• A’ Course tutor Peter Harvey at work during a student tutorial. Student/Agent Project? Studio A2. 1970-1971? Peter Venn Collection deposited at 10th Floor and MayDay Rooms. December 2009

‘A’ Course

In the late spring of 1969 four members of the teaching staff in the Sculpture Department at St. Martins School of Art in London began work on a project for students who would be entering the new three-year degree programme in the autumn. Their unique pedagogic experiment, which came to be known as the ‘A’ Course, was an extraordinary and inventive teaching programme that had a significant impact on what was taking place in British art education at the time. Because of its highly unorthodox nature the ‘A’ Course was widely known and largely misunderstood; it would not be unfair to say it was notorious.

As part of a process of re-activating the past and involving original participants, MayDay Rooms has been in contact with former ‘A’ Course tutors/staff Garth Evans, Gareth Jones and Peter Kardia and students who have kindly participated, donated and loaned material. This ongoing ‘A’ Course Collection also opens onto other, less well known avenues taken by ‘A’ Course students in the 1970s including the Manydeed Group and the Poster Film Collective.

Many thanks are due to Garth Evans and Andrew Darley for helping to kick-start the process of compiling a full list of ‘A’ Course projects. See below and please feel free to submit any additional information, including corrections, specific dates, documents, photographs to: in-formation@maydayrooms.org
Peter Kardia (ne Atkins) and Ken Adams in conversation with current CSM staff and students linked the 10th Floor during ‘In Exchange’, a five week process of recovering and activating histories linked to St. Martins School of Art (1962-1980). February – March 2011