From education to employment

Dr Beth Richards joins Arts University Plymouth’s postgraduate centre

Dr Beth's work

Dr Beth Richards has been appointed as a postgraduate lecturer at Arts University Plymouth, working across Masters degrees such as Fine Art, Photography, Illustration and Painting, Drawing and Printmaking. 

A practising artist, researcher and producer, Beth is a curator and founding co-director of Rame Projects, an artist-led space in Cornwall as well as Education and Engagement Curator at Harbour House Gallery, Kingsbridge. Beth achieved her PhD in Art and Performance from University of Plymouth in 2020.

Beth said, “I did my Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at Arts University Plymouth in 2005 and I’m back in that same building teaching, so it’s a bit of a full circle moment. My Foundation was such a formative year for me. I feel like I have a good understanding of the University’s philosophy and attitude. It’s friendly and supportive, and very open facing and engaging with the city. With my work with social engagement and my community arts background, the ethos of this institution resonates with me.”

Beth has over fourteen years of experience of socially engaged practice and has exhibited nationally and internationally. She has shown work at the likes of Collective Ending, London; Eden Project, Cornwall; Castlefield Gallery, Manchester; Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow as well as in Toronto, Mexico City, Dublin and Cardiff and showed her solo exhibition ‘Poor Copy’ at Jerwood Visual Arts, London; Exeter Phoenix and The Northern Charter, Newcastle.

Beth said, “I work in performance, video, sound, text – whatever the narrative dictates. I work with communities of geography, of identity, and of interest, looking at sited histories. That could be critiquing dominant histories, or shining light on hidden histories. I love stories and storytelling, it’s really what drives my work.”

“Supporting emerging artists is really important to me and one of the reasons I started Rame Projects. I want to bring that DIY attitude to my teaching practice here, the cohort has such great energy and fantastic ideas. Teaching really helps me engage with my own practice too, I learn so much from the students.”

Beth is also working as an engagement curator at the Harbour House Gallery, Kingsbridge and is currently developing two practice-research art projects.

Beth said, “The first is the Multi-species Reading Walking group, which looks at human and more-than-human relationships and creating space for others to engage with that and explore the links between wellbeing and nature. The other is a collaborative project with students from Torpoint Community College, creating moving images and soundscapes to investigate the phenomenon of “reality shifting” and imagined futures. Born out of TikTok, ‘shifting’ uses fan fiction-like scripts and meditative practices as a form of self-hypnosis, and as a way into imagined narrative worlds, exploring utopian universes that are supportive of our wellbeing and our young people.”

Professor Stephen Felmingham, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at Arts University Plymouth said,

“It is a pleasure to have someone with Beth’s considerable experience joining the Postgraduate offering at Arts University Plymouth. Her background interacting with a variety of methodologies covers a number of our Masters degrees, continuing the cross-disciplinary ethos and attitude of the University. As a practising artist, researcher and curator, Beth brings expertise and technical ability which will contribute greatly to the dynamic and critically engaged MA cohort.”

The dynamic, cross-disciplinary postgraduate community at Arts University Plymouth offers a rich environment that provides critical and technical expertise in a range of disciplines. The community of postgraduate students develop exposure within their field and refine their practice in a space that fosters experimentation and reflective engagement with issues that are shaping the world we hold in common. Find out more about postgraduate study at Arts University Plymouth at the next Open Day on Saturday 24 June 2023.

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