Foundation Press is run by Joe Woodhouse, Adam Phillips and Deborah Bower; staff from the Foundation Diploma and the Art and Design Extended BA (Hons) programmes, within the University of Sunderland, based at the National Glass Centre. Joe is Programme Leader, an artist and academic with research experience in pedagogic practice. Adam Phillips is an Academic Tutor and also a curator/co-founder of the high profile regional arts organisation, CIRCA Projects. Deborah Bower is an Academic Tutor, artist and designer who utilises print and moving image.
Foundation Press is an experimental printing press and a teaching and learning initiative established in 2012 and developed by the team, drawing on their skills and experience. Based around Risograph printing resources, it operates as a space for testing collaborative approaches to design, printmaking and publishing inspired by the interdisciplinary and fast paced environment of the Foundation course it developed out of.
Impact of work
Foundation Press has developed an ongoing series of social projects, within and around the curriculum at Sunderland, drawing on the innovative history of the Foundation course, related pedagogies and creative practice. Utilising high levels of collaborative learning with participants from across the School of Arts and Creative Industries, students acquire industry applicable skills and the confidence to apply these independently, whilst developing original outcomes. Projects have often involved collaborations with other artists, designers and external arts organisations.
Progressing into the creative industries can represent a challenge for emerging graduates. Projects that offer this experience can make a big difference to the way students feel about their ability to contribute outside of the institution.
Over the last year, projects have been delivered in collaboration with Pop Recs Ltd, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (Sunderland), BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead) and Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff). Through the projects, we support the participation of our students within wider academic and real world contexts.
Plans for the future
The initial aim was to contribute to a lively community of practice at Sunderland, developing students confidence and engagement with the arts – a number of project participants have since gone on to form their own arts practices, collectives, publications and galleries.
University of Sunderland