Professional Development

Critical Practice Correspondence Course
By: James Merrigan
26 Jan 2022
Time: 10am - 5pm
Venue: RHA

DATE: 26 January – 30 November, 2022

BOOKING: Apply HERE Please note, places are limited to 8 artists.

DEADLINE: 10 December 2021

FEE: €450

RHA School’s Critical Practice is a correspondence course giving artists critical and developmental insight into the “depths” of their art making. The first year of this initiative will focus on painting practice and we are seeking applications from painters who wish to engage in the critical development of their practice. Participating artists will receive two written feedbacks and participate in three critiques held in the RHA with a guest artist over the calendar year.

As artists we all have private rules and ambitions for our work. As artists we wonder what others will see and read in our work. If art is an alternative communication, what is it we are communicating as artists, whom are we communicating to (or would like to communicate to) and could we communicate with more insight and honesty in terms of what we want to say or not say with the materials of our art. This is a course that applies “What if?” to the possibilities of your art making.

So how does it all work? Led by artist and art critic James Merrigan, alongside an invited guest artist, a total of eight participating artists will meet three times a year at the RHA School. There we utilise both one-to-one and communal presentations and appraisal followed by written reviews every three months by James Merrigan, which the artist sits with until the following crit. By utilising the peer group in feedback sessions you will learn from your peers, whereas individual tutorials will develop feedback carried over from the communal sessions and the ongoing written reviews.

Over the course of the three timetabled meetings mentors will engage in the ongoing processes of the individual artist’s art making through online correspondence, whereby individual artists share images of their art making and dedicated mentors respond to what they see through written feedback that will continue to ask “What if?” Throughout this process you will be asked to critically reflect on your feedback and art making in diary form.


  • Crit (10am-5pm) held in the RHA: 26 Jan, 2022, guest artist Phillip Allen
  • Upload images: 23 February, 2022
  • Written feedback: 30 March, 2022
  • Crit (10am-5pm) held in the RHA: 31 May, 2022, guest artist Laura Fitzgerald
  • Upload images: 27 September, 2022
  • Written feedback: 26 October, 2022
  • Exit critique held in the RHA: 30 November, 2022, guest artist Damien Flood

Crit leader – James Merrigan

Course Co-ordinator – Colin Martin Head of School RHA

Image: Phillip Allen, Untitled (detail), 2021, Oil on Board, 125cm x 90cm, Image courtesy of the artist and Kerlin Gallery.