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JR (French, born 1983). Migrants, Mayra, Picnic across the Border, Tecate, Mexico - U.S.A, 2017. Installation image. Wheat-pasted poster on table.

Can Art Change the World?

Explore how collaborative practice can initiate change in a community

In this online workshop, delivered over 2 half-day sessions, we will be taking inspiration from the work of JR, which is on exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery.

Participants will explore how collaborative practice can initiate change in a community. Working at grass roots level to create change from within, a ground up, instead of top down, approach to social issues and engagement. Participants will work collaboratively to communicate a message that challenges accepted ideas of representation and raises awareness of an identified issue. The workshop will encourage a dialogue around art and social activism and how using non-traditional arenas for art can promote a wider engagement and discourse.

The first session will provide an introduction to the JR exhibition and enable participants to explore a range of ideas and concepts in preparation for a collaborative project. The second session will provide a platform for the sharing of completed projects and explore how these practices can be used to enhance teaching, learning and assessment.

Computer and internet access is required to attend this workshop. Joining instructions will be sent on registration.

As part of booking onto this CPD delegates will also be given a complimentary ticket to see the 'JR: Chronicles' exhibition at the Saatchi gallery. Those unable to attend the exhibition in person will be given access to a remote tour instead.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and explore through own creative practice an issue or issues to raise awareness and/or challenge assumption
  • Explore ways to communicate and engage with the public beyond the confines of the studio, gallery or exhibition space
  • Work collaboratively to generate, share and discuss ideas and outcomes
  • Develop ideas for both remote and studio working practice that will enable students to safely interrogate and challenge accepted concepts and personal viewpoint

Who should attend?

Ideal for those who deliver all creative arts qualifications at levels 1-4 including:

  • AS level
  • A Level
  • UAL Awarding Body (level1-4)
  • BTEC

About the facilitators

Sarah Atkinson

With over 30 years of experience working in further and higher education and an MA, BA and PGCE, Sarah Atkinson designed, delivered and managed creative arts course at UAL. Instigating strategies to improve teaching, learning and assessment, both in the UK and with educational institutions worldwide as part of the international team at LCF.

She was asked to contribute to the setting up of UAL Awarding Body, and subsequently became a member of the Senior Management Team, helping to develop the suite of qualifications and leading the team of Chief Examiners as Head of Academic Standards, before deciding to leave full time work last year.

She is now an academic consultant with projects ranging from setting up an academy for creative education in India to advising the DFE on new qualifications, while continuing to support the work of UAL Awarding Body as a Senior Moderator and maintaining her own creative practice.

Lala Thorpe (Saatchi Gallery Facilitator)

Lala Thorpe is an experienced and creative cultural programmer and producer in museum and gallery settings. Prior to joining Saatchi Gallery as Head of Learning, she has worked with a wide range of UK and International artists and arts and cultural organisations, galleries, arts venues and schools over the last 25 years.

Her portfolio includes working with The Design Museum, Somerset House, Parasol unit gallery, Arts Catalyst and Artangel. She has extensive experience as an arts educator, teacher and management of creative workshops, INSET Training and producing Schools Projects (primary and secondary).


If you have questions about the UAL Awarding Body CPD programme, please email

View our CPD Terms and Conditions (PDF 126K)