Now, I Like That! The Influence of the Art Critic

Now I Like That2The School of Art Gallery and Museum is to host a brand new Lifelong Learning course this Autumn.  Now, I Like That! The Influence of the Art Critic will provide an introduction to debates about aesthetics in relation to the visual arts and will provide a chance for the local community to gain hands-on experience of the University’s important collections of fine and decorative art.

Below is a preview of the course by Ian Munday, a student of the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at Aberystwyth University.


     How many of us, in order to get out of the rain, have stumbled into an art gallery, or been lured in by the fragrance of the gallery’s coffee bar and then paused to look at the exhibits on the wall and thought:  “well I could have done that!” or even worse thought: “my Owen (aged 4) could have done better”?

We seem to currently live in an age where, with all the social media sites,  “everyone is a critic”. Even radio stations these days now seem to interview Mr Joe Public in preference over an erudite expert. Yet even those intellects of yesteryear got it wrong sometimes; take  Sir Alfred Munnings (President of the RA and subject of the recent feature film “Summer in February”), he once referred to Picasso and Matisse as “foolish daubers who have corrupted art”. The whole world knows of Picasso and Matisse, not many of us know of Munnings (he painted horses).

So what shapes our perception of what is a good picture or sculpture? Why do we like some images and hate others? Why do some of us feel we don’t understand art at all?  George Bernard Shaw once cryptically remarked “You will think less of the art, when you know the artist.” What did he mean? Well the excellent Art Department of Aberystwyth University’s School of Education and Lifelong Learning is about to come to our rescue by launching a course run by Phil Garratt  called “Now, I Like That!  The Influence of the Art Critic”.

The School of Lifelong Learning runs classes throughout the counties of Ceredigion, Powys and Carmarthenshire making university lecturers and university resources available to all, irrespective of age, educational or financial background, for as little as £50 a course. And not just in Art; in Creative Writing, History, Geology, Languages and other disciplines. Their vast range of courses can be found in the Lifelong Learning Prospectus or seen online.

This new course, designed not necessarily for the artist, or even the art historian, is for anyone who might want to explore their own perceptions of what art is and how, in history, we have been influenced into having likes and dislikes. It will also give the participant occasion to explore their own preferences and prejudices as well as of those of the establishment. The course will be looking at art from the medieval to contemporary periods and how art has been influenced by, and developed alongside, the philosophies of developing ages. All classes will take place in the School of Art in Aberystwyth. And if you are really keen you can use the credits from this 8 week course (starting in October and spreading over 5 months) towards a Certificate in Higher Education. Having myself taken part in several Lifelong Learning’s courses I can guarantee that the participant will come out at the end with thoughts, attitudes and perceptions they didn’t know they had.

So why not help the months of another dreary Welsh winter pass with a little critical art appreciation and fill out an enrolment form.

Dechrau/Start Date: 23.10.12

Dydd Mercher/Wednesday, 1pm-3.30pm

All Dates: 23/10, 6/11, 20/11, 27/11, 11/12, 08/01, 22/01, 05/02

Course Code:    CA112

Ffi / Fee £70  (£60 Gostyngol / Concessions)

Cynllun Hepgor Ffioedd ar gael ar y cwrs yma/Fee Waiver Scheme Available on this course.

01970 621580   :

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