About Dirty Practice

Dirty Practice, a research project initiated by Christian Mieves and Maggie Ayliffe in 2015, sets out to explore critically the current artistic framework where manual skills and studio based practices are denigrated in an increasingly institutionalised HEI environment. 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.’ This is the third iteration of the Dirty Practice research project, which has started in 2015 Dirty Practice: Artist/ Teacher; 2016 Dirty Practice: The Role of the Studio and 2018 Dirty Practice: Who cares?







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Related Publication:


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:


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