Afterall is a research and publishing organisation founded in 1998 by
Research Fellow Charles
Esche and Professor Mark Lewis at Central Saint Martins, University of the
Arts London (UAL).
Afterall focuses on contemporary art, and its relationship to wider
theoretical, social and political
fields. Researchers associated to Afterall undertake and commission
research, which is
disseminated to an international audience through publications and events.
Afterall impacts on the
cultural sector and an extended audience by providing a platform for
critical and creative
responses to art, curatorial and cultural practice and by shaping
discourse in this area. The
significance and wide reach of this impact is demonstrated through
partnerships and high-profile
cultural events, publication reach, and support from the cultural
This case study focuses on three areas in relation to the social impact
of art, across the categories of `cultural life' and `public discourse'.
1) Artistic collaborations with non-artistic specialists in order to
generate new interdisciplinary pathways
2) Artistic collaborations with non-artists within a given community or
non-artistic institutional setting in order to create new forms of
3) The sharing of knowledge/skills between either non-artistic
specialists or a non-specialist audience and artists in the production of
a shared task or project.
4) Performance-based practice inside and outside of the gallery
The outward facing nature of this research, then, addresses the way such
work tests the prevailing competences, boundaries and identities of artist
and audience alike. This means researchers are involved with both artistic
and non-artistic funding-bodies and agencies as the basis for work on a
range of critical issues affecting the borders between the art institution
and non-artistic settings and contexts.
This case study demonstrates the impact of the Cass' research that has
promoted and supported the now pivotal role of Installation art and
Artists' Writing on the wider field of artistic and curatorial practice
over the last decade and more specifically since 2008.
The body of research based on de Oliveira/Oxley's activities as curators
and writers has been instrumental in the development of emerging forms of
practice and critical discourse. Installation art highlighted significant
changes in the understanding of the idea of the `medium', the institution
and the relationship between artists, curators and audiences. This
research is documented on their website www.writinginstallation.org.
The two-year ROTOЯ programme of exhibitions and events has been a
cornerstone of the University of Huddersfield's efforts to introduce new
audiences to contemporary art and design, as encouraged by successive Arts
Council policies for enhancing public engagement. As well as raising
awareness, inspiring curiosity and providing cultural enrichment, it has
initiated changes to local authority policies on providing cost-effective,
high-quality cultural services and has functioned as a vehicle for
research into how the impact of such programmes can be captured. As such,
it has served as a model partnership for local authority and university
sectors in offering cultural leadership, generating and measuring
engagement and delivering public services.
The impact of Professor Taylor's work in interpreting modern and
contemporary art has taken place on two complementary levels: on the one
hand the lucid and accessible exposition, for a wide international reading
public, of some of the most difficult, intractable, or provocative works
of recent and contemporary art; and on the other, more specialist
readings, again for an international reading public, of key tendencies in
the broader range of modern art, from Cubism to the present day. Wide
readership across Asia, Europe, and the United States has secured
increased public understanding of art, and has influenced both policy and
Research carried out at the University of Southampton into the social and
intellectual value of conceptual art has been the basis of creative
education and personal development programmes designed for school
children, teachers, young offenders and the general public. Through public
engagement activities run through the University's John Hansard Gallery,
public knowledge and understanding of conceptual art have been deepened.
Research has had a significant impact on 93 young offenders whose
participation in arts-based programmes has resulted in the attainment of
educational qualifications, enhanced employment prospects and a drop in
re-offending. New programmes, co-developed with Southampton Youth
Offending Service, have influenced public policy at local and national
government levels, with impact reach evidenced when they were recognised
by the Ministry of Justice as a model for best practice.
The leading open submission exhibition `EASTinternational' is
significant in establishing the reputations of prominent artists and
curators who have become major forces in contemporary art in the UK and
across the world. `EASTinternational' parallels the rise of the
Young British Artists, and is not dependent on an established commercial
network. Many influential curators and dealers have used the exhibition as
a serious sounding board for new artists, who otherwise might not have
been provided a platform through which to engage with high profile
practitioners, curators and dealers, and to access new markets. In
researching contemporary and emerging practice, identifying topical
exhibition themes, commissioning new works, originating solo exhibitions
and developing international networks `EASTinternational' has
supported the professional, career and commercial development of over 700
artists, curators and dealers, and enhanced critical discourse in a
variety of disciplines.
The Unit's research is at the centre of changing approaches to the
contemporary art and religious institutions by helping a variety of faith
communities to reflect on
their practices and by influencing public attitudes. The work focuses on 3
areas: the relationship
between nature and spirituality; the spiritual well-being of individuals;
the role of performance and
temporary works of art to increase understanding of religious communities
and sacred spaces.
Our findings have been used in policy documents published by the Church of
commissioning art in churches, in the National Conference of the Pagan
Swedenborg Society and by the Roman Catholic Church in Poland. These
impacts are particularly
relevant in the context of a new UK legal framework placing religious
belief among the protected
characteristics of Equality and Diversity.
Research at the University of Bristol on the international contexts of
British art has made a distinctive contribution to a renaissance of
British art studies that began in the late 1980s. Over the past five
years, scholars at Bristol have worked with museums in London, the regions
and overseas to engage the widest possible audience in fresh thinking
about British art. Exhibitions and catalogue essays informed by their
research have raised awareness of individual artists and changed public
and critical perceptions of British art as a whole. They have also brought
many benefits to the museum partners, attracting visitors, generating
income and enhancing the museums' understanding of their own collections.
Some exhibitions have inspired additional collaborations which have fed
back into research and further extended audiences for British art.
The impact comes from Ekserdjian's authentication and attribution of
Renaissance paintings and
the curatorship of international exhibitions, both of which have had
substantial financial impact on
institutions and individuals involved in the art market, in particular the
auction house sector,
galleries and museums. This also includes cultural impacts on the
art-loving public by introducing
them to newly-discovered and attributed artworks which might previously
have never been
exhibited publicly and by offering innovative ways of exhibiting and
gathered from around the globe.