Sign the Petition to Keep Harrow Ceramics Department Open

07Feb09

I would urge anybody reading this to follow the link to sign the Downing Street Petition below. It is with great sadness that I hear of yet another proposed loss of one of our great practice based courses. The same thing has happened to so many Printmaking Departments across the UK since the late 80s (Thatcherism again… i know I must stop going on…). Financially I guess these departments just don’t make sense but what a great international reputation we had for our British Art Education in the 60s, 70s and 80s. There is no denying that rooms filled with computers are cheaper to run and far tidier but will they allow our students in hands on subject areas to really experience and become makers in their own right beyond college? Will they produce the next generation of great British artists, designers and makers or will they just be good at mood boards and design sheets. We need to allow room for people to explore on degree courses not necessarily to just be good students. We need to allow room for the creativity that life beyond college won’t allow. The constraints made on students are becoming increasingly demanding and if we are all to work on computers where is the manufacturing base going to be? There is a distinct need for courses such as this…and, for that matter, for all those really good studios that had printing presses until a few years ago.

The University of Westminster are proposing to close their highly acclaimed Harrow Ceramics Degree Course. Recruitment of new students has been suspended and there are plans to close the course by 2013, which will coincide with the 50th Anniversary of ceramics teaching at Harrow.

The decision has been made despite the courses’ long held outstanding national and international reputation; first class academic standing and a distinguished assembly of professional expertise including Edmund de Waal, Emmanuel Cooper, Kyra Cane, Professor Christie Brown, Professor Nigel Wood, Steve Buck, Clare Twomey and a roster of world famous ceramicists as both alumni and staff. Its closure has huge significance for British art, craft and design.

We call on the University to reverse this decision, reinstate the recruitment of new students and SAVE HARROW CERAMICS.(click here)

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