Visual Intelligences Research Project

Seminars : Artists' Seminar

This seminar was an important initial research strategy for the Visual Intelligences Research project.  Ten visual artists were invited to discuss their creative processes in order to ascertain how artists use their visual intelligence to make work whose form visually articulates its content. Artists were asked to respond to a list of questions sent in advance of the seminar.  They were programmed to talk for ten minutes, with another five minutes set aside for questions.  Artists also provided a small selection of images, relevant to their response. At the end of the day a general discussion about the notion of visual intelligence took place. The day was recorded and then transcribed.

Although there are various theoretical problems relating to notions artists’ intentionality it was felt that a closed artists’ seminar, where artists felt free to discuss how they made there own work, in relation to set of pre-posed questions, could provide the project with some interesting and original research material.
The artists’ seminar was a success allowing a community of professional artists to debate issues of process within fine art practice, something that is a rare occurrence.

The event took place on 26th October 2004 at The Showroom Gallery in London.

Because the notion of ‘visual intelligences’ is relevant to a range of practices care was taken to choose artists with different approaches, working across media and from different generations. Most of the artists were affiliated to an HEI.

  • Alison Wilding (Tutor, Royal College of Art) Sculpture
  • Colin Crumplin (Head of Fine Art, Bath Spa University College) Painting & Sculpture
  • Maria Chevska  (Head of Painting, Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University) Painting, Sculpture & Installation
  • Beth Harland (Head of Graduate School, Winchester School of Art, Southampton University), Painting
  • Michael Ginsborg (Retired Director of Studies, Wimbledon School of Art), Painting
  • Rebecca Sitar (Tutor, Bolton Institute) Painting
  • Rachel Lowe (Tutor, Central St Martins, University of the Arts, London), Video & Installation
  • Mary MacClean (Tutor, Reading University), photography
  • Ian Kiaer (Tutor, Reading University & Phd candidate Royal College of Art), sculpture & installation
  • Paula Kane (Tutor, Byam Shaw & Camberwell School of Art, University of the Arts), London, Painting
  • Merlin James

The edited transcript was analysed and an essay was written to reflect these aspects; “What is visual intelligence and how do artists use it?