Byam Shaw – One Hundred Years On
New Fine Art Programmes – Shared Values – Two Sites
The goodwill that has informed the sustained dialogue between the School of Art and Byam Shaw over the past year or so has made possible a fresh look at the future, most especially in the light of CSM’s move to King’s Cross. From the discussions to have taken place so far – and which have benefited from the contributions of a wide range of staff – it is already clear that there is a shared aim of providing an exciting, responsive and adaptable environment for the study of Fine Art.
The Fine Art courses at all levels will be more closely aligned and from 2011 it is anticipated that Byam Shaw will be a centre for the Fine Art Postgraduate programme, particularly if we are able to secure an exciting new space adjacent to the existing Elthorne Road studios. We may also look at extending the studio provision at Archway to include a drawing and/or mixed-use studio that will accommodate some elements of the FAD course and existing space is being adapted at the main site to expand print-making facilities (principally screen printing and etching), develop the basement workshop and maximize the Jerwood sculpture yard and metalwork area. We envisage a free flow of students and staff between the King’s Cross and Archway campuses, and we are currently discussing the possibility of appointing a ‘Byam Shaw Professor or Reader’ who will ensure that the School’s traditions remain represented. The desired end result is for students and staff to feel at home at both campuses and to be familiar with the facilities they offer.
All in all there is much that is propitious. The successful assimilation of Byam Shaw within the new Fine Art programmes extends and enriches what these programmes can achieve, and through combining the assets and histories of all parties new energies will emerge and potentially new and unanticipated opportunities be created.
When at the end of the Edwardian era, in the Summer 1910, Rex Vicat Cole and John Byam-Shaw opened the doors of Campden Hill studios to their first students it unlikely that they thought very much beyond the next decade. A century on, it is hard to say what they would now make of the art school they founded, decamped from Kensington to Archway, and having a roll of not far short of four hundred students. But let us suppose they would take great satisfaction in seeing Byam Shaw finding a secure station within Central Saint Martins – and part of the extended family that also numbers Camberwell, Chelsea, and Wimbledon.
Principal, Byam Shaw