Excellent student studios
The Fine Art building has some of the best studios in the country. This ranges from the open-plan first year studios designed for project work to purpose-built painting, sculpture, printmaking and digital media studios.
All students are allocated their own studio space. We also house designated gallery spaces, bookable project spaces, seminar rooms and a large lecture theatre.
I enjoy having the freedom to make my own work and have access to the great facilities and technical and academic staff.
Specialist workshops and outdoor construction yard
We have specialist workshops for wood, metal, digital/video, casting, ceramics and printmaking, as well as a small black and white photographic darkroom. We also have a large outdoor construction yard suitable for large-scale and dirty work, including.
All students have the use of the award-winning Robinson Library and very-well equipped computer clusters around the University.
Students can also take advantage of the drawing studio, in which life-room and other drawing projects take place. Elsewhere in the Fine Art Building, there is a student-run cafe, which is run by students and supports the catalogue and other associated student initiatives for the Degree show in June each year.
We also have a fine art materials shop which stocks a range of art materials, anything that isn't in stock immediately, and more specialist supplies can be ordered on request.
We have 3D printers, laser and plasma cutters and a large outdoor construction yard suitable for large-scale and/or dirty work, including:
Our workshops are supported by full-time technicians who are on hand in each area to provide expert advice, help and guidance.
New students undergo workshop induction sessions that cover health and safety, use of materials and equipment training.
Our wood workshop is well-equipped and supports students wishing to work with wood in the development of their practice.
It is also for those students who simply need to make painting stretchers.
Our metal workshop is extremely well equipped with an extensive range of some of the latest cutting and fabricating machinery, our workshop facilities have been designed to complement the flexible working approach that is required when studying fine art.
Whether you are interested in doing a bronze cast, cutting intricate shapes in aluminium on the CNC plasma cutter, creating a mechanical artwork or simply manipulating material on the forge - the workshop can support the full range of student and staff projects.
Staffed with a full-time technician to guide students through their projects with induction, training and technical guidance all provided.
Main range of equipment
- CNC plasma cutter
- Horizontal and vertical bandsaws
- Digital power guillotine
- Engineering lathe and milling machine
- Pillar drill
- Hot metal casting foundry for aluminium and bronze
- Gas forge
- MIG/TIG/MMA/oxy fuel/spot welding
- Mechanical rollers, folders and bending machines
Extensive range of power tools/hand tools. Extensive range of materials are stocked at wholesale prices for student projects.
The Metalwork technician Steve Rowarth also oversees our ceramics facilities, please feel free to contact him if you require any further information.
The digital suite is based around both PC and Mac workstations running industry standard software, including: Premiere, Final Cut, Adobe Creative Suite and Macromedia Studio, as well as a series of open-source creative tools.
We have several dedicated editing suites, along with an extensive collection of digital cameras (still and video), microphones and sound equipment, lights and digital projectors, all of which can be booked by students for their studio projects.
For any more information about these facilities, and for a full list of all the available equipment, please contact Mick Hedley.
Students at all stages of their course are encouraged to use printmaking within their practice. Regular induction courses are run in the various processes and techniques available.
A wide range of processes are supported, including:
- etching and engraving
- relief (woodcut, lino cut, collograph)
- stone and aluminium plate lithography
- photography and photopolymer
- digital and screenprinting
There is a darkroom available with facilities for black and white developing and printing.
In addition, along with our large format digital printers, our printmaking facilities are located close to the Digital Media Suite.
This is equipped with the latest digital image manipulation packages (Adobe Photoshop etc) and film editing software.
Fine Art building
We have a variety of formal and less formal exhibition spaces in the Fine Art building. Several of these can be booked by students for exhibitions and by those students who simply want to ‘try something out’.
During both the BA and MFA degree shows, all the exhibition spaces, including the Hatton Gallery are used to exhibit the students’ work.
Linking the old and new sections of the Fine Art building is a purpose-built gallery space.
The Long Gallery is used by Fine Art students for exhibitions on a regular basis, and also occasionally presents work from other institutions.
Past exhibitions have included exchange exhibitions with:
- the Academy in Bratislava
- art schools from Germany
- student work from Glasgow and Aberdeen
- collaborations between Fine Art and Architecture students
Other spaces around the Fine Art Building are also available for students to show their work.
We also have the Ex-Libris Gallery which exhibits research work from staff, students and visiting artists.
It is a curated space and is linked to the visiting artist programme and the department’s research projects.
TIC and Project Space
In addition, the TIC Space and the Project Space are both bookable by students. They are spaces that can be readily blacked-out, making them suitable for video projection, for instance.
We also have access to a ‘green screen’ room, as well as to professional-standard film and sound recording studios.
We are also housed in the same building as the Hatton Gallery, one of the largest exhibition spaces in North East England. It is capable of accommodating all but the largest touring exhibitions.
The Hatton's permanent collection consists of works of art from five centuries. It includes the Elterwater Merzbarn construction by Kurt Schwitters.
Both the BA and the Master of Fine Art Degree shows are exhibited in the Hatton Gallery, Ex-Libris Gallery, Long Gallery, Project Space and throughout the Fine Art studios.
The Hatton Gallery has recently undergone a major refurbishment funded by a substantial Heritage and Lottery Fund grant. It now provides some of the best quality exhibition space in the north of England and also provides an excellent new learning facility, as well as a new archive space.
Catering for mainly sculptural work in ceramic, the 4 electric kilns vary in size and are also capable of firing glass amongst other materials.
We also stock up to four tons of different types of clay, sold at wholesale prices, to allow for a full range of clay work.
With the other clay working machinery and the opportunity to work alongside our full-time ceramics fellow, this facility is an important addition to our impressive array of facilities that allow our students to fully explore their creative potential.
Range of equipment:
- Four electric kilns, varying in size with dedicated extraction,
- Slab Roller,
- Pug mill,
- Electric Wheel,
- Water wall spray booth,
- Overhead gantry for moving large scale objects into position.
The Metalwork technician Steve Rowarth oversees our ceramics facilities; please feel free to contact him if you require any further information.