What is the course about?
The City Lit advanced textile art course is centred around you exploring and stretching your ideas and textile practice. You will learn new skills, and how to develop research methods, and question and reflect upon your approach to textiles, and that of others. The course is designed to take your textiles to the next level, or enable you to change direction, by offering a range of design processes, textile techniques, individual tutorial support and group discussions within a creative environment. You will explore ideas and build an individual collection of samples and finished work towards a gallery exhibition at the end of the course. Display, hanging and publicity for this show will be part of the course.
In the 20/21 session, the course runs in 4-week blocks, with blocks of either 2, 3 or 4 weeks off for holiday periods and independent study, during which you will continue to develop your work.
The team of dedicated tutors are all practicing artists and makers who offer a range of areas of expertise in textiles, and aim to create a stimulating and challenging environment enabling individual students to be supported in their chosen path.
What will we cover?
The course includes a range of approaches to textiles. The emphasis will be on developing your ideas through experimentation, sampling and visual research. To support this there will be tuition on textile processes and research methods including:
- Experimental approaches to drawing and visual research development
- Hand and machine stitch
- Print and dye
- Constructed textiles
- Mixed media
- Digital processes
You will be encouraged to critically evaluate your work and that of others and will be supported in individual and group tutorials. You will need to keep a sketchbook and conduct research into your project and the world of contemporary textiles.
During the first year of the course you will be encouraged to take on new skills, challenge your current approach to textiles, and question possibilities. You will engage with broad projects, practical workshops and will develop a short personal project. You will be encouraged to explore contemporary textile practice and the wider art and design world.
Through this practical development and reflective questioning, you will be supported to begin to direct a more in-depth personal project. In the second year you will work to expand on this individual avenue to create a meaningful body of work for public exhibition at the end of the course. You will work with your colleagues to plan and deliver this exhibition.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Employ a range of visual research methods
- Demonstrate experimental approaches to a range of textile techniques
- Develop an individual body of work
- Evaluate progress and results
- Demonstrate contextual understanding
- Select work for exhibition
- Contribute to the planning and delivery of a public group exhibition.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is for intermediate and advanced level students. You may have studied on the City Lit textiles course or equivalent. You will have some knowledge of textile processes and be willing to undertake research to further develop your knowledge. You will be familiar with using a sketchbook to receord and develop ideas. These capabilities will be evidenced through a portfolio of your recent work at an informal interview.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, understand hand-outs and follow health and safety information and guidelines. You will be expected to take part in group discussions, and should be able to use numbers to be able to do simple measurements and calculations.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The textile studio is equipped with a range of specialist equipment for you to use: Bernina sewing machines, babylock embellishers, heat press, small silk screens, monoprint and basic block printing facilities, basic dye facilities, lots of drawing equipment, specialist books and magazines, protective clothing. Some specialist sessions may also be delivered in the digital hub.
You will be taught through a series of projects, practical workshop sessions, individual and group tutorials. You will be expected to conduct research and develop your ideas and textile practice outside of the sessions.
The course is structured in blocks of 4 weeks of taught sessions, with gaps of 2 – 4 weeks of individual study in-between, in order to develop your ideas and processes, during which you will be expected to conduct research and visit museums, galleries and events.
You will be taught be a team of tutors, all of whom are practicing artists and makers.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Starter materials for all specialist workshops (dye, print, pigments, cloth, threads, drawing materials) will be provided. You will need to bring additional materials that are appropriate to your chosen area of exploration and as your project work develops. This requirement will grow as your individual direction develops, and tutors will advise on this throughout the course. You will need to provide your own sketchbooks.
Starter materials for all specialist workshops (dye / print / pigments / cloth / threads / drawing materials) will be provided. You will also need to bring additional materials that are appropriate to your chosen area of exploration and as your project work develops this requirement will grow under your individual direction. You will need to provide your own sketchbooks.
You will be expected to conduct research and visit museums, galleries and events.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may want to go on to apply for exhibiting groups, fairs or shows, to BA or MA courses, to develop your work further through independent practice, or to study one of CIty Lit's expanding range of advanced long courses.
In addition to these, you will find a new and growing range of professional practice workshops in the school of Visual Arts (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 a modular course, which you design for yourself; either way, they are there to provide you with the skills, knowledge and connections you need to take your advanced creative practice forward.