NIASH was an artist led, not for profit initiative,based at Rock House during its development by Meanwhile Space. The project came about through a series of conversations between Kate Renwick and Dean Kenning that led to the writing of a post graduate course. With the support of Meanwhile Space this led to the expansion of the initiative into a collection of arts and humanities projects, and programmes as a tempory experimental arts education residency.
In 2013 Kate Renwick was offered the second floor of Rock House in return for atemporary position as Arts director to the developement project within the building, fascilitated by meanwhile space. This oportunity along with local murmerings of a desire for an independent art school led to the birth NIASH. The one year residency fascilitated workshops, readings, collective education events, exhibitions, artists residencies and a number of unforgetable parties.
In 2014 to early 2015 the project ran a 'test model' as a syndicated school. Essentially running as a collective, the project invited a group of 'protagonists' to work together in an attempt to establish a non hierarchical structure and build an exciting arts programme, with all participants contributing to the course, lecture, research and exhibition programmes. Due to a series of unfortunate events the project was cut short due to an unsatisfactory space in a poorly managed new location.
NIASH is now looking into ideas around emersive practice based research into alternative arts education. The idea of a school without walls is now in developement, opening up the project to spaces outside of the establishment and beyond its Hastings roots.
With over 20 years of experience in the arts, Dean Kenning and Kate Renwick have been working hard to write a post graduate course informed by their own experiences and focus within their personal practice.
An established artist and published writer, Dean Kenning has written extensively on the subject of art and education and in particular the history of 'the art school', both as a concept and an institution. He is currently teaching at Kingston University and Central St Martins.
Kate Renwick works as an artist, curator and writer. Projects include Co-founding Director and Arts Editor of The Hastings Independent, where she has published articles critiquing current practices within the art establishment.
'Our ethos proceeds from an avant-gardist conception of art as political, formally experimental, and socially positioned.'