The Sydney College of the Arts academic programs are studio based to provide for both specialist and inter-disciplinary research, and are structured around four contemporary visual arts areas:
- Object Art and Design Ceramics; Glass; and Jewellery and Object
- Media Arts Photomedia; and Film and Digital Art
- Fine Arts Painting; Printmedia; and Sculpture, Performance and Installation
- Theoretical Enquiry
The studio program focuses on the development of each students independent art or design practice. Quotas apply to studios as study options.
Ceramics embraces a wide range of approaches to the medium of clay and encourages individual expression within the medium and across a variety of media.
The Ceramics Studio encourages you to explore and expand your understanding of contemporary cultural and historical issues. If you are interested in becoming a practising artist you can develop conceptual approaches to sculptural and installation work. If you are interested in becoming a designer/maker of one-off, production work or architectural collaborations, you will be encouraged to develop design skills, including the use of CAD/CAM, as well as more traditional production skills such as throwing, mould making and casting.
Study in Ceramics is supported by a throwing studio, slip casting studio, plaster mould making workshop, glaze and surface development area and kiln rooms.
Glass seeks to generate self-motivated and critically informed artists, craftspeople and designers who utilise glass as a medium to express their ideas.
The Glass Studio will expose you to a diversity of approaches in utilising glass and its unique qualities. The aims of the Studio are: to ground you in the historical aspects of the material; to encourage the development of the necessary skills for working the material in a wide range of applications; to cultivate a contemporary dialogue of issues informing practice, to promote individual exploration within and between media and to assist and provide you with the necessary skills for working as a professional artist. Processes are explored including glass blowing and hot sculpting, glass fusing and slumping, coldworking, flameworking, architectural glass and installation, glass design and production for artists and lighting design.
No prior experience with glass is required to be eligible to study in the Glass Studio.
The studio is equipped with twenty kilns designed for various applications. Four of the large casting kilns are equipped with digital multipoint annealing computers. The studio has a purpose-designed wax and mould making room, excellent coldworking facilities including, lathes, three diamond saws, two linishers, suhners, core drill, engraving station and two flat bed grinders (one with diamond pads).
The studio is equipped with two sandblasters, a spray booth, full lampworking lab, a hot glass facility with three glory holes (largest opening 560mm), a new garage, 200kg furnace, two large annealers, knock off bench with hand torches, LP torches and numerous spiral arts punties and blowpipes.
The facilities are well maintained, with a carefully managed maintenance schedule.
Students have access to CAD (computer-aided design) and CNC (computer numerical control) labs within the studio. The computer lab is equipped with Rhino software. This enables students to computer model complex forms and designs and to create tool paths for CNC machines.
Jewellery and Object
Jewellery and Object explores concepts and techniques fundamental to the making of human-scale works. Building on formal metalsmithing skills, broad experimentation is encouraged, with the aim of developing a rich and individual visual language.
In the Jewellery and Object Studio you will engage in conceptual and practical investigations through projects designed to develop ideas and expression while acquiring technical and material knowledge. An introduction to a diverse range of materials and processes encourages work of both a utilitarian and conceptual nature. Your work may take the form of exhibition pieces, small runs of production work, design for manufacture, or commissioned art works.
Study in Jewellery and Object is supported by fully equipped workshops and studios, which include hydraulic presses, enamelling kilns, casting and smithing facilities and 3D visualisation equipment.
Film and Digital Art
Film and Digital Art will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to the media of digital film, digital sound, animation and interactive media in the context of contemporary art and cinematic practice.
The Film and Digital Art Studio encourages the development of individual projects that have distinctive conceptual, aesthetic and technical outcomes. This also includes instruction in the use of film and video cameras, location and studio sound recording techniques, location and studio lighting, digital video editing and motion graphics. You will be encouraged to explore and experiment with the full range of media and technology available in the studio. Outcomes can include the production of digital films, video or sound installations, interactive works and animation projects.
Studio facilities include a blue screen production studio; a Pro-Tools based sound recording and post production studio, a traditional film studio, an access computer lab and two specialist labs for the production of new media and animation projects and post production for high definition digital film and video projects.
The studio also provides an extensive range of production equipment that is available for students to borrow for use in either studio or on location environments.
Photomedia focuses on the full range of visual art practices that make up contemporary photomedia. You will be equipped with creative skills relevant to all aspects of this dynamic and expanding area with particular emphasis on contemporary visual arts practice.
The Photomedia Studio emphasises conceptual and practical investigations through projects designed to foster individual interpretations and aesthetic development and promote the acquisition of technical skills and enhance your engagement with research. Photomedia includes instruction in digital photomedia and chemical photography. Study options cover a cross-section of photomedia investigations: photomedia-installation including the still and moving image; documentary photography; experimental and contemporary practice using analogue and digital technologies. Each study option includes its own specialised theoretical concerns and techniques.
Facilities include black-and-white darkrooms and film-processing areas, mural and copy rooms, digital image laboratory, digital printery and a well-equipped photographic studio.
Painting addresses historical and contemporary concepts and techniques relating to contemporary painting practice.
Painting is broadly defined as an extended practice with a broad range of representational and non-objective, material, spatial and intellectual possibilities. The object, colour and surface, installation and arrangement, the ready-made, the role of typography, photography and digital processes may each profoundly impact on painting as a contemporary practice. In the Painting Studio these are explored through focused and self-initiated projects. As your studies progress, you will be encouraged to develop your own approaches and set out parameters to create a valid studio practice.
Paint and stretcher preparation areas and an epidiascope and projection room are adjacent to the studios.
Printmedia explores the use of digital and traditional print processes within a contemporary visual art context.
Drawing, photography and digital graphics are signature mediums for the Printmedia Studio, and the open structure of the course allows you to engage with these in a wide variety of ways. Work produced in the Studio ranges from fine art prints to comics; from electronic publications to screen printed garments. The course covers a range of print processes that extend from traditional printmaking through to digital print and photography. The course has a well-developed digital component that covers key contemporary design programs Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Flash.
The studio has excellent workshop facilities supporting digital design, digital printing, screen printing and etching.
Sculpture, Performance and Installation (SPI)
Sculpture, Performance and Installation addresses the language of three-dimensional space not only through the exploration of materials, objects and processes, but also through the relationship between the body and its spatial surrounds.
The Sculpture, Performance and Installation Studio encourages a range of approaches in the making of art. This includes site-specific, institutional critique, and ephemeral work. Technical processes central to the history of sculpture such as casting, carving, welding, and assemblage are also supported. The heritage of conceptual art is also a fundamental consideration of the Studio. You are encouraged to include video and photography in your spatial explorations, either as mediums in their own right, or as tools for documenting Sculpture, Installation and Performance work.
Facilities include a clay and plaster working area, stone and wood carving workshops, a metal forge, a specialised computer laboratory and installation spaces.