Welcome to the Falmouth School of Art Blog

Thank you for visiting the Falmouth School of Art blog. Here is where we share news from across the School’s courses – the activities of our students, staff and alumni. Please click on the right to follow the blog and receive an update each time we post a new story. If you are a student or alumni and want us to share your news, we’d love to hear from you.

Advertisements

MA Illustration: Authorial Practice – Exhibition Next Week!

We are excited to announce an exhibition taking place next week as part of the Cornwall Contemporary Poetry FestivalSeeing Voices is an exhibition of illustration and poetry, celebrating recent work by students, alumni and staff of Falmouth University’s MA Illustration: Authorial Practice course.

The exhibition will open Tuesday 20 November – Saturday 24 November in the Upper Gallery of The Poly, Falmouth

All welcome to the private view which is taking place between 5.30pm – 7.30pm on Thursday 22 November, followed by Poetry Slam from 8.00pm.

The Venice Fellowships – Falmouth Partnership with the British Council

Venice Art Biennale 2017, Alicja Kwade – photo: Richard Christensen

Falmouth School of Art at Falmouth University is delighted for the third year to be a partner in the British Council’s Venice FellowshipsThe programme is a unique opportunity for students, graduates and researchers to spend a month in Venice during the world’s most important art and architecture biennales. Working with others on invigilation and developing their own study and research, graduates receive an excellent grounding in engaging a professional, public and international audience with the British Pavilion, and develop teamwork, leadership and networking skills.

We will shortly be inviting our final year BA(Hons) Fine Art and BA(Hons) Drawing students to apply for a funded month-long Fellowship at the 2019 Art Biennale. Meanwhile, 2018 BA(Hons) Drawing graduate Hannah Berrisford has recently arrived at the Architecture Biennale for her month-long Fellowship, alongside others from disciplines including fine art, architecture, design, curation and anthropology. We look forward to hearing more about Hannah’s experience on her return, and asked her about applying and preparing for this opportunity…

“The Venice Fellowship is an opportunity to live in Venice for a month, working alongside the British Council, invigilating at “la biennale de venezia” and spending free time exploring the city, developing your practice within your own personal project.

The application asked questions about why you felt you were suitable for the event, and how your personal experiences would aid you in your time out there. I was also asked what sort of work I wanted to produce in my own time, following their theme of “freespace”. I was a student of the Drawing degree, and had chosen watercolour as a medium to specialise in. I wanted to continue developing my skills as a painter in Venice, so I interpreted freespace as an investigation of the relationships between the buildings of Venice and light, and how that would translate in my watercolour paintings.  

Architecture Biennale 2018, British Pavilion, (c) British Council

Two of us on the Drawing degree were selected for an interview – there was no competitive atmosphere, only genuine “good luck”s. Because I am living in the South West of England, and the interviews were being hosted in London, the British Council were excellent and offered me a Skype interview. I had done quite a bit of research about past Biennales just in case they wanted to test if I had done any background research, but they themselves explained a brief history of the biennale, which was nice. It felt like they were wanting me to succeed in the interview and were very open. I responded to all their questions with similar answers to what I had included in my first application. I also mentioned how the themes I wanted to explore in Venice tied into my dissertation topic.

A mandatory induction involved two days in London, meeting other fellows and the groups we would be travelling with. I was placed in the final group to go to Venice – October 24th to November 26th. There are 10 of us in this group, and a significant age range and a diversity of artistic backgrounds. Even though we were all from an academic institute, everyone seemed to be studying a different branch of art varying from architecture to interpretive dance.

The weekend was centred around seminars that discussed the exhibition we would be invigilating. We were offered advice about finding accommodation and about interacting with the public. The groups got into teams and we met one another properly; it was during this time that people began sparking ideas about flat sharing/renting, as well as discussing individual research projects and when it might be appropriate to help one another. Another teammate and I have decided to flat share whilst we’re in Venice, staying close to another two teammates also flat sharing. This way, friendships will get a chance to grow, and as we’re all artists, we will have opportunities to bounce ideas off one another, helping our own projects develop.  

Even though I’m entering a biennale centred on Architecture, drawing and painting buildings is actually one of my weakest skills. I threw myself in at the deep end, to force myself to address this problem. I didn’t want to arrive in Venice and begin the project with zero architectural experience so, over the last month, I have been engaged with the “Inktober” challenge. To merge this challenge and my own personal project, I decided to relate each day’s title to an architectural theme. Forcing myself to create works like this every day has helped me feel a little more prepared for the work I’ll be creating during my time in Venice”.

2017 Fine Art graduate Abbie Hunt wrote a piece for us about her experience spending a month as a Fellow at the 2017 Art Biennale.

Associate Lecturer Virginia Verran: Showing in London

Virginia Verran, Associate Lecturer on BA(Hons) Fine Art is showing two large paintings in Rules of Freedom, curated by Rosalind Davis, at Collyer Bristow gallery in Holborn, until 19 February 2019.

Virginia Verran’s paintings suggest other-worldly battlefields and virtual warzones that show the traces of action and process, of a personal world of invented motifs and symbols. Multiple perspectives, aerial scanning and surveillance, lines and motifs track back and forth between nodes. These paintings and drawings utilise signs and symbols that work at a percussive, graphic level, sitting on the surface of ungrounded spaces, adding celebratory, playful and dark undertones. Drawing has played an important role in this layering of information, bringing across to the paintings an intuitive language. Rhythm and gentle light, exuberance and complexity of information are necessary components, giving way, to darker elements of disruption. Impermanence is alluded to via ‘encampments’, equally working as lumps of colour, existing alongside more permanent structures. Striped ‘ladders’ pass through like conveyor belts and metaphorical ‘toy’ bombs are plugged in at the edges. All represent threats to general security and stability. Fluidity and control are Verran’s primary focus.

 

Virginia Verran was born in Falmouth and has taught Fine Art since 1990. She is an Associate Lecturer on Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Fine Art course, and also teaches at Chelsea College of Art and Design.

In 2010 she won the Jerwood Drawing Prize and this year her entry in the 2018 John Moores Painting Prize is titled ‘Black Star’; a large piece measuring 6ft x 5ft6ins.

She lives in London and works in her studio in Bethnal Green.

Fine Art Senior Lecturer Neil Chapman – recent practice.

Dr Neil Chapman, Senior Lecturer in BA(Hons) Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art, was recently among contributors to a Speculative Art School event.

The Speculative Art School is a public programme of free talks, walks, discussions, workshops, study sessions and sonic explorations that explore provisional territories in past, present, and future thinking. It was curated by Sarah Bowden who runs the Hardwick Gallery in Cheltenham.

Neil contributed a written piece specifically for The Speculative Space; the event provided a public opportunity to browse a  compilation of speculations and proposals submitted by some of The Hardwick Gallery’s favourite thinkers in a form of independent group study.

Dr Neil Chapman is an artist, writer and researcher. His current work explores material textual practices, artists publishing, art/philosophy interdisciplinarity, questions concerning visuality, collaborative method, the evolution and politics of art-research.

 

Mercedes Kemp to deliver seminar at Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies

Mercedes Kemp, Senior Lecturer and Course Coordinator of Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Fine Art, will co-deliver a seminar at London School of Economics and Political Science, hosted by the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies.

Titled ‘A Death in Zamora: The murder of Amparo Barayón and the Francoist treatment of women’, the seminar is a case study of a notorious example of the Francoist persecution of women during the Spanish Civil War. Three experts will discuss what happened to innocent civilians during the Spanish conflict through the investigation into the fate of Amparo Barayón carried out by his son, Ramón Sender-Barayón.

‘One of the least-known aspects of the repression against civilians carried out by the supporters of the military coup of 17-18 July 1936 in Spain is the scale of their systematic persecution of women. Murder, torture and rape were generalised punishments for the gender liberation embraced by most liberal and left-wing women during the Republican period. An extreme example of the repression of women was the fate of Amparo Barayón, the wife of the novelist Ramón J. Sender. Immediately after the coup, Sender had sent Amparo and their two children to her home city of Zamora where he believed they would be safe. There she was imprisoned along with her seven-month-old daughter, Andrea, after protesting about the murder of her brother Antonio (two of her brothers would be extradjudicially killed). She was mistreated and then extrajudicially executed on 11 October 1936. Her ‘crime’ included being a modern, independent woman who had escaped the stultifying bigotry of Zamora, and had children with a man to whom she was married only in a civil ceremony. The seminar will discuss the story of Amparo and also of the Barayóns as an extended and diasporic family, from 1936 to the present, in order to understand the unfinished business of that long-ago process of repression: both Amparo’s children were raised by a foster family in the USA and scarcely knew of their mother’s fate, until as adults they determined to find out.’

Mercedes Kemp is a Course Coordinator of BA(Hons) Fine Art at Falmouth University, a writer, and Director of Community and Research for WildWorks Theatre Company. She was born in Zamora and grew up in Andalucía. For the past forty years she has lived in Cornwall. She travels with WildWorks, establishing links with communities and developing text for site specific theatre. Her method involves a kind of eclectic ethnographic research into a variety of sources: archives, libraries, cemeteries, bus stops, town gossips, old photographs, conversations and, above all, a close observation of the process of memory and its effect on the value that people place on their environments. Mercedes is also grandniece of Ramón J.Sender and Amparo Barayón and has collaborated with her cousin, Ramón Sender Barayón, in the publication of both editions of ‘Muerte en Zamora’, Ramón’s account of his search for the memory of his mother.

Thursday 18 October 2018, 6pm – Cañada Blanch Seminar

Speakers: Mercedes Kemp (Falmouth University) and Helen Graham (Royal Holloway)
Chair: Prof. Paul Preston
Place: LSE, Portugal Street, Cowdray House, 1st floor, Seminar room 1.11

http://www.lse.ac.uk/canada-blanch/events/2018-10-18/death-in-zamora

 

Announcing the Caroline Sassoon Emerging Artist Award

Falmouth School of Art is delighted to announce an award open to final year BA(Hons) Fine Art and BA(Hons) Drawing students, generously made by Nysha Concannon-Brook in memory of her Grandmother, Caroline Sassoon. The launch of the Caroline Sassoon Emerging Artist award coincides with what would have been the artist’s 100th birthday.

Caroline Sassoon was born Daphne Elsie Dawn Taylor on the 11th October 1918. Her discipline and drive were clear from an early age, when she won the regional ice-skating championship at just ten years old. She had lost both of her parents by the age of nineteen, their deaths falling within three years of each other. She trained to be a teacher, specialising in art. Her headmaster at Crewkern School in Somerset commented that, “she has revolutionised the conception of [art]… even those to whom this medium of expression is not natural have been stimulated by her method of approach.”

Sassoon was a fierce feminist from a young age and remained disappointed that she never lived to see women paid equally. On marrying Hamo Sassoon in 1948, she told him, in the crisp and clear way that she always communicated, she would not be spending all of her time cooking for him. If he wanted a chef, he could pay for one.

Hamo was an archaeologist which meant they lived in many different places, including colonial Africa – where in addition to their own three children, they adopted three cheetahs whose mother had been killed by hunters. During these years of travel, she illustrated the book Friends and Enemies by Naomi Mitchison, drew renditions of the local African life, and on arriving in Fort Jesus in Mombasa, she wrote and illustrated her own book called Chinese Porcelain in Fort Jesus.

Sassoon had an ever-expanding interest in all art, from cave paintings, through to David Hockney, and she was always open to modernisations within the industry. In her later years, from the age of seventy-one, she began painting coastal watercolours in Cornwall, near where she lived in Fowey. They were exhibited and sold in the Julia Gould art gallery in Cornwall.

Caroline Sassoon was someone who never saw age as a barrier, taking a course in genetics at the Open University at seventy-eight years old. She believed that you never stopped learning and that perseverance was the key to achieving clearly set goals. In her memory, the Caroline Sassoon Emerging Artist Award will make a monetary contribution to the successful student, with the intention of aiding their continuing practice as an artist following their degree studies. 

Visiting Professor Hew Locke exhibiting in New York and returning to Falmouth

Ahead of his forthcoming lecture at Falmouth, multimedia artist Hew Locke, has a solo exhibition opening at the PPOW Gallery,  New York, 11 October to 10 November. Patriots is the gallery’s first exhibition with Hew; they also showed works by him at their stand at Frieze London this month.

An alumnus of Fine Art at Falmouth, Hew returns to Falmouth School of Art on 14 November for the final visit of his Visiting Professor tenure. He will deliver his lecture titled ‘Identity and Autobiography’ and will also work with BA(Hons) Fine Art students.

Registration for Hew’s lecture is free, but required: Register here.

Locke’s investigation of the display of power includes areas such as royal and swagger portraiture, coats-of-arms, public statuary, trophies, financial documents, weaponry and costume. Maritime imagery and symbolism has been a constant in his work, along with reflections on his upbringing in Guyana.

Born in Edinburgh, Locke spent his formative years in Georgetown, Guyana, before returning to the UK to study. He received his BA(Hons) Fine Art in 1988 from Falmouth, then an MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art, London in 1994.

Locke has work in the collections including Tate, the British Museum, the V&A, Brooklyn Museum and the Perez Art Museum Miami. He has had solo shows in public galleries in the UK and the USA, and has taken part in Biennials in Hangzhou, China; Kochi, India; Prospect3, Miami; Guangzhou, China; Valencia, Spain and San Juan, Puerto Rico.