Re-shaping the Art School archive

Alumni Faith Cannon, Fine Art, has been working with the Canterbury archives to look at how it can be used in art today

Images from a sculpture show at Canterbury, 1989-1990

Images from a Sculpture Show at Canterbury, 1989-90

On starting this project using the UCA archive, it has made me aware of the potential collaboration with other Alumni artists from the past, and the possibilities for students today to use resources which are at their fingertips. Sometimes when you’re on a course you get so tied up with producing work and researching you forget that others have done this before – not just the famous artist, photographer, architect- but previous students. They can be an untapped resource to the artists block, a curatorial presentation or that planning for that ever looming Degree Show!

I thought I would give you a little taster of some the items I have photographed and how I have made new work from those early images. There are possibilities for others to get involved with our collaboration to heighten the use of the archival material.

New collage of past images

New collage of past images

Images from a Degree Show Into the Unknown 2007. New collage of past images from the archive.

Images from a Degree Show Into the Unknown 2007. New collage of past images from the archive.

This Catalogue was of a really high standard and would be of interest to the 3rd year students who may be planning their own shows this year. Please take a look as it is your moment to have some super images of your work.

Canterbury archive

The archives have such a creative depth of ideas to aid your own practice and development. I decided to invite others to get involved to see how they would use the past material. We asked the question ‘How could we promote the use of the archives?’ We used a mind map to channel ideas.

 

Mind map 3Mind map 4Mind map 2Mind map 1

 

This drew many interesting possibilities. One artist wanted to do a poster to promote the archives, another sketched the shapes into a design, others photographed details and images that fitted with their own practice. I decided to research one catalogue to see how long it would be until I found a person I knew, as this followed my own practice of continuum and connections. I researched some of the artists to see if after 25 years how their practice had changed. This drew me to look at the materials, processes and how they had evolved. I decided to sketch some of the images to see how the 3D sculpture would have been seen in a 2D form. Those initial ideas that artist create from pen on paper.

This collaboration between the past/present drew me to experiment with the images to see how I could manipulate them to create something new, and the research aspect fuelled the connections element of my practice – and there amongst the archives I found someone I knew!

 

Created by Faith Cannon and other contributors

Jo Robinson

Colin Pratt

Many Quy-verlander

 

 

Explore Your Archive: Women in the Arts

Follow the whole story on storify

Our archives tell the story of the role the Art Schools played in women education.

David Haste, Artist, and ex staff member of the Kent Institute of the Art and Design, and soon to be author of the ‘Art Schools of Kent’ provides general contextual information related to women in Art Schools:

‘Art Schools were first established as Design Schools in the 1840s…they were an immediate attraction to middle class women, particularly so when it was still commonly believed that art was a luxury in education permissible for girls, but quite unnecessary for boys’ – David Haste

‘The Art Schools were important in teaching training. Elementary school teachers were predominantly female and they attended art schools to obtain a proliferation of certificates by which their salary was judged. Towards the end of the 19th century art school were teaching a range of crafts and these like much else carried gender identities. “Masculine craft skills” [were] technical drawing, print furniture etc…”feminine craft skills” [were] needle crafts…embroidery, tapestry, dress/costume design ’-David Haste

Here we focus on Epsom and Ewell Technical Institute and School of Art

19th century
Courses included in the 1896 and 1897 prospectuses were: Shorthand, Drawing, Carpentry, Home Nursing, Cookery and French. Late 19th century, Cookery

1920s
Due to lack of Secondary School provision, the Surrey County Council proposed that the Technical Institute should be used temporarily as a secondary school for girls providing accommodation for 160 pupils from September 1921.
Images of women at work in the art school on both the 1921, and 1925 prospectuses suggest the popularity of Art Schools for women.
The timetables were Art Classes, Millinery, English, Cookery, Shorthand (theory and speed), French, Typewriting and Office Routine

Women's Art Class, 1919-1920

1925-1926 prospectus

1930s
In classes in the 1932 prospectuses ‘the Cookery and Dressmaking classes are recommended to those interested in Domestic Subjects’, while ‘for boys and young men there are carefully arranged classes that should prove of great value. Their attention is also drawn to the instruction given in Interior Decoration, Architectural Design, Geometry and Perspective in the Art School’.
While Cookery and Domestic classes are not specifically designated for women here, Industrial Classes are specifically highlighted for males
The 1937 prospectus offers courses in Life Wood, General Engraving and Art , Illustration, Elementary Drawing and General Life Subjects, Shop Window Display, Dress Design, Crafts and General Art Subjects. There are no specific classes for males and females

1932-33 prospectus

1950s
Domestic and Cookery classes have no mention here. The 1953 prospectus offers National Diploma in Design, Dress Subjects, Graphic and Advertising Design, Painting, Sculpture and Pottery, and Industrial Crafts
There are no specific classes for males and females, although teachers within Dress and Design are all female. There are, however, also women teaching on the Industrial Crafts course

1960s
There are no specific classes for males and females. Classes are Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, Design and Crafts, Dress Design, and Graphic Design

Canterbury College archive online

Canterbury College archive has been catalogued and can now be found online on http://archiveshub.ac.uk/data/gb3094ccol

Canterbury College was originally formed as the Sidney Cooper School of Art in 1868, and has continued through mergers with Rochester and Maidstone to become Kent Institute of Art and Design, and finally the University for the Creative Arts with further mergers with Epsom and Farnham campuses.

A 1905 visitors’ book from Canterbury, showing names of visitors to exhibitions,

This can potentially provide information regarding family and local history

The collection includes

  • Departmental prospectuses
  • Student work, including degree and diploma shows
  • Research projects
  • Student magazines
  • Minutes from the Art department
  • General college information, including general prospectuses, and financial information
  • Visitor book
  • Library information
  • Staff interviews and lectures
  • Board of Education reports
  • General exhibitions at or associated with Canterbury College
  • Staff photographs

What can the collection tell us?

Canterbury College can provide information regarding architecture and art, graphic design, fashion, art and painting, including sculpture work. Pictures of student work, fashion videos from the 1980s, research projects, and staff interviews and lectures can show various trends and popularity in these subjects. They could also potentially provide inspiration for future work

Course development in the creative arts, development with technology, and the history of the university generally can be seen in prospectuses, education reports, financial information, and library information and minutes from the school of art

Family history and local history can be explored through visitors books, press cuttings, exhibition shows, and student magazines and staff and student photographs

Student activity can be seen through student magazines

Topical thoughts and opinions on the day in the 1980s can be seen through magazines, including thoughts on the falklands, and sexual morality