Carolyn Bowe, MA.

Why I chose this programme:

I chose to do the MA Contemporary Fine Art, not because I consider myself a Fine Artist, but because the Contemporary Fine art offers me the opportunity to produce research and creative pieces to complement existing areas of development in any medium and in any way. In essence, I am not confined to an output mode.

What I’m learning and how this might benefit the College:

My areas of interest lie in the arts and technology, more specifically, as a graphic designer working with augmenting reality and communication design. I have recently worked on a programme with National Geographic that focussed on storytelling for change – finding ways to highlight, amplify and disseminate world/wicked problems at a local level. This research resulted in a series of infographics and will combine printed and augmented reality information for users. I am bringing this experience to the newly validated Graphic Media Communication (GMC) degree and continuing to develop this research during my MA. As an example: One specific module I wrote for the GMC course is titled “Narrative & Storytelling for Impact”. This newly validated module explores in greater depth the role of storytelling and narrative in design and as a vehicle for social change. Students will focus on simplifying complex information to communicate a story that inspires change in either a commercial, social or ‘wicked’ problem context. Practicing this in a research and professional context is essential to delivering this module.

On my current MA module I’m working on research skills and concepts that blur the boundaries of traditional art and design techniques and emerging technology. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Photogrammetry
  • 3D object creation and animation
  • Deep mapping and space logs
  • Gallery space augmentation with smartphones

Experiments with 3D image creation, animation and space logs (see examples below) will directly benefit the first intake of the FD Graphic Media Communication (GMC) students in September and the existing Art and design cohorts. The OU validating panel for the GMC placed emphasis on the students’ ability to research and think critically. The MA programme is proving to be a clear reminder of the importance of critical thinking and is providing me with the time and structure to unpack and develop these skills in my own students.

The videos below may load slowly so please be patient.

3D sculpture experiment for output to AR and 3D printer

3D make and animate for augmenting into real space – my living room in this instance. Proximity triggers the animation.

Hologram creation with L4 Art & Design

How studying for am MA has already benefitted the College:

I had applied for many External Examiner positions without appointment before I began the MA. My aim through these applications was to look outward in order to assess our own position with regard to benchmarking standards, delivery models, resource setups and consider how we might increase applications.

The first position I applied for once I added the MA to my CV as ongoing research, I won. I was offered the position of EE for Sunderland University for their Graphic Communication courses for the next 4 years. This will provide invaluable insight for our existing Art and Design Programmes as well as the GMC.

Should you require and further information, please ask.

Carolyn Bowe