Dr. Maureen O’Neill’s SMART Talk

Dr. Maureen O’Neill, Senior Lecturer in Illustration at The University of Portsmouth and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, was recently lecturing in the 2015 SMART Talk taking place in China.

The British Council described the event as “Smart Talk aim is to bring some of the best of British talent to China giving inspirational talks to young people and students and raising their awareness of the pioneering work and projects going on in the UK. Speakers come from a variety of backgrounds representing the diversity and strengths of a UK education. The talks give speakers a unique opportunity to interact with a new generation of young people who will play a key role in their nation’s development.”

Maureen has trained as a graphic designer with a background in magazine design. She is an artist/designer and educator with a strong record of collaborative work through the design and creation of international networks involved in research into image centred learning, exploration of new opportunities in teaching and learning and the promotion of the image through the Internet.

The outline of Maureen’s lecture:

The production of artists’ books is a creative way, through traditional and contemporary methods, that students can promote their concepts by self-publishing. It is important for students to have the potential to develop appropriate methodologies to become involved in this re-emerging area with its potential as a medium of expression allowing for multidisciplinary solutions. There are an ever-growing number of courses from degree level through to PhD where this genre is being used as a medium to disseminate creative work. National and international library collections, archives, book arts organizations and resources on the Internet support and facilitate artists’ book production and research. In this lecture I will outline what distinguishes this genre from other art forms, what artists’ books are and the impact that they have on the students ability to self publish. I will outline the influence that the University of Portsmouth’s collection of 200 books, its online archive and database has had on students in the school of Art and Design from BA, MA through to PhD level. I will show physical artefacts (Artists books) from the collection and expand on how these and the archive affects learning, teaching and student research.

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