Harmony, Contrast & Discord

Matthew Cornford, John Beck

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition


The catalyst for this exhibition is an ongoing collaborative project by writer John Beck and artist Matthew Cornford to track down and visit all of the UK’s art schools – including Rochdale School of Art – and record the sites as they are today in photographs and words. The project was prompted by the discovery in 2009 that the college they had both attended in the 1980s was now a disused building up for sale.

A documentary artwork in itself, the project is also a rich and multi-faceted investigation into the value placed on arts education and, in particular, reveals the legacy of the post-war boom in art schools. It questions the role that art should and could have in broader society, both now and in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • art
  • education
  • architectural history
  • Photographic archives
  • public participation


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