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13~17 year olds - Contemporary Art Summer Camp

About the course

Our 5 day contemporary art summer school is a challenging, dynamic and fun multidisciplinary art workshop for emerging artists.

The course will focus on teaching students the fundamental principles and history of contemporary art, whilst also providing them with the opportunity to experiment with a range of new techniques and materials.

What will I study?

Learner hours: 25

The course will focus on teaching students the fundamental principles and history of contemporary art, whilst also providing them with the opportunity to experiment with a range of new techniques and materials.

Throughout the week, students will have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art equipment and professional studios and will leave with a portfolio of high-quality pieces. It is a chance to get stuck into a range of unconventional mediums as well as develop artistic skills and cultivate creativity.

Day 1: Re-enact - Spinning the Gossamer Thread

On Monday we will explore how contemporary artists use unconventional methods and materials to search for answers to deep questions, motivated solely by curiosity and without concern for failure. The day will begin with making an instant “composition” inspired by Brazilian artist Lygia Clark, using paper and found objects. You will then explore the concept of relational objects and participatory art through the re-enactment of Clark’s participatory work ‘Live Structure’ (1969-70). You will then have the opportunity to make your own relational object in the art studio space.

Day 2: Re-make – Create your own language

You will explore, using digital technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning in art making. You will work in pairs to create your own language and vocabulary. You will then play an alternative “Charades!” game, which uses the language and vocabulary you have created. You will then learn to use AI (Artificial Intelligence) – generators provided on computers to transform the language and vocabulary into images and create collages, prints and sculptures.

Day 3: Re-play 1

You will explore how artists use photography in their creative art practice and process. In response to artist Erwin Wurm’s series, One Minute Sculptures (1977), you will use camera's provided or your phone camera to create your own mini-series of one-minute sculptures with found objects and art materials provided. You will then make your series of one-minute sculptures into a photobook.

Day 4: Re-play 2

You will explore how artists use moving-image in their creative art practice. You will learn how to use mind-map and diagrams in your sketchbook to generate ideas for collaboration and experimentation. You will work in a team of 3-4 to make a 1-minute short film, which will be uploaded onto the workshop website.

Day 5: Re-cord

You will look at how different artists (contemporary & traditional) use sound in art making, which includes DIY sound instruments, electronic music making, experimental sound composition and soundscape design. You will experiment as a group with MINIMU Gloves, a MAGIC glove that allows your hand gestures to make sound. You will then have the opportunity to play with the ready-made DIY instruments provided by the workshop, and to make your own sound instrument to bring home.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, you will leave with a creative toolkit that will help you develop your creative art practice and critical thinking through the experiences of creating participatory artworks, making AI-generated art, making your own photo book, completing a small film production, and inventing your own experimental DIY music instrument. You will have a fresh taste of the joy and freedom in applying interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary methods for your future creative art practice journey.

Where will I study?

Mode of delivery: Face to face

Our address is The School of Creative Arts, College Lane Campus, Hatfield, Herts AL10 9AB.

For Maps and Directions please visit our helpful  ‘Where to Find Us’  page. Further details are sent by email when you have booked.

Important information


Signing in is from 9.20am and 9.25am each day in the Art Gallery and the summer workshops will start at 9.30. We finish at 15.30pm. You will need to be picked up promptly at 15.30pm, again from the Art Gallery. Parents and carers, if you have any problems and think that you may be late, please let us know by calling 01707 285327.

Drop Off/Collection

The drop-off point is the Art Gallery, and you can find this through our wayfinding app here. We suggest you park in one of the bays around the nearby Lindop Building for drop-off. You can drop off anytime between 9.20am and 9.25am. Collection is promptly at 15.30. nb, there is free parking for 2 hours on campus.

The Programme

We have an exciting programme of activities planned. You will find out more about art and design courses and you will be meet practising artists or designers.  Each group will have an assistant art tutor with them for the whole time you are here, and you will meet them on your first morning.  They can help you with any concerns you have while you are here.


Parents/Guardians: When registering, please enrol with your own details. There is a field on the enrolment paperwork where you can enter your son or daughter's name and age.

Emergency Contact

We need contact numbers so we can contact parents/carers at any time.  These details need to be confirmed on the form attached to the email. Should you need to contact us please phone the Short Course Office on 01707 285327. It is very important that we know in advance if you cannot for any reason be collected on time at the end of the day.


Wear suitable and comfortable clothes as you may get messy and dirty (that is what art is all about!).  An overall, apron or large shirt would be ideal.

Food & Drink

You will need to bring your own packed lunch. Water will be available during breaks and lunchtime.


All materials needed for all the summer schools will be provided by the University.


If you need to bring any medication with you, please make sure it is clearly labelled with your child’s name and any instructions. These can be administered by us provided the medical permission form enclosed has been signed by a parent or carer and handed in on arrival on your first day.

Booking deadlines

Bookings for all Creative Arts Short Courses will be reviewed two weeks before the start date of each course. This will allow the Short Course team to determine whether a course has met the minimum number of students needed for the class to run. If a class has failed to recruit, the class will be re-scheduled and you will be informed. Where relevant you will be offered an alternative class. If the course has met minimum numbers, bookings will stay open to the course start date or until it has met maximum numbers.

We encourage you to book early before the deadline to avoid disappointment.

Bookings for all short courses need to be made online through our online booking system, before a course commences. You cannot enroll or attend a class on the day the course starts.


If for any reason you change your mind about joining us after you have accepted the offer, you have a legal right to cancel your contract to study with us within 14 days. This cancellation period therefore ends at the end of 14 days after the day on which you accepted our offer. Find further details of our cancellation terms here.

How to apply?

Start DateEnd DateDayTimeCostLink
5, 12, or 19 August 20249, 16 or 23 August 2024Mon to Fri09.30 - 15.30£225.00Contact us

*  Exact course dates are to be confirmed, however, all courses will start on either the 5th, 12th, or 19th August 2024.

NB: If you are on a mobile device, turn to landscape to view the full table.

We now accept childcare vouchers. If you would like to pay by this method, please contact us via email or telephone, using the contact us details below.

Contact us

If you wish to discuss this or any other creative art short course please contact the Short Course team on 01707 285327 or complete our short course enquiry form.

Nick Thomas, Short Course Coordinator,
School of Creative Arts