Interview with Lesley Punton

ART.ZIP: As far as we know most universities in England run a 3 year undergraduate course. What is the concept behind having a 4 year BA Fine Art Photography programme at the Glasgow School of Art?

LP: I don’t why exactly but according to the Scottish education system, we have 4 year undergraduate courses here. And the first year has traditionally always been a foundation year. It’s similar to the foundation year in England. Actually English students generally don’t need to do the four years but they might have done their first year in a different institution.

The first year used to be like a foundation course but it’s now become more specialised. Although it is still viewed as an opportunity to explore all the fine art subjects, students arrive with a specialism. Students might have projects are common to sculpture and environmental, painting and printmaking. There is one project that first year students have to do which is called the Body Project. Students are actually free to work with all the media that they want – hey don’t have to do it photographically. It is a chance for them to try out different things and to get feedback from a range of staff who they may not normally meet.

The very first project for students is actually a drawing project, but for photography students that drawing may take the form of cyanotypes and alternative processes – they can draw on the paper physically, use brushes or perhaps use pinhole photography where actual light leaks marks onto the paper. They don’t necessary need much skill but patience, time and focus.

ART.ZIP: 據我們了解,英國大學的本科都是三年制,為什麽格拉斯哥藝術學院的本科需要四年去完成?

LP: 我也不知道具體的原因,但依照蘇格蘭的教育系統,我們的大學的本科都是四年的設置。第一年的課程與英格蘭傳統的基礎課程相似,所以來自英格蘭的學生往往可以從第二年開始上,但他們需要在其他的院校裡完成基础课程的學習。



ART.ZIP: There has often been a misguided perception that studying photography is merely about learning techniques. What is the importance of learning the history and theory of photography? And what percentage of research into history and theory is included in the programme?

LP: One day a week is dedicated to academic study which is run by the Forum for Critical Inquiry which used to be called Historical and Critical Studies. The end percentage depends on what you want to do at the end of the final year students have the choice to do an extended essay or dissertation. It can be between 15% and 20% of your mark.

The study runs one day a week right through the entire four years. In the first year, there are a lot more lectures on the history of art or on particular subjects. And in the second and third years, students would start to select their own subjects. But the idea of research actually comes from the studio practice as well. Research in the studio component is marked and becomes 20% of the grade. So that includes gallery, and museum visits or web links and students provide the evidence through sketchbooks and so on. But it also includes primary research.

ART.ZIP: 很多人都對攝影抱著錯誤的觀念,認為攝影僅僅關乎技術而已。您認為學習攝影史和攝影理論的重要性何在?關於理論史和理論的學習在本科課程中大概占多大的比重?

LP: 我們每周有一天關於攝影史及理論的學習,這個課程是由格拉斯哥藝術學院批判性探索論壇(Forum for Critical Inquiry)所主持的,原先被稱作歷史和批判性學習(Historical and Critical Studies)。其所占總課程的比例約占15%到20%。然而這都取決於學生在畢業時的決定,到底是選擇項目拓展性論文還是畢業論文。


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