“Art Vs. Life” with Michael Bowdidge


Art has always reflected life, but from the 19th Century onwards this relationship has changed, blurring these categories in a way that sometimes seems only to reinforce them. This course asks the question ‘what can we gain from examining a number of different historical and contemporary manifestations of this dialogue?’

In this three day workshop we’ll revisit the roots of this change in industrialization and the advent of photography (and contemporaneous changes in French literature) and then we’ll consider how this dialogue has manifested historically and how it continues to be played out in a variety of media and contexts in contemporary practice.



Michael-Bowdidge-Head-ShotMichael Bowdidge (born Ilford, 1967) is an artist, researcher and educator who works with found objects, images and sound. He received his undergraduate degree in Fine Art from Middlesex Polytechnic in 1989, and completed his doctoral research at the University of Edinburgh in 2012. His PhD took the form of a practice-based investigation into the possibilities and context of contemporary sculptural assemblage considered in relation to the later philosophy of Wittgenstein and the writings of Mikhail Bakhtin.

Michael has been a member of faculty at Transart Institute since 2008 and currently supervises post-graduate and doctoral students there while also playing an active role as a consultant and workshop artist at Whale Arts in Edinburgh and Slumgothic in Lincolnshire.  All of these activities enrich his teaching practice and his creative output equally – as, for him, these two areas of endeavour are fundamentally intertwined.

Michael exhibits regularly nationally and internationally and is represented by Bendintheriver.