Pearson Exam Board to offer new Art History A level exam from 2017

The recent news that the Art History A-Level is to be saved for future generations to study is very welcome for those of us who believe in providing opportunities for a broad historical and culturally sensitive education. Here at The Open University we have lobbied alongside teachers, other HEIs and the Association of Art Historians to raise awareness about the huge deficit in knowledge and creative opportunities that the dismantling of the arts and humanities subjects at school level could bring.

We are delighted that Pearson will now be offering A-Level Art History. Meanwhile we will continue to use our digital platforms ( to disseminate the subject to a wider public and to produce educational material, enabling more state schools to offer the provision.

One of the main ways in which we have been doing this is through our project, Open Arts Objects, a series of video podcasts exploring works of art from the Renaissance to the 21st century. Each podcast is a free resource, presented by a specialist and is accompanied by support material for lesson plans. These have been developed in close collaboration with secondary school teachers.

This is a growing resource and an open network, if you are a teacher or education specialist and would like to be involved or know more about Open Arts Objects please get in touch with us at

Dr Amy Charlesworth and Professor Gill Perry

OAJ Issue 5: Sustainable art communities: creativity and policy in the transnational Caribbean


We are delighted to announce the publication of Issue 5 of the Open Arts Journal.

This themed issue of the Open Arts Journal, ‘Sustainable Art Communities: Creativity and Policy in the Transnational Caribbean’, brings together academics, artists, curators and policymakers from various countries in the English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean and their diasporas, the UK and the Netherlands. It explores how the understanding and formation of sustainable community for the Caribbean and its global diaspora may be supported by art practice, curating and museums. The collection was developed through a two-year international research project (2012-14) led by Leon Wainwright, with Co-Investigator Kitty Zijlmans (Leiden University), focused on major public events in Amsterdam and London. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO/Humanities).

You can read this online or download it in PDF format now:

Study day: Romantic rebellions: From Delacroix to Picasso

National Gallery London
Saturday 23 April, 2016

Join speakers including Darren Almond, Simon Lee, Lynda Nead, Christopher Riopelle and  the OU’s Emma Barker and Gill Perry at this study day.

“Romanticism and modern art are one and the same thing” wrote the French poet CharlesBaudelaire in 1846.

This study day, held in collaboration with the Open University, explores the diverse subjects and varied styles of Romantic painting with its ‘intimacy, spirituality, colour’ and ‘yearning for the infinite.’ Curators, art historians and artists discuss Delacroix, Romanticism, and the rise of modern art.

You can book online from the National Gallery’s website.

Study day: Subversive portraits: Goya and his legacy

National Gallery London
Saturday, November 21, 2015
11:00 -3:30

Join speakers including Yinka Shonibare, Xavier Bray, Juliet Wilson Bareau, Emma Barker, and Gill Perry to explore Goya’s portraits.

Goya took the genre of portraiture to new heights. His technical and stylistic innovations enabled him to portray his sitters with extraordinary vividness and insight.

This study day, held in collaboration with the Open University, will explore portraits by Goya and other artists in the context of Napoleonic Europe; showing how portraiture engaged with social and political issues. It will also consider why Goya has been such a key figure for modern and contemporary artists from Manet to Jake and Dinos Chapman.

The programme is available online.


£25/£14 concessions/£10 Members and OU students.  Book tickets from the National Gallery website.

Review of Mike Perry’s “Môr Plastig” at Venice

Mike Perry’s Môr Plastig at the Venice Biennale 2015  is the subject of a recent review on
Irenebrination: Notes on Architecture, Art, Fashion and Style.
This series addresses the impact of plastic objects in the living world and the erosive power of nature.

Mike Perry has recently been the Coastal Currents Artist in Residence at Oriel y Parc, North Pembrokeshire and a short film of the residency, directed by Eilir Pierce, is available on OAA.

2015 Turner Prize shortlist announced

As this year’s shortlist was announced, Gill Perry was interviewed by a variety of local radio stations. It’s been described as a list that displays ‘art with a conscience’ with work that has a political or social message.

Listen to Gill discussing the list with Phil White on Radio Humberside. (The interview starts from 17 mins and runs till 26 mins).

See The Guardian for more information about this year’s nominees.