Dr Andy Webster

Job title
Senior Lecturer, Fine Art
Email
andy.webster@falmouth.ac.uk
Telephone
01326 255999 Ext: 5999

Born in Mansfield, UK, Andy has a PhD in Fine Art practice, awarded by the University of Arts, London, an MA in Fine Art from the University of Brighton, and BA(Hons) Fine Art from Manchester Metropolitan University. Andy joined Falmouth University in 2002 as senior lecturer on MA Contemporary Visual Arts and has taught across a range of courses including MA Fine Art, MA Curatorial Practice, MA Art & Environment, and BA(Hons) Fine Art. Prior to this Andy was programme leader BA(Hons) Fine Art at University Centre Croydon. He currently teaches on BA(Hons) Fine Art and supervises MFA students.
 
Andy has been the recipient of several recent awards including the BigCi Environmental Award, Bilpin, Sydney, Australia (2014); Sculpture Space Artist Residency, Utica, New York, USA (2015); Salina Artist in Residence, Kansas, USA (2013); and the Art Omi International Artist Residency, New York, USA (2012). Recent solo exhibitions include Action, Salina Art Center Warehouse, Kansas, USA (2013), Dawn Chorus, Waterfront Gallery, University Campus Suffolk, UK, (2012) and Unsustainable? Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge School of Art, Cambridge, UK (2012).

Qualifications

YearQualificationAwarding body
2011
PhD
University of Arts, London
1988
MA Fine Art
Brighton University
1986
BA (Hons) Fine Art
Manchester Metropolitan University

Research interests

Research interests and expertise

In what ways can contemporary art critically engage or perhaps disengage with the forms, attitudes, approaches, language and values of the prevailing neo-liberal ideologies? A research imperative is to consider ways to speculate upon and inhabit this question; it acts as a provocation, a call to generate platforms for facilitating and re-imagining alternative kinds of knowledge that artists now require. In a contemporary context marked by widespread social, ecological, economic and political collapse this imperative asks us to reflect upon how art practice might produce forms that can help us contemplate the environment we find ourselves in. It asks us to reconsider our relationship within it, perhaps in ways which we are not used to experiencing it, to speculate upon what this promises and also threatens to end.  

What can we recognise in existing art research and more widely afield that can act as guides and motivations for this activity? How might we be compelled to act or proceed in order to enact or realise these? Instinctively we understand and know there is a need for art research to turn away from itself, from its self satisfying assumptions, from its received terms and forms towards something else, towards exterior fields, in search of other sites and alternative models of thinking. It compels us to consider and practice ways in which art can push beyond itself and break from its institutions, to find ways and alternative forms that operate elsewhere and outside the perceived limits of the discipline.      

How does this desire manifest itself, where is it evident? It is evidenced in post media practices that embody and extend the engagement with interdisciplinarity and intermediality that thrives within contemporary art and in drives that seek to reconfigure and reshape processes and practices related to more recognised artistic media. It asks us to engage with other social, cultural formations and movements that have emerged in the midst of the contemporary context. It invites us to consider what alternative models are found within such communities and collectives, not least amongst self-organising autonomous groups such as Tute Bianche, Reclaim the Streets, Ya Basta Collectives, the Occupy movement, and anti-globalisation activism. It provokes us ask what we might learn from these forms, to consider how these might help reshape approaches in art.  

This imperative also compels us to re-consider the art school, the art curriculum, its terms, possibilities and potentials in the 21st century. The prevailing art school model today still continues to foreground the development of solipsistic personal individual ontologies, and in tandem maintains an image of the artist as a professional creative innovator.  We need to reassess this model and ask what relevance this has to the imperative we face? Are the terms of art, its language of innovation and creativity now simply a mirror of neo-liberal ideals? Can alternative collective ontologies, different attitudes and approaches be imagined as the inspiration for the 21st century art school curriculum? What might these be and how might this be set in motion?

Research centre and group affiliations

RANE Research Group

Research topics

Fine Art
Curatorial Practice
Generative Systems
Open-ended systems
Process Thinking
Comic Timing
Ad-libbing
Ad-hocism

Research outputs

Publications and research outputs

Artwork

Webster, Andy (2013) Action. [Artwork] Item not available from this repository.

Webster, Andy (2013) This is a Protest/ A Failing Gesture? [Artwork]

Exhibition

Webster, Andy (2012) Dawn Chorus. [Exhibition]

Webster, Andy (2012) Inflate/Deflate. [Exhibition]

Webster, Andy, Atkinson, Jane and Paige, Stephen (2004) Max10@Newlyn. [Exhibition] Item not available from this repository.

Teaching

Areas of teaching

Andy is currently teaching on BA (Hons) Fine Art
and MA Art & Environment