Leigh Clarke + Tim Hutchinson: School's Out
A research project through print and design
A celebration of Art School Posters
Leigh Clarke and Tim Hutchinson have been gradually collecting art school posters, over their careers as students and now teachers in art schools. Clarke as an artist interested in design, and Hutchinson as a designer interested in art; these posters are where their practices intersect – where they meet – that and London College of Communication, where they both teach. It was a casual accumulation at first, from stacks of discarded printed material in the dusty cupboards and plan chests of many institutions across the UK; it has become an on-going research project. People now bring the posters to them. They have an ever-growing archive of over 400 posters, with examples going back as far as the 1950s.
Amateur, hand-printed and lo-fi, produced quickly, in small runs, to broadcast immediate concerns and rally the student body; these posters have a small and specific intended audience – they assume a shared institutional understanding – they advertise gigs, lectures, exhibitions, protests, performances, jobs. In an era before social media they were the primary method of mass communication – pinned to the noticeboard in the canteen and the union bar, fly-posted around campus. Their modus operandi is cool; their raison d'etre is to appeal; now they are also nostalgic for the golden age of British art education, and tinged with sadness at its demise. Seen individually the posters are curiosities and culty ephemera, often well-executed and visually innovative, the evoke the aesthetic and the technology of their respective eras; taken en masse they chronicle the changing political and economic eras of recent British cultural history; they record the concerns and passions of art students, perhaps the most youthful of youths.
In order to collate this unwieldy haul, Leigh and Tim have photographed the posters in a perfunctory manner, although they remain uncategorised and uncatalogued. For the summer installation at Liddicoat & Goldhill Project Space, the photographs are reproduced as colour prints, onto a range of different paper stocks, to retain the sense of variety that exists with the originals. All the images have been worked on in post-production software to restore their formats, orientation and shape. The collection is re-processed as a cohesive whole, presenting a singular, immediate experience for the viewer; this is not an archival exhibition but a wall of art school voices.
About the Team
Leigh Clarke, b.1973, graduated from the RCA MA Printmaking course in 1998. His work is grounded within an alternative print practice that has employed performance, curating, painting and sculpture. He was selected for the John Moores Painting Prize in 2006, the London Open at the Whitechapel Gallery in 2012, and has exhibited and curated internationally in New Zealand, China, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Recently he has undertaken solo projects for Create London, the Centre de la Gravure in Belgium and the Whitstable Biennale. Leigh works as a Senior Lecturer at the London College of Communication and Print Tutor at the Royal Academy Schools. He has a studio at CRATE in Margate.
After graduating from the RCA MA in Graphic Design and Art Direction from the Royal College of Art, Tim Hutchinson, b.1969, co-founded Bark design in 1995 and was creative director for the company for 17 years. He worked closely with, and provided creative solutions for a diverse range of high profile clients in many different sectors ranging from Rankin, Art Angel, Brian Eno and the ICA to Deutsche Bank, Conran, Sony Music and Playstation. Since then, Tim has set up an independent design practice and enjoys regularly collaborating with designer and artists – providing visual solutions for events, exhibitions, branding, identity, editorial and promotional material. He has work placed in the permanent collections at Mudac in Switzerland and the Museum of London. Tim currently lives and works in Farnham in Surrey and London.
Lucy Howarth, b.1977, is an art historian and curator, who has researched in the field of art school education, working on Tate’s ‘Art School Educated’ Research Project as a post-doc, and contributing to the resulting book, The London Art Schools: Reforming the Art World, 1960 to Now, (Tate, 2015). She is the curator of Liddicoat & Goldhill Project Space at the Printworks, Margate.
For more information on this exhibition and the ongoing collaborative project please contact Lucy Howarth: firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to thank Prof. Teal Triggs (Associate Dean of Communication RCA), Paul Hedge (Director of Hales Gallery) and Roger Kelly (Crispin Finn) for helping kick start this project.
Friday 13th July
Saturday 14th July –
Saturday 25th August 2018
or by appointment, plus opening for tours and evening events
Liddicoat & Goldhill Project Space Studio 1