Document or docudrama: the year of the locked room




Journal Title

Journal ISSN



Volume Title




Peer reviewed



The symposium, organised by Rebecca Fortnum as part of an AHRC funded project, researching questions about the nature of the creative process, was held at Chelsea College of Art and timed to coincide with an exhibition at Tate Britain, 'St Martins Sculpture Department 1966-71' on the radical teaching and work produced at St Martins School of Art. I opened the proceeding with a paper entitled 'Document or Docudrama; The Year of the Locked Room' and concluded the event by participating in a seminar, at the exhibition at Tate Britain. The paper reflected on the experiences of students on the A course at St Martins School of Art in the early 1970’s, of which I was one, and explored questions raised as a consequence about the embodiment or ‘documentation’ of the creative process in an art outcome. The paper also examined these questions in light of the fact that documentary evidence of the course at St Martins comes largely from a re-enactment or ‘docudrama’ filmed by the BBC for an Omnibus programme. The significance of the research lies in the contribution made to archives being developed by Hester Westley (Courtauld) and at St Martins. Also in contributing to an understanding of the importance of the A course in influencing practices in the field of fine art (Gilbert and George, Richard Long, Richard Deacon) in the 1970’s and 80’s and with regard to the creative process and methods of documenting it. Other speakers included: Rebecca Fortnum, Art Language, Andrew Grassie.


RAE 2008



Research Institute