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Freelands Fellow Dominic McKeown – Bath Spa University

Dominic McKeown welcomed as this year’s Freelands Studio Fellow

Monday, 29 April, 2024

Artist Dominic McKeown is this year’s Freelands Foundation studio fellow at Bath Spa University. 

What is a fellowship?

Once a staple part of the landscape of art education, the Freelands Foundation describes a fellowship as an environment in which an artist and art students can build a symbiotic relationship. 

As well as offering immediate insight into an early career practice, working alongside art students can also afford an emerging artist the opportunity to examine their own working methods and practice.

The Freelands Studio Fellowship

The Freelands Foundation launched its Studio Fellowship in 2020. As a partnership between the Foundation and host universities across the UK, this opportunity helps emerging artists to develop their practice.

The 2024 Fellowship runs until January 2025, and as one of the appointed fellows, Dominic will receive:

  • A designated studio space on-site at the University
  • Support from an experienced member of the teaching staff
  • Experience of working with students, including participating in the delivery of tutorials and group critiques
  • An opportunity to deliver an artist talk
  • A solo exhibition opportunity towards the end of the fellowship
  • A bursary of £24,000 per annum
  • The opportunity to participate in a group event or exhibition organised by the Freelands Foundation

Meet Dominic McKeown

Dominic was born and raised in Belfast and studied at Ulster University. Having taken a shine to textiles during his foundation year, Dominic studied Textile Design, Art and Fashion, specialising in Print during his undergraduate degree. He went on to complete a master’s degree in Fine Art.

Developing and working as an artist after he graduated, he became Co-Director at Catalyst Arts, as well as working in many galleries and having a studio space in Belfast city centre. 

Dominic’s art derives from exposing the tensions between domestic and non-domestic materials. Within his practice, he expands on how material qualities are sensed, interpreted, and understood to form space, interlinking the relationship between materials, architecture, fashion, and identity.  

The vital role of art in education

Freelands Foundation puts art at the centre of a broad and balanced education. It recognises the vital role of learning and making to foster creativity, resilience, criticality and problem solving – something that aligns closely with Dominic’s approach to being creative.  

Dominic said:

“An integral part to being creative for myself is process and materials. I’ve always found having a hands-on approach has benefited myself and practice.

"Being a neurodiverse person, I’ve struggled a lot in education systems. Learning for me has been developed throughout physically problem solving.”

Becoming a part of Bath Spa University community

While he undoubtedly values the support he will receive, Dominic is also looking forward to extending this support to students at Bath Spa University. Talking about what he is enjoying most as he settles into the fellowship role, Dominic said:

“The thing I’m enjoying most currently is the conversations that have been created with students and staff, whilst also becoming a part of the community here at Bath Spa. Everyone has been so supportive and welcoming. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing how students’ practices develop as they explore, test new ideas and learn. I hope that students can use myself, research and knowledge as a resource to help develop and learn as they further their practices.”

Reflecting on the opportunities the fellowship provides, Dominic added:

“It’s such a prestigious honour to be selected for the fellowship especially at Bath Spa. The opportunity to develop relationships here will be something that I will hold on to throughout my career.“

To explore more of Dominic’s art, visit his Instagram. To find out more about the Fellowship, visit The Freelands Foundation.

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