors. I go to wild places, the Alps, the rugged coast of Devon, caves where Stone Age people created their figurines and flutes 40,000 years ago. I connect with spirit, animals come and engage and teach me, I breathe the air, brave the storms and fall gladly into the expanse without losing my footing. From these immersions stem my paintings. Images come through that resonate with the web of life. Let me take you on a journey and show you my studios in the wild, paintings I create out there and let me give you a taste of the world view that informs my approach.



    I love sharing my passion for art, and teach occasionally at the City Lit, at Central St. Martins (UAL) and in my own capacity as a mentor and in group settings in the woods.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £5.00 Senior fee £5.00 Concession £5.00
  6. Artist talk: Chris Gray: What is Art School? Education through the ages
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 2 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Art schools have changed dramatically from the Renaissance era of apprentices studying under the guise of the master to the liberal expressive freedoms that students enjoy today. In this talk, Artist Chris Gray will take you through the historical developments and transitions, presenting a lineage between these 2 seemingly separate worlds. Drawing on his own personal experiences as a student that moved from contemporary to traditional art education, this talk will truly highlight if there are lessons we can learn from the schools of old.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £5.00 Senior fee £5.00 Concession £5.00
  7. Is meaning inevitable? Intention, action and interpretation
    Course Date:  Fri 2 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Does every creative act have meaning? Is there a statement – conscious or unconscious – inherent in everything we do as artists? Should we interpret or analyse what we see, what we do, what we’ve done? In this one-day workshop, we will examine a range of specific works, considering the question of whether and how meaning has been embedded (intentionally or otherwise) and can be identified and interpreted. This will, to some degree, touch on how individuals and societies make and ascribe meaning, perhaps as an attempt to process and come to terms with, for example, otherwise seemingly arbitrary events like a natural catastrophe or suffering. We will discuss and workshop these themes in the larger group, draw on examples presented, and the experiences of the members in the group. Other questions that may be considered include: discerning meaning as an attempt to find order in chaos, and whether or what we might lose by attempting to impose meaning, by attempting to explain within the confines of critical analysis, that which may, in fact, be critical to the character or intention of a work of art.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  8. Artist talk: Grant Smith - Photographing the City: Challenges and changes in the City of London
    Course Date:  Mon 5 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A talk by Grant Smith, photographer and tutor at City Lit. Smith has been photographing the City of London over the last 30 years and has enjoyed different perspectives on our historic centre. With photographs of buildings from Wren to Rogers, this illustrated talk will take you on a visual journey through the City of London architecture.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £5.00 Senior fee £5.00 Concession £5.00
  9. Artist talk: Suzanne Caines - Drawings/Installation of a meaningful location non-place
    Course Date:  Mon 5 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Conversations on meaningful locations transformed into drawings and large-scale installation pieces. This work was a durational project, where the studio-gallery/site-specific context became a live ‘laboratory’ for collaborative exploration. The exhibition was held at Saint Mary's Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada (2011) at the end of an artist’s residency. It makes visible elided histories and exposes marginal or oppressed experiences. Working with archives is one of the tactical moves in a strategy of decolonialisation; a political praxis-poesis to reclaim certain images and positions that would otherwise not be visible".

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £5.00 Senior fee £5.00 Concession £5.00
  10. Artist talk: Rosie James - Stitch Draw
    Course Date:  Mon 5 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Rosie James is a textile artist working with machine embroidery and screen printing to create narrative works. Focusing on crowds and figures, she uses stitch to create drawings, leaving loose threads and lines. She teaches all over the world running workshops, and at City Lit, running a masterclass in the summer.



    This talk looks at illustrative narrative in embroidery looking at all sorts of examples from the Bayeux tapestry to the work of contemporary textile artists.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £5.00 Senior fee £5.00 Concession £5.00
  11. Artist talk: Tanvi Kant - Textile Tales: Personal and collective histories
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 6 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tanvi Kant’s textile jewellery practice began by unpicking the woven threads of her mother’s silk sari in 2004. Looking for ways to prolong the life of fabrics and clothing no longer worn she developed sculptural cords through wrapping, coiling, knotting and stitching. She began delivering workshops alongside solo exhibitions of her work and now has over 13 years’ experience in delivering workshops within a variety of settings including galleries, museums, higher education, women's charities and residential care homes. She has been a jewellery tutor with City Lit since 2013. Her practice demonstrates how readily available materials can be transformed with unashamedly simple techniques. In this illustrated talk, Tanvi will follow multiple threads traversing both personal and collective narratives that intersect with her practice. Join us this evening to hear and see how a sari in the mid-west of the USA, microscopic worlds, cotton spinning in Lancashire and an empowered social reformer in British India spin together in expected and unexpected ways.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £5.00 Senior fee £5.00 Concession £5.00
  12. Reflecting on exhibitions: intention and experience
    Course Date:  Tue 6 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    How important is contextual knowledge when looking at art? To what extent, for example, do we need to understand the historical and political context of the time, or to know the biographical details of the artist? How do we apply such knowledge, and our own experience, in making informed subjective opinions of works of art?



    This workshop will build on some of these fundamental questions and assumptions, to examine how the visual arts are presented, and encountered. Alongside the context, environment, and design/production values of an exhibition, we will consider the target audience, visitor experience, accessibility, and so on. Beyond these questions, we will also consider a number of factors related to public policy and accountability. For example, how does the Arts Council assess the 'Artistic Quality' of the work it funds, and what are its criteria for assessing funded exhibitions, in terms of fulfilling their values (education, public engagement and access)?



    Referring to real case studies (either physical or virtual), the group will present and discuss experiences of visiting exhibitions or encountering works of art in specific contexts, and how these have informed, enlightened or affected individual thinking or practice, and served the needs of artist, exhibitor and audience.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  13. Artist talk: Michael Harding - No Man's Land
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 7 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Michael Harding is a fine art photographer whose work primarily addresses urban landscapes and the built environment, where he explores subtle physical tensions between elements. His recent work has evolved into diptychs which contrast different perspectives of the same scene, examining viewpoint and time shifts.



    Michael also enjoys a professional practice working on projects for a range of blue-chip companies, photographing faces, places and spaces around the world.



    Michael will talk about his artistic evolution, discussing pioneering work by photographers such as Walker Evans, Lewis Hine and Dorothea Lange, and how these have influenced him. He will explain how his work has developed over time and now focuses on a filmic approach exploring the hidden narratives within the built environment. This will be an interactive talk with Q&A’s.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £5.00 Senior fee £5.00 Concession £5.00
  14. Artist talk: Heidi Wigmore - Extreme life drawing: strippers, shibari and the ballet
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 8 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Heidi Wigmore is a visual artist with a drawing-based practice; dynamic female figures are prominent in her work. She has led 'live drawing' events in all kinds of spaces and places, from the Coliseum, Sadlers Wells and Tate Liverpool, to the ‘House of Hackney’ Shoreditch showroom, a tent at Port Eliot and a beach-side stage in the Virgin Islands...all the way to the Royal Academy's historic Life Room. In this illustrated talk she will describe how she is inspired by the 'live charge' of drawing the performative body and how it invigorates her studio practice. From sketchbooks to large scale banners and billboards, her work explores the perceived common language between contemporary strippers, classical ballet dancers, the extreme contortion of Shibari performers and the female nude of western art. Heidi is the Life and Portrait Coordinator and Fine Art tutor at City Lit.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £5.00 Senior fee £5.00 Concession £5.00
  15. Presenting and exhibiting: photographing your work 1
    Course Date:  Fri 9 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Photographing your work properly is important, whether for the purposes of promotion, for your own records, or to document your own exhibitions or installations. While smartphones offer convenience and immediacy, and allow us to share images instantly, to our audiences on social media and potentially anyone around the world, there is much more to consider both in terms of equipment and set-up, if you want to document and archive your creative work to a professional standard.



    In this one-day workshop, approaching from the perspective of the exhibiting artist, craftsperson or designer, we address the factors involved in documenting your work for or in an exhibition, and demystify the process to ensure you will always be able to obtain images of your work that serve as a faithful reference even after you have sold the original piece. We cover selecting lenses and filters to ensure an appropriate image quality; use of appropriate photographic equipment and why you need to ensure appropriate lighting and metering; understanding and selecting camera modes and settings to ensure appropriate image quality; why is your smartphone is not good enough to document your work to the standard required (although it can still have a role in the documentation process)



    Although not a requirement, this workshop will be of particular benefit to those who are also doing VPP850-1 Presenting and exhibiting: curatorial perspectives.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00

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