Public lecture to explore the decline of British art schools

Posted by ap507 at Sep 04, 2017 10:17 AM |
University of Leicester to host conference on cultural, arts and media work between 6-8 September

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 4 September 2017­

Poster for the event available here:

The decline of art education in Britain and how this relates to broader questions of social, economic and cultural politics will be one of the themes explored at a conference organised by the University of Leicester between 6-8 September.

The conference, ‘Mediating Cultural Work: Texts, Objects and Politics’, is organised by CAMEo, the University of Leicester’s Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies.

The conference opens with a free public lecture taking place on Wednesday 6 September, entitled ‘What was Art School?’, which will outline how the material legacy of art schools has been largely forgotten in the modern world, with many of the 150 art schools in England and Wales that existed 50 years ago now being abandoned or demolished.

During the talk at the University of Leicester, John Beck (Westminster) and Matthew Cornford (Brighton) will discuss their aim to find and photograph all the art school sites in Britain. Beginning with the physical sites, the project seeks to track the changing fortunes of art education in Britain and its relation to broader questions of social, economic, and cultural politics.

The lecture will launch the wider conference which will focus on the conditions of work, employment and education in the cultural, media and arts sectors.

Professor Mark Banks, Director of CAMEo at the University of Leicester, said: “This is the inaugural conference of the CAMEo Institute and in what we hope will become an annual event, we’ll be exploring the very latest research on the cultural and creative economy, experiences of work and employment in the arts and culture, and the ways in which cultural work and production is being represented, mediated and experienced.

“At a time when the question of ‘who gets to work in arts and culture?’ is a constant topic of public and press debate, and the issue of how the cultural industries might provide more sustainable, participatory and inclusive economies under constant discussion, this conference draws together over 100 UK and international experts to discuss the emerging practices, policies and politics of the creative economy.”

CAMEo was launched in 2016 to provide new understandings of the cultural industries, the ‘creative economy’, arts, media and cultural policy, consumer culture dynamics, and the mediation and representation of cultural and economic life.

CAMEo is an interdisciplinary platform for academic research as well as for collaborations with culture and media practitioners. Together with a wide range of partners CAMEo explores the diverse and complex ways in which cultural and media economies are being defined, valued, enacted, experienced and represented.

Further information about the conference, ‘Mediating Cultural Work: Texts, Objects and Politics’, is available here:

Further information about the event, ‘What was Art School?’, which takes  place on Wednesday 6 September, is available here:


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Professor Mark Banks on

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