The Tasmanian School of Art has an established track record in art and design research. Over the past decade the School has confirmed its nationally recognised studio-based programs by incorporating research as integral to career preparation in the visual arts and design professions. The 2010 Excellence in Research for Australia assessment ranked UTAS, along with six other institutions, at a 4 in Field of Research code 1905 (Visual Arts and Crafts), placing it on the level of the best institutions in the country - there were no universities with a score of 5 in FoR 1905 in the 2010 ERA assessment and UTAS was scored above the Group of Eight Universities average.
Research explores the broad themes of Environment; Digital Technology; Community, Place and Change; Identity and Memory; Representations of the Body; Curatorial Practice; and Public Art and Design. School of Art research is carried out in the discipline areas of Art and Design Theory, Electronic Media, Painting and Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture and Installation, Object Design, and Visual Communication.
Tasmanian School of Art research achievements are published nationally and internationally, but also reflect the strengths of the state’s creative community. Projects include engagement with community cultural and political life, especially major festivals and events such as Ten Days on the Island. Commitment to community engagement and Tasmania’s relatively modest arts infrastructure see many projects being presented within the UTAS Centre for the Arts premises.
Public art and design projects have become increasingly important publication outlets along with exhibitions, catalogues, books, journal articles, and conference papers. Research through exhibition is cultivated and stimulated by the presence of artists in residence and contact with distinguished visiting artists, curators and guest speakers. International exchanges, residences and touring projects have built relationships in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, UK, Europe and the USA.
UTAS national conferences have provided many opportunities for TSA researchers: Survey: current art and design research and practice within Australian art and design schools (2003); Rhapsody 21C: The Future of University Museums and Galleries in the New Century (2005); Claiming Ground Public Art Conference(2005); Imaging Nature: Media, Environment and Tourism (2005); and Revelation: installation art and its capacity to elaborate places of historical importance(2007).
Research at the School of Art is supported by grant funding from a range of external sources including the Australian Research Council, the Australia Council for the Arts, and Arts Tasmania, augmented by internal UTAS grant schemes. Grant income is provided through stringent peer review processes and is crucial to research and presentation/publication in the discipline. In total, from all peer-based sources, UTAS researchers in the Creative Arts and Writing in 2003-08 received 104 competitive grants totalling almost $1.5 million
UTAS was the first to offer studio-based art PhDs and Masters degrees by research and has a reputation as one of the premier research training institutions; for the 2003-08 period completions have totalled 47.3 PhD and 53 Masters. The strong HDR culture attracts significant scholarship support and high-quality national and international candidates, guided by regular supervisor contact, research methods training, weekly critiques and twice-yearly research symposia. Candidates receive financial assistance through a competitive biannual small grant scheme, a competitive UTAS Conference Fund, an annual research allowance and are provided with individual studios/work rooms. Candidate research and collaborations with supervisors add significantly to research capacity and discipline knowledge.
To discuss our research program further, please contact Dr David Stephenson, Research Coordinator at the Tasmanian School of Art:
Phone: +61 3 6226 4347
School of Art research engages in the analysis and representation of the aesthetic, physical, cultural, historical, psychological and spiritual dimensions of the natural and built environment. UTAS Strategic Funding (2011) supports the Arts and Environment Research Group, which includes researchers from a broad range of schools in the Faculty of Arts.
Digital research, established with ARC and UTAS Institutional Research Grant Scheme funding, explores digital processes in photography, video, painting and printmaking.
Work in CPC focuses on the dynamic character of different communities-of-place and communities-of-interest, and on the means to enhance community well being; enable consultation, participation and communication; and promote community action and interaction in the quest to create and maintain sustainable communities.
Research explores a range of issues around the broad themes of identity, the body, and memory, and occurs across a number of disciplines including art theory, photography, video, painting, and installation art.
Tasmanian School of Art staff and students regularly research and curate exhibitions for the Plimsoll Gallery at the Centre for the Arts, often working in collaboration with colleagues at contemporary art spaces, artist run initiatives, and state and regional galleries. UTAS and Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery colleagues have researched and presented a number of museum exhibitions and scholarly exhibition catalogues, with initial research funded by an ARC Linkage Grant (2003-05).
UTAS has established a strong profile in public art research through exploration of new formats for community engagement and public art commissions. Projects have occurred in collaboration with Industry and Government bodies including Ten Days on the Island; Alcorso Foundation; arts@work; Arts Tasmania; Dept of Tourism, Arts and The Environment; Dept of Health and Human Services; UNESCO; Design Centre, Tasmania; and Hobart and Launceston city councils.
International exchanges, residences and touring projects have built research relationships in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, UK, Europe and the USA.
The research interests of staff and postgraduate students in Art and Design Theory cover a broad spectrum of visual culture including installation and conceptual art, European avant-garde art movements such as Surrealism, fashion and advertising images. Key thematic concerns include the body and gender identity, cultural identity and displacement, and colonialism. Most research is focused on visual culture from the nineteenth century to the present, with an emphasis on local, national, and international contemporary art.
Research interests of staff and postgraduate students in E-Media contributes and connects to international developments in media installation design; generative and software art; sound installation and design; open source and machine 'hacking'; and internet/software/machine/body interface design.
The research interests within the painting studio cover a range of themes with particular interest in contemporary pictorialism and the impact of new technologies on traditional painterly practices and pictorial construction. Subjects and processes include identity, landscape and place, figuration, formalism and installation.
Staff and postgraduate research in Photography explores a broad range of subjects including the natural and built environment, identity, memory and mortality. Projects use digital and analogue technology, as well as hybrid forms of the still and moving image and sound, to engage with contemporary international developments in the medium.
Research interests of staff and postgraduate students in Printmaking extend the parameters of what defines ‘the print’. Both traditional and digital technologies are utilised, the synthesis of which results in innovative hybrid approaches. Key thematic concerns include: identity, environment, phenomenology of perception, political and social issues. These are realised through both traditional formats and installation.
Research undertaken by staff and postgraduate students reflect diverse modes of contemporary international sculptural practice, including installation, performance, time-based process, site-specific enquiry and social engagement. Thematic areas of research encompass the local and global in specific relation to: public and private space; identity and belonging as mediated by stigma and status; social engagement within tenuous urban/natural environments; truth and fiction in relation to experience and acquired memory; technology and the virtual.
Staff and postgraduate research in Visual Communication seeks to expand the field of Visual Communication through self-publication, articles and exhibitions of visual work. Particular research interests within the studio revolve around socially engaged art/design practice.
Research is conducted in furniture design and ceramics, and has been funded by a number of ARC grants.
Authorised by the Head of School, Tasmanian College of the Arts
16 August, 2011