Now is the time to get creative, learn and connect with arts and culture. With this in mind, Hereford College of Arts is launching new MA courses, expanding their dynamic programme to include curating and landscape photography. Kate Howe, Head of Communications and Marketing, speaks to Aesthetica about the developments – outlining how prospective students can get involved whilst highlighting a new online exhibition. These are opportunities not to be missed.
A: Hereford College of Arts is launching a series of new Masters degrees. Can you outline the four courses?
KH: This year, we are thrilled to offer two new courses: MA Curating and MA Photography, Landscape and the Environment alongside our well-established MA Contemporary Crafts and MA Fine Art course.
In this new MA Photography, Landscape and the Environment course, students will be able to choose their genre of practice – from Documentary to Landscape and Fine Art. They may also work in installation, mixed media, moving image and traditional processes. Students will learn through a dynamic mixed delivery model of online, on campus and on location, giving greater flexibility to pursue personal pathways across a two-year, part time schedule. Our MA gives students the opportunity to tailor their studies around other commitments, and move their life and work forward to reshape their future.
Our MA Curating course will enable students to develop their experience and understanding of the increasingly varied ways in which curators work as creative collaborators, catalysts and enablers. We offer a stimulating culture and community of an independent arts school, with opportunities to collaborate with a wide range of cultural and business partners and the freedom for students to shape their own unique trajectory.
The MA Contemporary Crafts programme offers makers from a wide range of disciplines an exciting opportunity to advance their individual creative practices. The course will immerse students in exciting conversations about thinking and making. They will have the opportunity to build both their academic- and practice-based skills and see how they inspire and inform each other.
Our MA Fine Art practice-based programme enables artists to critically reflect upon, challenge and refine their work in the context of recent developments within the field of contemporary Fine Art. Students are encouraged to investigate and reconsider assumptions underlying their own practice.
A: Why has Hereford chosen to expand their range of MA courses for 2020-21?
KH: Our MA Contemporary Crafts and MA Fine Art courses have been a really positive experience for our students and have given them the opportunity to develop and extend their creative practice. Our new MAs are a natural progression for students already studying BA (Hons) courses with us. We hope by making them available to everyone they will also benefit from the extraordinary learning opportunities which we have to offer.
A: What makes studying at Hereford unique?
KH: As an independent specialist arts school, Hereford College of Arts offers a very distinctive postgraduate experience. We are wholly focused on creative education. This means that you can draw on the expertise, support and understanding of not only the academic staff immediately associated with your programme, but of staff from many other areas of the college, all dedicated to promoting students’ creative success.
We are located in a beautiful, historic city within easy reach of outstanding rural landscapes whilst remaining well-connected with larger urban centres. Herefordshire is home to a wonderfully rich range of media and arts organisations; heritage and sporting opportunities; and independent food and drink producers. So many of the best things in life are within easy reach.
A: Where can we see examples of student work from Hereford College of Arts? Are there any highlights you’d like to share?
KH: There are many highlights, so if you follow each course on Instagram you will see student and graduate work including short films. The easiest way to follow us is to head to our website and select the course you are interested in. Our Instagram handle is there. Visit us here.
A: MA Photography, Landscape and the Environment sounds particularly timely. What can students expect from it, and does it connect to current conversations surrounding the climate crisis?
KH: At a time when our relationship with the world around us needs more urgent attention than ever before, our MA Photography, Landscape and the Environment focuses on the current cultural, political and ideological forces at play around the landscape. It encourages students to explore, research and communicate in innovative and diverse ways through the medium of photography. Students will meet contemporary artists, campaigners and scientists engaged in current environmental research, thinking, art and activism. They will develop their own voice based on their views and experience of the landscape.
A: How can potential applicants find out more about these courses and get involved?
KH: Potential applicants can visit our course pages here. We are also hosting virtual open days so you can talk to the course leader and find our more. We have open events running on 23 July. To find out more about our open events click here.
Alternatively, you can private message the course leaders via their Instagram pages. Instagram handles can be found on our website by clicking here and selecting the course of interest.
A: How has Hereford College of Arts adapted to a new way of living and working in 2020?
KH: We are all of us living at an extraordinary time, and our lives have been disrupted in innumerable ways. Over the past 14 weeks, we have supported students off-campus during the lockdown through personal tutorials, group sessions, technical support, the loan of specialist equipment, well-being checks and social catch-ups. Both students and staff have proved themselves inventive and creative in the face of challenge. We have continued to create and have launched a free online exhibition called Glimpse. It is a celebration of student work across degree and MA level and showcases an eclectic and diverse range. To take a glimpse click here.
A: What else does Hereford have planned for 2020-21?
KH: We are still very much in the planning stages as we cannot be sure of the course of the pandemic. We have planned for different scenarios: for students starting with us and for those returning to campus. Further information can be found here.
Another area that we are working on is maintaining a rich social experience – this is a key concern for students. We have the very creative help of our energetic new SU team. They are currently developing a whole range of social events and creating a student experience page on our website. Again, this covers events for all lockdown scenarios. We will also continue with digital versions of our exhibitions. These include live content, podcasts, interactive Q&As, curated tours and artist takeovers. We would like to explore virtual walkthroughs of our exhibitions and with time move to a mix of online and physical events.
Lead image: Sian Atherton
1. Peter Masters, Herefordshire
2. Alex Thimm
3. Timothy Bartlett, Nash Point