Live Class

Performance and the art school

St Petersburg 1917 / Bradford 1967: An October Carnival. Art students re-stage the Russian revolution in the streets of West Yorkshire, 1967. Photo: Peter Holdsworth

This project has developed out of Gavin’s research into the histories of art education in Leeds and Heike Rom’s explorations of performance art in Wales. We now plan to research beyond these locales in order to appraise the experimental possibilities existing within a broader network of post-Coldstream regional art colleges across the UK.

Gavin has recently begun doing oral history interviews, including with Chris Vine, a core member of the Bradford Art College Theatre Group. The group developed under the tutelage of writer and theatre-maker Albert Hunt who taught at Bradford from the mid-1960s onwards. Hunt was the author of Hopes for Great Happenings: Alternatives in Education and Theatre (1976).

The Bradford Art College Theatre Group had its beginnings in Hunt’s boldly innovative and radical programme of study for art and design students at Bradford, most famously resulting in a student re-staging of the Russian Revolution in the streets of Bradford in 1967. “For a few hours, the wage slaves of Bradford were shown how to tear themselves from the tyranny of the ten-bob note,” wrote Michael Parkin shortly afterwards in The Guardian.

Watch this video of a presentation by Gavin and Heike on the project’s work-in-progress.

More will be added to this page as the project research unfolds.