Shift Happens (2013)

Neil Mulholland

About this exposition

Shift/Work has arisen from a number of learning experiments conducted in Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and Edinburgh College of Art. Our shared concern was with the failings of art education that focuses solely on nurturing personal ontology. This text explores the genesis of Shift/Work, the establishment of an iterative process that enables artists learn together, and the educational legacy of the project.
typeresearch exposition
affiliationEdinburgh Sculpture Workshop, The University of Edinburgh
published inJournal for Artistic Research

comments: 1 (last entry by Jeroen Boomgaard - 18/06/2013 at 23:01)
Jeroen Boomgaard 18/06/2013 at 23:01

The subject of the educational system of art schools is of high interest and this research suggests a new model for this. It proposes and shows a new way of working with groups of students, making them focus more on their relation to and position within existing culture and society and less on their strictly personal project, as is common in most art schools. It is very interesting for others in the field, but it is not always clear if the research describes just one possible approach or a complete, and theoretically underpinned, new way of teaching.


The method(s) chosen are certainly interesting and of high value, but they rely completely on the artists that were selected for the shift program. No indication is given however why these particular artist were selected.
The outcomes of the shifts are clearly presented and the exposition draws up some firm conclusions on the value of this approach for the art educational system.


It might be worthwhile to place these experiments in an international context, to show in what way this approach is not isolated but part of a larger attempt to change art education.


Concluding I think that this research offers a lot to think about for educators in art schools. Especially the connection with experiments form the 60s and 70s and the relation to participatory practices in the field of art can help formulate new ways of teaching art practice.

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