Advanced Art Practice Courses in London & Online

City Lit Advanced Practice is home to our advanced courses from across all subject areas in Visual Arts. In many cases, this means well established courses of a year or longer, with outstanding reputations for preparing students for study at Masters level, or for careers as creative practitioners. Equally, some of our advanced courses are short, intensive workshops, focused on specific aspects of professional practice. The advanced level of study and focus on professionalism are the common characteristics of all advanced practice courses.

We have several new courses, recently launched, with more in development, that build on our long-standing fine art and contemporary craft provision to bring traditional practices up to date and ensure learners have the relevant skills for the contemporary creative industries. We are also introducing new courses in contemporary media and communications-based creative practices, to ensure that our advanced provision continues to provide alternatives to the mainstream higher education route across a wide range of subjects.

In addition to our expanding range of advanced long courses, a new and growing range of advanced professional practice workshops will be available (from October 2020), aimed at providing support, skills and context, and developing communities of practice. These workshops can be taken individually, according to need or interest, or as complementary components of your own, self-designed modular course. Alongside our subject specific courses, these will provide you with the skills, knowledge and connections you need to take your advanced creative practice forward.

Many of our courses are delivered online. For more information about our live online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

Any questions? Contact our visual arts team on visual.arts@citylit.ac.uk or call us on 020 7492 2700, Monday to Friday between 10am-12pm or 2pm-4pm.

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  1. Art is for now: temporary and situation-specific creative practice

    Course Date: Fri 4 Dec 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Conventional notions of artworks as physical objects, which imply considerations of authorship, ownership and the spectator, are opposed in many senses by artworks and practices that are predicated on impermanence, or which subvert expectations due to the location or context in which they are encountered. This professional practice workshop is an opportunity, through a combination of presentation, and the participatory exchange of ideas and perspectives, to consider alternative modes of practice, and the possibilities presented by art that is made in, and for, the moment. We examine different interpretations of the word ‘temporary’, including concepts of relative duration, the ephemeral, and man-made demarcations, and look at specific examples of work by artists including Fluxus, Beuys, Kaprow, Collective Actions, Brugera, Marina, Goldsworthy and Tempest. We also consider our own work and ideas in relation to a range of concepts and examples of practice in which the ‘product’ is not necessarily an ‘art object’, which prioritise the act or event over what we might call the output, or in which impermanence or mutability are significant factors. These include; Merz; auto-destructive art; actions and events; sound sculpture; performance; land art.

    The workshop begins with some participatory exercises, and it will be helpful to have a small selection of drawing implements to hand, and a selection of materials of your choosing (eg: paper, card, cardboard boxes, tape, ruler, string or wire, a cutting mat or hardboard…).

    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

  2. The creative industries

    Course Date: Tue 8 Dec 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Creativity is one of the areas in which the UK retains a leading position, globally, and much is made of the importance of the ‘creative economy’, and its value to the country. But what exactly are the co-called ‘creative industries’ we hear so much about? What is the value of ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’ to the national and global economy, and does this extend beyond the overtly ‘creative’ pursuits of art, design and entertainment? How is so-called ‘creative thinking’ central to business, industries and services? In many countries around the world, the benefits of approaches to learning that are central pillars of ‘creative education’ are increasingly recognised in terms of their value in developing fully-rounded learners, and citizens. This workshop examines these questions, and considers the value of creative education in the context of a series of disciplines predicated on thinking related to solving problems, and its relevance for all aspects of contemporary life.

    For this workshop, you will need to have access to A3 or A4 plain paper, and a range of coloured marker pens, as well as a notebook.

    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

  3. Open source software and platforms for creative communities

    Course Date: Wed 9 Dec 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Open source software provides alternatives to virtually all the available commercial creative software, apps and platforms. It is generally free, or otherwise considerably less expensive than the commercial products, and, while generally less widely-used than what we might consider to be the giant 'industry standard' titles, generally benefits from an extensive and committed developer base, who tend to have a more generous attitude towards the community of users, and to be responsive to security issues through updates, patches and so on. This workshop provides a discussion space to: introduce the principles of open source software and the developer community; survey and consider the available options for creative software; examine how alternatives to the standard commercial software titles can help users address concerns related to privacy, personal data and security. It also looks at the value of open source as an alternative to the uncertainty of subscription-based licensing, and the potential future risk, within the commercial model, of being prevented from using software titles you have paid for, when they are no longer the latest version, or being frozen out from accessing your own work if your subscription expires.

    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

  4. The artist's statement

    Course Date: Wed 16 Dec 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Building on the ability to reflect on one’s own practice, and the identification of interests, themes and relevant contexts, this professional practice module is designed to help visual arts practitioners to develop the ability to talk or write about their own work in coherent ways, and to articulate their intention, meaning or reflection in declarative or discursive statements. All artists are required to make statements at certain times, whether for exhibition, application for funding or study. In this session, we examine and discuss approaches to constructing a statement, based on specific requirements, and how to write or speak about one's work in terms of target audience, level of knowledge, and the length and depth required to articulate what work means and how it relates to ideas, themes and contexts. Although open to anyone on a standalone basis, this workshop will be of particular value to those who have completed 'Reflecting on practice' (VPP410).

    For this workshop, please select an image that you feel illustrates your 'subject'. This needn't necessarily be heavy on content, or meaning, you should just be able to make a connection between the work, and what you intend it to communicate.

    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

  5. Making a statement: how to write a strong application

    Course Date: Thu 17 Dec 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Almost everything we apply for as artists or designers has to be supported by a statement. Once we have identified that an opportunity or a proposal is right for us, we have to present a compelling case, which convinces the reader that we are a potentially suitable candidate. This is a different approach to talking about our interests or motivations as artists. In this workshop, you will learn how to consider your statement within the wider context of the application. What are the needs of the organisation behind the opportunity? How does your statement match them? This workshop will help you to see your statement from another reader’s point of view, so that you can communicate your ideas and points to the person reading it. You will learn how to consider the structure of your statement and to target it to the specific requirements of the application, whether for a course, job, residency, funding or an exhibition.

    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

  6. City Lit year of the figure and portrait: advanced

    City Lit year of the figure and portrait: advanced

    Course Date: Fri 8 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    The human form offers inexhaustible potential for communication and expression of ideas; this is an exciting advanced course for those with experience of working with the figure and/or portrait who would like the challenge of exploring new perspectives on the figurative tradition in drawing, painting and mixed media.

    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee: £1,799.00
    Senior fee: £1,439.00
    Concession: £1,097.00

  7. Developing exhibition and event proposals

    Course Date: Tue 12 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    This professional practice module, delivered by the Head of City Lit's longstanding and prestigious Fine Art course, takes you through the steps of working with a gallery to put on an exhibition, from first proposals through to installation and opening. While questions of curatorial perspectives and agendas are important, and will be considered, alongside the 'fit' of your work and your exhibition proposal to the venue and their audience, the main focus of the workshop is the practical and pragmatic aspects of working with galleries to organise and present exhibitions of your own work, or that of your group. Within the broad framework of the ‘conventional’ gallery system, discussion will cover developing your proposal, or identifying opportunities for exhibition, negotiating with galleries, building support, programming activities, generating interest and promotion. Although not the major focus of this workshop, the tie-in exhibition website and afterlife online will also be considered.

    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. Collaborative creative projects online

    Course Date: Fri 15 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Recent advances in technology and communications provide creative practitioners and communities with opportunities that, in historical terms, are unique. We have never before had the capacity to react to events and engage with issues that, in some cases for the very same reasons, can no longer be confined, in terms of their impact, to the location in which they occur. Consider, for instance, climate change, Coronavirus, the BLM movement and the global reaction to inequality and injustice. Artists and designers have at their disposal, through these same resources, the capacity to respond to these developments, and to effect change, and with this, inevitably, comes the imperative of social responsibility. This workshop looks at how creative individuals engage with notions of online or distributed models of practice and collaboration, through the production or propagation of ideas, movements, memes or artefacts, with individuals one has possibly never met, or perhaps does not even know. Besides collaboration in making, we consider the potential of social/viral media as a disruptor or organisational tool, (for example in events, happenings, flash-mobs, and organised protests or movements such as Anonymous, Occupy, XR, BLM and others).

    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

  9. Picture framing and mounting for beginners

    New Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 17 Jan 2021 (and 3 other dates)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street


    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee: £249.00
    Senior fee: £199.00
    Concession: £125.00

  10. Ethical creative practice

    Course Date: Thu 28 Jan 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    This professional practice workshop is a forum for discussion and debate: what constitutes ethical creativity? Cultural and environmental issues, among others, are central to our lives and the contribution artists and practitioners can make is vital. Can we ‘do no harm’ when we make art? Can we make art that has zero or low carbon? Where are our materials coming from? How do history or political movements impact on us and how might we reflect these, without appropriating from another culture? What other harmful impacts might we consider? We will examine how art can promote, reflect or reference ethical issues and causes, looking at theoretical as well as actual examples, and the wider social/cultural context. This workshop will help you develop or refine an ethical framework for your own practice, and to learn from other artists. Potential topics include: socially motivated art, gender and the gaze, ethnicity and the postcolonial, looking at artists such as Hetain Patel, Ellie Harrison, John Akomfrah, Isaac Julien and Zanhele Muholi, whose work gives us platforms to consider our own and our society’s moral and ethical positions.

    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

  11. The archive: resource and practice

    Course Date: Tue 2 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    The archive is an invaluable resource for artists and designers, without some version of which it is virtually impossible to engage in practice in any systematic way. Whether it takes the form of sketchbooks, photographs, found items and clippings, internet bookmarks, or any combination of these and other items, the archive is a tool for organising, examining and reflecting. In this professional practice module, we will look at how to create and access physical and online archives, and how to use them in both research and practice, creating and organising personal archives. Many artists use the archive as a form of art practice: we will examine this, and how it differs from other forms of archiving. We will look at multiple approaches to storing information, organising it for accessibility, and working with the tools and perspectives of the archivist or curator, as appropriate to one’s individual practice.

    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

  12. Social engagement through creative practice

    Course Date: Thu 11 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    The spectrum of socially engaged arts practice ranges from a long term intimate arts project in a community with 6 participants to nation-wide works such as Jeremy Deller’s ‘We Are Here Because We Are Here’, 2016, or Steve McQueen’s ‘Year Three’, 2019, with its focus on the 7 and 8 year old children (the future adults) of London. This type of art-making practice is not new, but is deployed in different ways. We will discuss what we mean by this, and consider the aims and value of socially engaged art. We will examine its origins and development and look at the work of artists such as Rabab Ghazhoul, John Newling, Yara & Davina and Somewhere, who work with participants as part of the creative process with different outcomes and impact.

    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. Develop a personal project

    New
    Course Date: Mon 15 Feb 2021 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: Online
    Enabling you to develop your ideas as you explore and circle a theme for an original project. You will be technically and conceptually supported as you use personal sources, experimentation, research and review.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £229.00
    Senior fee: £229.00
    Concession: £140.00

  14. Fringe, street and festival arts: celebration and participation

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 20 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Street and/or festival arts have a history that can be traced back thousands of years, either as spontaneous celebrations or highly organised and ceremonial events. Activities of this type often draw on connections to the area, and to specific local and cultural traditions that go back generations, or have been introduced more recently with diasporas of various kinds, and, in so doing, have become part of the local culture and tradition. They can appear largely unplanned, or highly planned, but in either case, as with so much else in the present times, funding and support considerations are important. In this workshop, we look at some of the practical aspects of fringe, street and festival arts, including developing your initial proposal, planning and logistics, working with local authorities, groups and media. We also take a more playful and speculative look, in more general terms, at the possibilities of art and events that engage or surprise the public, considering theoretical interventions or disruptions in the urban environment.

    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

  15. Developing communities of practice 2

    Evening
    Course Date: Fri 26 Feb 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    What is a creative community? What does it mean to be part of a group of artists, designers or creative people? Communities maintain viability and relevance in ways that individuals can often struggle to achieve. Remaining a relevant part of the art world and engaging with issues with wider social significance is often easier as a collective, and arts organisations of all sizes increasingly emphasise the importance of groups, and their social relevance. This workshop, led by City Lit’s print area coordinator, examines experience gained working within the printmaking world, and establishing communities that have a life extending beyond the end of studies, exhibitions or projects. The workshop is relevant, however, to artists and designers of all kinds. In the second workshop in this series, building on research or previous experience, we examine these question in greater depth, with a greater emphasis on case studies, and consider their social and economic impact, including a visit (in person or online, depending on circumstances) to an artistic community. Although not a requirement, this workshop will be of particular benefit to learners who have already completed the introductory ‘Building communities of practice 1’ (VPP661).

    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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