London 2017

For, About, Nearby: The value of diversity and difference in Fine Art practice, research and education.

“I do not intend to speak about just speak nearby ” Trin T. Minha

Hosted by University of The Arts London, UK

with The National Association of Fine Art Education

Conway Hall, London

Paradox conferences are developed by artist educators and provide an international forum for arts and educational practitioners, and their stakeholders, to meet and discuss education, teaching, practice and research.

The 2017 conference is a meeting that offers opportunity to exchange ideas, practices, provocations and research that relate to core themes around issues of diversity in the contemporary landscape of higher education fine art.

Diverse Knowledge      Diverse Ethics      Diverse Means      Diverse Aesthetics

In simple terms, creativity is common. It is not a privilege neither an exclusive natural gift; this conference seeks to explore the challenge of inclusive education crossing territories of cultural production that are ever expanding in their reach and in their terms of reference.

Rather than argue for the preservation of what is or the recovery of what was, the conference aims to explore a range of views and perspectives that might influence and improving the democratic freedoms and inclusive rights of access to the means of cultural production for all in our society, or at least those who seek to engage with fine art as a discrete area of cultural contribution and experience.

We have chosen to host this conference in London in 2017 precisely because of the risks and threats to Fine Art education in the wake of a dogged political climate of determinism and marketization that privileges the few, mostly on the basis of existing privilege. The location is an opportunity to reflect on change as well as prevailing issues of difference and diversity. Our European community of fine art practitioners and educators are subject to uncertain impacts from so called Brexit and the negotiation of new arrangements in the UKs relations with European nations and nationals. We do not know where the Trump presidency might lead our national consciousness and our appreciation of transnational and global communities of interest. We have recent and repeated experience of confused and confusing policy initiatives that seek to mold the role of the state as ideologue in the design of statutory education and of emergent education industries. The UK is experiencing increasing division and segregation in our regional and national social communities based on access to educational resources and to cultural experience and this is exacerbated by continuing inequalities based on gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality and class.