3D3 Centre for Doctoral Training Collaborative PhD Studentship

Digital Transformations: The History and Future of Gallery Education in the Context of Participatory Media

Starting Monday 1 October 2018.

The deadline for applications is Monday 12 March 2018.

About the studentship

Arnolfini Centre for Contemporary Arts

Arnolfini is an international centre for contemporary arts in Bristol, England. It was set up in 1961 as one of the first galleries in the UK to bring the contemporary arts to regional audiences. It was also among the first mainstream galleries to integrate education into its remit, pioneering learning-through-making approaches, and a range of artist-led workshops for local schools and community groups. Since that time, creative education has been one of the most important aspects of Arnolfini’s work.  This legacy, together with the history of gallery education in the UK more broadly, is an under-researched topic.

In 2017, Arnolfini began a process of re-imagining its future role in the city, and the arts centre as cultural education institution, and is doing this by initiating an open discussion with the public via physical and digital platforms. 

Research Focus

We are recruiting a fully funded PhD student to investigate the history of gallery education in the UK, and the future role of arts organisation in generating an expanded model of cultural education and participation, drawing on international models and experimental practices. 

Exploring the approaches of Arnolfini’s education programmes from their initiation to the present day and contextualising them within wider discourses of cultural education policy and socially-engaged art practice, this project will develop original knowledge and new insights relevant to debates around:

  • The future of arts centres in the 21st century
  • The remodelling of arts education and socially-engaged arts practice via the use of digital platforms.

In line with the framework of the 3D3 Consortium, students must employ practice-based methodologies and research techniques in this project, and consider the affordances of digital design and online and/or participatory media.

A key resource for this studentship is access to Arnolfini’s extensive archive collections, held at Bristol Archives. Over 6000 items from this collection are catalogued, but very little of the material pertaining to education – including documentation, correspondence, and publicity material - has been looked at in detail.

The successful student will be expected to undertake some cataloguing, with support from Arnolfini staff. The student will also be encouraged to interview people previously involved with gallery education at Arnolfini (some of these have already been carried out and recorded) and those contributing to reshaping the centre for contemporary arts for the future.  It is expected that the student will additionally identify a selection of arts organisations leading innovation at the international level to explore and 3D3 students are eligible to apply for a limited amount of funding to support travel costs for this purpose.

The academic supervisory team will be joined by the Arnolfini’s Archive Curator, who will contribute expertise to guide work on the archive during the course of the research, as well as mentorship, access to networks etc.  In addition, Arnolfini will support the candidate in promoting public engagement around their research.

Contact information

Academic contact: Dr Gillian Swanson, UWE Co-Director 3D3 Doctoral Training Centre – Gillian.Swanson@uwe.ac.uk

Partner contact: Phil Owen, Arnolfini Archive – Phil.Owen@Arnolfini.org.uk

Eligibility and how to apply

This 3D3 studentship is only open to applicants who meet the eligibility requirements.

For further details, including information about funding, and the application process, please visit 3D3 Research.

For an informal discussion about the project, please contact the academic contact Dr Gillian Swanson (above).

Email graduateschool@uwe.ac.uk if you have any further questions about the application process.

The deadline for applications is Monday 12 March 2018.

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