The vibrant studio culture of postgraduate research at the BxNU Institute includes MFA, MRes and MA Art and Education students as well as a large cohort of practice-based Fine Art PhD researchers. In addition to specialist seminars and research training all those working at BALTIC 39 have the opportunity to participate in the weekly Midweek Postgraduate Conversation, in the Talk Studio, led by Professor Chris Dorsett; the momentum and content of these conversations are tailored to the experimental open nature of the studio environment and driven by student’s own investigative processes.
Teaching and supervision benefits from the Institute’s direct proximity to BALTIC’s stunning 300sq m, top floor galleries. These spaces are managed and programmed by the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and offer artists and guest curators the creative freedom to experiment and stretch the boundaries of critical art practice as well as being the site for the MFA graduating exhibition. Talks and symposia are organized in response to the gallery’s innovative programme of exhibitions and collaborative events, like the interdisciplinary Meeting Place discussions and the innovative Peer to Peer and BxNU RESPOND programmes, that all embody the spirit of openness and exchange at BALTIC 39.
Several, often overlapping, research clusters operate within the BxNU Institute including The Cultural Negotiation of Science – a group of staff and research students whose practices involve a variety of ‘negotiations’ with expert cultures – or NEUSCHLOSS, a group of artists, writers and curators working with or at Northumbria University with specific relation to experimental curatorial and exhibition practices. Reading and research groups are also initiated from within the student body itself; current examples are the The Negative Affect and The Performance Research Group.
Wider Research &
Researchers at the BxNU Institute are served by well-established facilities spread between BALTIC 39 in the centre of the City, the main City Campus of Northumbria University and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; all are approximately 15 minutes walk from one another. BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art has a unique library and archive as well as it’s comprehensive digital archive BALTIC+ whist the library at Northumbria University was rated joint 3rd in the UK, alongside Cambridge University in the Times Higher Education 2014 Student Experience Survey.
Across these sites we endeavour to create a research environment that is inclusive of cross-disciplinary enquiry, yet, also facilitates the demands of focused specialized study:
At the City Campus, Gallery North provides an important focus for engagement with practitioners, including funded artists-in-residence and visiting artists, and research within critical and curatorial practices through exhibitions, seminars and publications. PSN (Paper Studio Northumbria) and CSN (Colour Studio Northumbria) are both examples of internationally focussed initiatives led and mentored by specialist staff in these fields through regular discussions with students and symposia.
In addition to this unique, specialised provision, Northumbria University also provides exceptional technical facilities and support including fully-equipped sculpture workshops (wood, metal, casting, ceramics); print workshops (screenprint, etching, lithography, cyanotype, drypoint, photo-etching, photo-intaglio, monoprint); analogue photography darkrooms (B&W and colour fine print & processor); photography studio; Two Mac suites, each with 24 stations for digital imaging and video; digital output facilities with high resolution printers; conservation workshops and central media stores with online booking for still/moving image, sound and lighting equipment.