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BA (Hons) History of Art & Design

The BA (Hons) History of Art and Design degree has been a part of Manchester Metropolitan University, in various forms, since 1976 and has offered students a unique mixture of art and design history, visual and material culture, and art practice. Its success and longevity is down to a continual adaptation in response and ahead of academic, cultural and the professional requirements of the cultural industries. This year the course has taken a very successful first step into a new phase when it became BA (Hons) Contemporary Art History.

BA (Hons) Contemporary Art History offers a unique opportunity to become fully involved in the relationship between art and design theory and creative practice. Embedded in the vibrant environment of Manchester School of Art our students develop an in depth knowledge of art history and contemporary art theory, and put this learning into practice through a series of creative projects and professional opportunities.

Below are some examples of the creative and curatorial external projects undertaken by final year BA (Hons) History of Art & Design students in 2012.

"Contemporary Manchester – Contemporary St Petersburg"

By Sophie Parker

The Contemporary Manchester – Contemporary St Petersburg project consisted of two exhibitions. One exhibition was held at the Russian National Library in St Petersburg, Russia and the other at the Town Hall in Manchester. 2012 is the 50th anniversary of the twinning of Manchester and St Petersburg. Both of these photography based exhibitions were a celebration of the close links between the two cities. Contemporary Manchester was an exhibition of photography students from Manchester School of Art and Contemporary St Petersburg an exhibition of student work from the St Petersburg State University. As well as historical research into the relationship between the two cities, I selected work to be exhibited in Russia and curated the work of Russian students, as well as writing press releases and exhibition information panels.

Contemporary Manchester - Contemporary St Petersburg
Contemporary Manchester - Contemporary St Petersburg
Contemporary Manchester - Contemporary St Petersburg
Contemporary Manchester - Contemporary St Petersburg

"Head for the Hills"

Drawing on the Arts for Health Archive, History of Art and Design students Sally Proctor and Emily Wheeler worked with Dr Langley Brown to make a small-scale version of a mural made in the 1980s for a Manchester hospital.

The original was inspired by Benny Rothman, leader of the 1932 Kinder Scout Mass Trespass. Its design evolved from sketches and photographs by availers and staff working with artists of Hospital Arts (now Lime) during trips to the Peak District.

The new mosaic and accompanying exhibition featured in April at the Peak District National Park's Moorland Centre in Edale during celebrations of the 80th anniversary of the Trespass. A 'work-in-progress' was shown in March at the Manchester Histories Festival.

When the original mural was demolished, a monument to a shared experience was lost; its contributors would never be able to show it to their grandchildren.

So this project is a resuscitation...

Head for the Hills
Head for the Hills

"Pop Music"

By Katy Morrison.

Created using a selection of electronically modified toys from the 1990's Pop Music exists as a sound composition and ultimately a performance by these objects as they live out their new purpose and function. The personal and cultural memories of these objects are now trapped within the record, which due to the nature of its production has been given a lifespan, as the more the record is played the further away from its original form it becomes. Thus, this piece becomes a memory in its own right, as it presents a new experience and relationship with the toys used.

This piece was exhibited at Creative Corner Cafe, forming a part of Chorlton Arts Festival 2012 and with this the life of the record began as it took the form of a six hour long performance, with which the sounds began to decay, furthered by its performance for The Allery Gallery, a pop-up gallery based in an alleyway in Whalley Range.

Pop Music
Pop Music
Pop Music


Find out more about this course.