We are a group of researchers based at Wimbledon College of Arts and beyond who came together under the umbrella of paintingresearch in 2015, initiated by Dr Zoë Mendelson and Geraint Evans.
On this site you will find an archive of five years of our activities, some writings and profiles of researchers.
Below is the most recent description of our activities - as presented at the 'Teaching Painting' Conference at the Royal Academy of Arts in June 2018. It sums up our non-hierarchical way of supporting research into the discipline, generating material from questions and problems and instigating events/workshops/ lectures in response to student interests and preoccupations. Writings on our activities are soon to be published in Teaching Painting: Painting the New, Cambridge Scholars Press, forthcoming in 2020.
This is a collective presentation – exemplifying a model for collaboration in our teaching practices, suggesting methods for bringing our research and specialisms together to support students and each other. Our network, paintingresearch, at Wimbledon College of Arts involves a community of researchers whose specialisms are reflected, maintained and diverted through ongoing dialogue. Our annual themes are ways of responding to prevelances we witness among our students’ work and activating debate catalysed by painting students’ own collective interests. Paintingresearch at Wimbledon is a space for networked painting that extends its reach to the social and to an expanded idea of image circulation and specialist models of production.
For us – using a co-curated research theme as a point of departure – models can be formed where communities develop around specialist dialogues. A kinder form of intellectualism attaches the curriculum (and what’s at stake in Painting) to what is at stake for us as networked, community-hungry humans, not illustrating the theoretical but demanding its application of ourselves.
Within this model, Painting is used to interrogate other disciplines and subjects. We maintain the case for Painting as a specialism based on its roughly boundaried extremities and see Painting as a critical envoy from history - its longevity allowing commentary and critical distance on newer media and allowing for their reflection and deflection into supposedly ‘known’ terrain, reimagined.
We maintain the case for Painting as a specialism because some of us haven’t had a crack at it for quite as long. In Painting at Wimbledon in the past four years we've explored blackness and Modernism, sexuality and disciplinary specialism, and invited increasing numbers of female practitioners to discuss their relationships to specialist territory. Seeking space for diverse voices in what has been seen as established canonical terrain shifts the ground and reveals lesser known histories of the medium.
We maintain the case for Painting as a specialism because it allows our research to connect across a team, socialising our activity and creating a community of thinkers and makers. In this way we demonstrate our commonalities, proximities and debates as models for the vitality of inclusive networks.