About Dirty Practice

This initiative sets out to explore critically the current artistic framework where manual skills and studio based practices are increasingly denigrated in favour of conceptual or socially engaged art practices. This is partly mirrored in the educational structures (and spaces) found in the new HEI environment where Fine Art departments are increasingly relocated into non-purpose-built, inadequate office type spaces without workshop support. It is also reflected in the way the artist studio has often been, in a simplifying fashion, linked to a specific art movement and specific type of art work, where the studio ultimately has become a target of the institutional critique or a ‘pathology of the modern.’

Dirty Practice: The Role of the Artist’s Studio,

Wolverhampton School of Art, 20-23 September 2016.

Speakers and participant artists:

  • Maggie Ayliffe, Wolverhampton School of Art.
  • Andrew Bracey, University of Lincoln.
  • Holly Crawford, Artist, New York, US.
  • Prof Rebecca Fortnum, Professor of Fine Art, Middlesex University London.
  • Claire Hickey, Artist,  Birmingham.
  • Sarah Gilbert, Pitzer College, Claremont CA, US.
  • Dr Simon Harris, Wolverhampton School of Art.
  • Danica Maier, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham.
  • Dr Christian Mieves, Wolverhampton School of Art.
  • Annie Morrad, University of Lincoln.
  • Christine Stevens, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham.
  • Elizabeth Wright, University of Lincoln.


Adobe Photoshop PDF

Workshop / Symposium 2016

Dates: Workshop Residency: 20-22 September 2016

Symposium:  23 September 2016

Click here to submit proposal/ call for papers.



Click here to find more information about the Dirty Practice Symposium 2016.

For more information about the event click here.



 Dirty Practice 2015


Dirty Practice/ Painting Workshop
22-26 June 2015,
Fine Art University of Wolverhampton

The week-long workshop aims to provide participants with the opportunity to both observe discuss and take part in a sustainable model of studio based practice alongside practitioners who engage in and teach through their own painting practice. Registration deadline: 8 June 2015 Registration Fee: One week workshop:  £30 (students)  £60 (non-students) (fee includes material and refreshments).

To see further information about the 2015 program, click here.

Forthcoming related  Publications:


Maggie Ayliffe and Christian Mieves: ‘Dirty Practice: A Painting Workshop and the Hidden Curriculum’,in Teaching Painting: How Can Painting Be Taught in Art Schools?

by Ian Hartshorne, Donal Moloney, Magnus Quaife (eds)

The ways in which painting is taught within art schools and academies has, in recent years, undergone several significant changes. As the barriers between media eroded into more fluid borders, art schools have responded by adapting and evolving. Many painting departments have been absorbed into general Fine Art courses but specialist painting courses and pathways still continue to be developed. How have these courses defined and redefined themselves to reflect the current artistic landscape and how can painting maintain an identity within non-specialist approaches? ‘Teaching Painting’ addresses the historical, theoretical, pedagogical and continually shifting methods of how the medium is taught.

For more information see:




Dirty Practice 2015:
Artists talks Series:


Dirty Practice Workshop 2015

Dirty Practice was informative, inspirational and productive. I’ve found the experience invaluable… without the workshop I would probably have struggled to get going during the first few weeks of the new semester, taking time to get back into the swing of things, now I’m itching to get back into the studio…excited at the prospect of hitting the ground running.
Very enjoyable week, thank you.

2. Year BA student Fine Art

(Photo credit: Dirty Practice Workshop 2015, Photographs:  Jackie Sanderson, Christian Mieves)