Martin Newth studio 2018/2019

Looking and re-looking.
Hybrid processes and the nature of the encounter

The course will examine modes by which artists use or misuse both old and new technologies. Participants will be asked to explore the possibility of bringing together traditional and new processes. This could include: the analogue and the digital; the still and the moving; the hands-on and mediated; or the material and immaterial. Participants will develop ideas and approaches they have already been working on to ask what it means to build an experimental practice. The course will focus on generating a body of independent work which will be exhibited in a group exhibition. Through exhibiting the work, participants will explore how the process by which a work is made might become part of the way it is understood.  The workshop will interrogate the nature of the encounter with a work of art now - bringing together the historical with the contemporary and exploring the relationship between the viewer and process.

Martin Newth will be working with participants over the course of the semester, visiting ASP Katowice on four occasions. Participants will be asked to share their interests and approaches with others. Through engaging in ongoing dialogue and critique, participants will challenge and support each other to take creative risks and expose existing practices to new ways of thinking.

Martin Newth


    Course assumptions and objectives:

    This course aims to:

    • contribute responsibly, as a creative practitioner, to the design of narrative environments;
      participate in complex, multidisciplinary projects, in a systematic and creative way;

    Major Learning Outcomes:

    Subject Knowledge - A detailed understanding and awareness of Creative Practice; international and local networks and current ideas in the participatory arts.

    Research & Analysis - The ability to initiate, develop and sustain ideas, analyse and critically evaluate information, demonstrate visual and aesthetic awareness, solve problems and make decisions within set and self-initiated projects.

    Technical Competencies - The ability to present ideas and resolved outcomes through the informed selection and use of materials, process, techniques, experimentation and risk.

    Critical Engagement - The ability to communicate effectively with specialist and non-specialist audiences using visual, verbal and physical means; emotional intelligence.

    Individual and group learning - The ability to work independently and collaboratively to initiate, manage and conclude projects within set timescales and reflect on the impact of the work.

    Course content:

    Narrative Encounters – developing narratives and using stories to reinterpret spaces, objects and communities. Narrative is a framework that helps to distil research, generate ideation and to communicate effectively. Students will be shown how craft (ceramics) can be used to prototype and form ideas, deliver creative forms of engagement and as outputs that tell the story of the journey.

    Students will be asked to work collaboratively to engage with their surroundings by developing a ‘tool’ to communicate and bridge the gap between two diametric subjects, i.e opposing forces, ideas, groups. The content will be driven by the students and they will effectively collaborate with the outside world to produce and develop research and gain real-time feedback on their progress. They will be supported through an intensive series of workshops, lectures and tutorials. Students will be asked to present their work and provide clear evidence of their contribution to the learning journey as individuals and as collaborators.


    • good command of English (at a level allowing communication with the instructor);
    • fundamentals of art and design,
    • ability to create spatial objects,
    • mindfulness and openness to one’s surrounding.

    Teaching methods:

    • lectures with elements of discussion,
    • correction of project work stages,practical workshops,
    • cooperation and interdisciplinary group
    • work,
    • learning from one’s peers,
    • group discussions, reviews and criticism,
    • field research,
    • end-of-semester review.



    Dates: 24/31 May

    Venue: Common Space, ASP Katowice

    Heading South is an exhibition that marks the culmination of a semester-long International Studio entitled ‘Looking and Re-looking: Hybrid Processes and the Nature of the Encounter’. Experimental use of technologies (both new and old) and an analysis of the process of production have formed the focus of our discussions since early March 2019. The group of 9 artists have developed new work and collaborated on every aspect of this exhibition. Its title, Heading South, implies more than one meaning. The geographic nature of the term acknowledges a common concern, where the camera has performed the function of a roaming eye, charting terrain and exploring relationships between body, landscape and memory. In the work exhibited here, the act of mapping is more than a cartographer’s overview. It is distinguished by an immersion in landscape and a motivation to deeply connect with the atmosphere or mood that is characteristic of the specific nature of post-industrial Silesia. And it is this prevailing aesthetic, that is the other aspect towards which the title points. According to the Farflex Free Dictionary to ‘Head South’ is an idiom that has three definitions:1, To escape; to vanish or disappear. 2, To fall or drop; to depreciate; to lose quality or value. 3, To cease working or functioning; to quit, fail or fall apart. These descriptions seem to capture something of the atmosphere in the work and something of the nature of the particular landscapes on which the artists have chosen to draw our attention. When I asked the group about the political motivations behind an exploration of this kind of subject matter, it was pointed out to me that it wasn’t so much political as a ‘Silesian mood’, something more deeply rooted in the experience of growing up at this particular point in history in this particular part of Europe.

    A further aspect that the exhibition explores is the nature of the encounter with the work of art. Here we return to the act of navigation. The encounter with this exhibition is one where the viewer is encouraged to explore. The set-up emphasises the physical nature of the work and the visceral impact of sound, image and material. Most of the images we encounter on a day-to-day basis ask to be read from the surface of screens, but here, the works encourages a more physical, perhaps bodily, material engagement. So ‘Heading South’, in spite of its self-deprecating connotations, provides an evocative experience that is as uplifting as it is absorbing.

    Martin Newth
    May, 2019

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