North Uist Campus
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Based on the island of North Uist, our campus provides an opportunity to study Fine Art in the distinctive environment of the Outer Hebrides, on the west coast of Scotland.
Renowned for their beauty, unique habitats, unusual geomorphology and spectacular coastlines, these islands comprise a rich and diverse natural environment. Home to a wide range of native flora and fauna, they also play host to a large variety of migrating birds throughout the year.
Human occupation of the islands dates back thousands of years and archaeological evidence of this is apparent throughout. The traditional island lifestyle of Crofting flourishes, (small hold farming), as does the Gaelic language and culture of traditional music, making this a unique and stimulating place in which to study.
Michelle Letowska / Anne MacKenzie / Dennis Magee
Lews Castle College
Isle of North Uist
Tel: +44 (0)1876 500 871
NC Art and Design
What is special about this course?
The National Certificate in Art & Design is a one-year course based in the distinctive location of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. The Island has a diverse landscape and spectacular coastline. Renowned for a rich natural history and fascinating archaeological past, the Hebridean islands also retain their unique Gaelic culture and language.
The course attracts a diverse group of learners from the islands and further afield, and is made up of younger students moving on from school as well as those returning to education. With small group sizes and the input of a number of specialised tutors, the learning experience is full of new challenges and creative opportunities.
A particular feature of the course is its location in Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre, the award winning arts venue in North Uist. With a changing exhibition programme, and stunning waterfront studios, Taigh Chearsabhagh is a vibrant hub of creative and cultural activity.
Applicants should have a minimum of 3 standard grade passes or equivalent, preferably including art and English. Applicants will also be asked to show examples of their work at interview where possible.
Applicants to the course should note that normal entry to a degree programme at any of Scotland’s established Art Schools typically require 3 or 4 Higher awards in a range of subjects including English and Art, together with an extensive portfolio.
The NC programme comprises of 16 nationally recognised Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) Units. In addition, portfolio preparation is embedded into the course structure. Designed to offer students a diverse and inspiring experience, the course also draws upon the unique location and cultural experience. Drawing forms an important part of the course and includes units in Figure drawing, and Analytical Drawing as well as introducing a wide range of fine art and design based units such as:
- Printmaking (including Etching)
- Photography (Digital, experimental techniques and analogue)
- Graphic Design
The NC Art and Design programme aims to provide students with a broad ranging experience in the visual arts; introducing a diverse range of skills, building on knowledge and understanding and encouraging critical awareness. A number of visiting artists are invited to deliver specialist workshops while the exhibitions programme at Taigh Chearsabhagh offers exciting first hand opportunities to engage with art first hand.
How will I study my course?
- Full Time
- Part Time
The course is offered full-time over three days a week (Monday - Wednesday, 9am-5pm)
Part time: In discussion with the Course Leader, applicants can select a number of units to study. Units are normally delivered in blocks over 2 weeks.
Where can I study my course?
- North Uist Campus -Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Art Centre
How long will my course last?
1 Year from September to June
For further information contact:
Anne Mackenzie (NC Course Leader)
Tel: 01876 500871
Fine Art BA (Hons)
Study fine art at our North Uist campus for one year or two years as part of the BA (Hons) in Fine Art, in partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands. Direct applications outwith UCAS are encouraged and as are applications from those wishing to engage their work more deeply with the landscape. Many students stay on in the Uist as distance learners, completing their degree through Moray School of Art. The course attracts a wide range of students who benefit from excellent staff student ratios and a flexible, supportive learning environment.
Consideration and response to ‘Place’ underpins our students learning experience, their primary resource - the island environment - understood in its broadest sense. Students are encouraged to engage, interpret and respond to this notion in a wide variety of ways, investigating and exploring the abundant stimuli here and beyond whilst developing their own creative and visual identity.
Fine Art students are primarily based at Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Art Centre in Lochmaddy, North Uist. The venue provides a stimulating creative environment where students benefit from a rich programme of exhibitions, artists talks and residencies. Recent visiting artists have included Gwen Hardie, Ilana Halperin, Andy Goldsworthy, Chris Drury, and Mhairi Killin
Working in light, modern studios overlooking Lochmaddy bay, students follow a programme of study designed to enhance and build on individual creative skills, exploring a wide variety of media and approaches. The studios are wi-fi enabled, and have PC and Mac computers. Onsite there is access to Taigh Chearsabhagh’s print workshop, darkroom and multi-media facility, as well as a dedicated art library.
Year one modules include Analogue and Digital Photography, Drawing, Painting, Contemporary Technology, Spatial Studies and Critical and Contextual Studies.
Year two develops a studio practice in which students direct their learning, framed by workshops and electives across a wide range of media and subjects, developing practical and creative skills. Students receive regular one to one support, lectures, seminars, peer and group reviews.
A number of elements of the course are delivered at the Lews Castle College, Benbecula campus via video conferencing, in particular the Critical & Contextual Studies module. This campus also provides extensive IT facilities for research.
The core teaching staff are all practicing artists, in addition to whom teaching provision is facilitated through resident and visiting artists throughout the year; including fine art photographer Rosie Blake, filmmaker Hugh Watt, environmental photographer René Jansen, painter and printmaker Margaret McLennan, ceramic and glass artist Rosa Nguyen, sound artist James Bull and critic Mel Gooding.
All applicants are required to submit a portfolio of work demonstrating their ability to respond to with demands of the course and preparedness for study at Higher Education level. Standard requirements for admission are:
- A minimum of 3 Higher grade passes, one of which is preferably English
- Or the equivalent gained from systems of Education out with Scotland
- Or a recognised Access programme
Successful completion of the Certificate of Higher Education in Fine Art (Year 1) or equivalent programme of study and submission of a portfolio.
Students from the course have gone on to exhibit at the Royal Scottish Academy, as part of the New Contemporaries and the Society of Scottish Artists, amongst other shows. Graduates are encouraged to build and sustain a practice as an artist and many go on to complete residencies at arts venues such as Arteles Creative Centre, Finland and the BigCi, Australia. Others have gone on to continue study at Moray School of Art, Elgin, Glasgow School of Art and Chelsea School of Art in London.
Applications are currently being accepted for academic year 2016-17 for Year 1 and Year 2. Apply via Lews Castle College http://www.lews.uhi.ac.uk/studying-at-lcc/apply/how-to-apply or contact Dennis Magee for further information firstname.lastname@example.org or 01876 500 871
We run regular short courses in art and design. To find out more please contact us on 01876 500 871 or at email@example.com
Anne Mackenzie is Course Leader for the National Certificate in Art and Design having begun as Lecturer on the NC and BAFA courses with Lews Castle College (UHI) in 2004. She is from North Uist, returning to the island in 1997 after studying at Grays School of Art where she specialised in drawing and painting.
A Post Graduate qualification in secondary school teaching began an early career teaching in Glasgow, before embarking on a new career path out with the formal education system as Arts and Education Officer for Taigh Chearsabhagh Trust. Here she devised and facilitated many events such as combined arts residential summer schools for young people, arts engagement projects with the third age and an international artists workshop in association with The Triangle Network. Anne has extensive experience in delivering arts education workshops and events to a wide range of ages and levels of experience both in and out of formal education. She continues to develop the FE arts provision in the Uists to offer a distinctive, stimulating and ambitious programme of study.
A lecturer on the BAFA and NC courses, Michelle Letowska studied Philosophy and Politics at the University of York, Fine Art at the Sculpture and Environmental Art department of the Glasgow School of Art and Akademia Sztuk Pieknych, Krakow, Poland and Drawing Practices at Leith School of Art. She has a studio practice founded on drawing as enquiry and a spatial practice working with a range of materials to explore phenomenological and social encounters in the world.
Michelle has undertaken residencies at a number of locations including Cove Park, Argyll, Scotland, Kunstverein Hildesheim and the Mostra de Artes Visuais e Sonoras, Lisbon. Her work has shown in galleries and public spaces across Europe, including Berlin, Hamburg, Edinburgh and London.
Michelle has lectured, taught and given papers at a wide range of institutions including Glasgow School of Art, the Courtauld Institute, the University of Glasgow and the University of Lancaster. She has published articles on a number of subjects from drawing and artists’ writings to the ethics of socially engaged art in publications including Tracey Contemporary Drawing Research journal, AN Magazine and PAR+RS (Public Art Resource and Research Scotland).
Michelle lives and works in North Uist and Glasgow and is a working member of the Glasgow Independent Studios and the Glasgow Print Studio. During 2013 she was commissioned for the Creative Scotland By Leaves We Live residency, part of The Year of Natural Scotland 2013. In 2014 she undertook a micro-residency at the print Studio in Taigh Chearsabagh, Lochmaddy. She completed her Post Graduate Certificate in learning and teaching creative practices at the Glasgow School of Art and, as a result of her research, was invited to deliver a paper at the Q-art symposium Location and Art Education in June 2015.
Dennis has been course leader on the BA hons Fine art since April 2013. He completed a BA honours in Fine Art, in the UK and post graduate studies at the Queensland College of Art in Australia.
He first exhibited at the Acre Lane Gallery in Brixton in 1981 with further exhibitions in the Orchard Gallery in Derry, Northern Ireland and the Project Art Centre in Dublin, prior to emigrating to Australia in 1984.
He exhibited widely in Australia since the mid 1980’s in both solo and group exhibitions. From the early 1990s he also engaged with public and social art practice and collaborative design in urban design contexts.
He has spoken at numerous conferences in Australia and written numerous articles and public art strategies. His work is held in public and private collections in the UK, Ireland and Australia. His writing and artwork has featured and been reviewed in a variety of books, journals and newspapers.
Dennis has been involved in Art and Design education for more that 25 years. He has lectured at Belfast College of Art, Queensland College of Art, The Queensland University of Technology and The Brisbane institute of Art. From 1995 -2013 he was the Team Leader, Art and Design at the Bremer Institute of Technical and Vocational Education in Ipswich Australia. He completed a Graduate Diploma in Adult and Vocational Education at Griffith University, Brisbane in 2007.
Dennis is an interdisciplinary artist; his current practice based research, engages with the politics of colour and nomenclature, and includes drawing, digitally generated prints, text based artwork, light based work and animation.