October 23, 2014

New staff in the Curating Contemporary Art programme

Royal College of Art
Nastivicious (Nástio Mosquito), The Acts, 2012. Video. Exhibition view, RCA galleries, London, 2014. Photo: David Pearson.

To support CCA’s changing programme and ambitions for the future and to take its reputation as one of the most internationally significant curating programmes into new areas of practice and research, two new tutors have been appointed to join the programme’s staff.

Rebecca Heald was Director of New Contemporaries in the UK 2009–13 and has recently curated a major commission with American artist Trevor Paglen for London’s Art on the Underground programme. Prior to this she curated Points of Departure at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London, which was the result of a residency with Delfina Foundation in Ramallah, West Bank (2012). She has worked across both the public and private sector in exhibition and education departments including Sadie Coles HQ, Tate Britain, and the Hayward Gallery in London. She is currently on the Board of the Liverpool Biennial, the UK’s largest arts festival.

Grant Watson was Senior Curator at the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva) London (2010–2014), Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MuHKA), Antwerp (2006–2010), Curator of Visual Arts at Project, Dublin (2001–2006), and currently teaches at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem, The Netherlands. Recent exhibitions include Social Fabric (Iniva, Lunds Konsthall and Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai), Keywords: Art Culture and Society in 1980s Britain (Tate Liverpool), and the touring retrospective Sheela Gowda: Open Eye Policy (Van Abbemuseum, Lunds Konsthall and Irish Museum of Modern Art).  His research projects include “How We Behave” (with If I Can’t Dance, Amsterdam), which explores the “Care of the Self” in relation to contemporary practice; and “Practice International” (Iaspis, Sweden, Casco, Holland, and Raw Material, Senegal) and “Tagore, Pedagogy and Contemporary Visual Cultures” (Goldsmiths College, London) both of which look at historical and current examples of art and cosmopolitanism.

Led by Professor Victoria Walsh, CCA is internationally recognised for its commitment to and emphasis on collaborative, studio-based, project work that integrates theory and practice throughout the two years of the curriculum. Founded in 1992, the CCA programme has secured its exceptional international reputation through the quality of contribution and innovative practice that its graduates have since brought to the field of curating across the globe. Based at the Kensington Campus of the RCA, students enjoy direct interaction with other courses and programmes in the School of Humanities and across the College, including taught courses and project collaborations with the RCA’s prestigious School of Fine Art.

As the term “curating” expands and proliferates, posing challenges to its very meaning, students are trained to identify and engage with best practice in commissioning, exhibition-making, programming and writing, through projects and seminars with leading artists, curators, and gallerists. Through this approach, students are encouraged to develop their own ideas and curatorial positions to support working with artists across a range of contexts and platforms and to consider the value of their practice in relation to questions of audience, globalisation, and the digital.

During the second year, students have the opportunity to test and demonstrate their curatorial skills and interests in the open, experimental context of the RCA galleries in central London. Widely acknowledged as an important marker of current developments in contemporary art, the CCA MA exhibitions have consistently generated interest and debate through their engagement with an increasingly interdisciplinary and networked culture of art and exhibition-making.

Applications to the MA programme are welcome from students with an active interest in contemporary art and its display. Applications for MPhil or PhD are also welcome and students are encouraged to view information about CCA’s areas of research and expertise on the RCA website.

To find out more visit CCA’s website.


Key dates for Master of Arts applications
1 November 2014: online applications open
4 December 2014: open day
16 January 2015: priority deadline
9–13 March 2015: interviews to take place
1 April 2015: results letters sent



Royal College of Art’s Curating Contemporary Art programme announces new staff

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