Slade Methods Room
Welcome to the Slade Methods Room website, an on-line resource produced by Slade Graduate Painting.
The Slade Methods Room presents two long-standing research projects in Graduate Painting: the Material Research Project, directed by Jo Volley, Slade Deputy Director (Projects), Coordinator Material Research Project & Network, from its inception in 2010 to the present day, and Lecturer Gary Woodley from 2010 to 2019; and the Discourse Project from 2014 to the present, directed by Associate Professor Estelle Thompson, current Head of Graduate Painting.
The origins of the Material Research Project and Discourse Project stem from the Slade’s ‘Tech Workshops’ that ran for several years, led by Gary Woodley, Jo Volley and the late Professor Edward Allington, Head of Graduate Sculpture. When I began to work at the Slade in 2009 in my then role as Head of Graduate Painting, I felt it vital to address the subject of materiality and craft in relation to other critical perspectives in painting. This outlook wholeheartedly met the research interests of Jo, Gary and Estelle, each of us deeply engaged in exploring materiality in our own approach to drawing and painting. We set up the “Methods Room”, a dedicated materials-related space within the Graduate Painting studios to ground our investment in materials and our fascination with the “object-ness” of painting. Jo and Gary initiated the Material Research Project and a few years later Estelle further enriched Graduate Painting’s research culture by identifying a new strand of research, exploring the nature of painting from a conceptual outlook, which led to the Discourse Project.
The two projects have evolved not only from our research interests as practising artists, but draw from the pedagogic approaches and values that defined the Graduate Painting programme. Both projects engage an Honorary Research Associate (HRA) on an annual basis, offering the HRA opportunities to explore relevant aspects of their own research in tandem with Slade staff and students, and contribute to the research culture in Graduate Painting and the School.
In 2014 we posted the Slade Methods Room (Online) on the Slade’s website as a virtual digital counterpart to the permanent physical site of the Methods Room, first established in Studio 2 in Graduate Painting and in Room 4 at Woburn when Graduate Painting relocated to Woburn Square in September, 2018.
Gary Woodley, Methods Room in Studio 2Notable outcomes and funding of the Materials Research Project include:
2014 – Winsor & Newton recipient of the UCL Small and Medium Enterprise Partner Award.
2017 – ‘Faith’ – an exhibition and symposium at Austin Forum
2018 – KEMDU: Knowledge Exchange Mobile Display Unit
As a visitor to this research-based website, we hope you will enjoy perusing the Slade Methods Room where you may discover useful practical methodologies, stimulating critical perspectives, imaginative creative energy and a fount of inspiration.
Professor of Fine Art
Slade School of Fine Art, UCL