University of Salford BA Hons Graphic Design Final Show 2019
In previous teaching roles in other institutions, I have had the pleasure of working on final show exhibitions for both HE and FE final year students. Within the context of exploring and defining my practice as an 'artist teacher,' I saw an opportunity to embed exhibition and publication design through the UoS 2019 final show exhibition in the 'classroom as studio' model I was developing for my MA Thesis.
I co-ordinated the creative contributions of 60 students for the show and accompanying publication, developed the exhibition branding and publication concept, the production of all print collateral, colour scheme and display system for large scale A1 prints and student information in collaboration with my colleague John Newton. However, I saw an opportunity to explore the 'classroom as studio' concept in more depth in that I could invite other dual professionals to work with the students and I. The project quickly became collaborative and exciting, with staff and students working alongside each other to produce work for the exhibition and install.
Working on the exhibition from the perspective of an 'artist teacher', reflecting-in-action, I recognised the value of this work within the context of my broader practice. Taking an element of my teaching role and reflecting on it as a creative act provided more value than I had previously realised. Using this experience as an example, I then reflected on all of the exhibitions I have worked on over the last seven years where I had written off the experience as being merely part of my teaching role, I began to see it all as part of my broader practice. This was an exciting and liberating experience, I have previously experienced frustration with the lack of opportunities to explore and develop my creative practice, but within this project, I was able to see the artistic value of this element of my teaching role. I had been reducing the impact of working on an annual exhibition, not recognising the significance it held for my practice or appreciating the work I was producing in any meaningful way.