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.

HOW TO SWIM Exhibit B: Treading Water

HOW TO SWIM – a series of six contemporary art events in different spaces across Manchester’s Victoria Baths site.

Over the six events artists will react to the site, installing sculptures, paintings and video as well as performing live movement and spoken word pieces, holding workshops and giving talks.

Exhibit B: Treading Water is the second event of the series, and includes work by recent BA(Hons) Fine Art graduates Tanya Cruz and Jess Russell, and Mercedes Kemp, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art.

These events are organised and curated by recent Falmouth Fine Art graduates Polly Maxwell and Lulu Richards aka WHATCHAMACALLIT collective.

http://pollymaxwell.weebly.com/
http://lulucottell.weebly.com/
http://www.whatchamacallitcollective.com/the-collective.html

The events take place at the historic Victoria Baths in Manchester a listed Edwardian swimming pool and Turkish Baths complex.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/14/manchester-victoria-baths-back-to-life-with-a-splash

http://www.victoriabaths.org.uk

BA(Hons) Fine Art alumni Polly Maxwell and Lulu Richards Cottell curate contemporary art events across Manchester’s Victoria Baths site.

14 May 2017 11:00 –  12 Nov 2017 16:00

HOW TO SWIM is an exciting series of six contemporary art events in different spaces across the Victoria Baths site in Manchester, featuring a number of other Falmouth alumni. Over six events, all taking place in conjunction with Victoria Baths Open Days, artists will react to the site, installing sculptures, paintings and video as well as performing live movement and spoken word pieces, holding workshops and giving talks.

The project is curated by 2016 BA(Hons) Fine Art alumni Polly Maxwell and Lulu Richards  Cottell,  who go by the name of WHATCHAMACALLIT collective.

‘Trying to Float’, is the first exhibit in the HOW TO SWIM series of exhibitions and artists events at Victoria Baths Open Days in Manchester.

Opens: 14 May 2017 11:00 -16:00

‘Trying to Float’ explores collective and social memory.

Artist Maddie Broad invites group reminiscence on the theme of swimming in her interactive workshop Standing together in an empty pool.

Video and sculptural works address collective domestic experience in Ting Waterhouse’s piece, ‘Laundry’.

Polly Maxwell’s ‘Stairs’ is accompanied by interactive spoken word from poet ‘T.S Idiot’.

‘Trying to Float’ takes place alongside the Victoria Baths Open Day and public swimming event. Entry to the building allows people to view the art and view swimming.

Adults £4, (standard prices £3) FREE for under 16s and VB Friends

http://www.whatchamacallitcollective.com

http://www.victoriabaths.org.uk

Victoria Baths, Hathersage Road, Chorlton-on-Medlock,  Manchester, M13 0FE.  Tel: 0161 224 2020

 

 

 

Artist Sean Lynch to talk at Falmouth School of Art – 10 May – Register now

We are pleased to announce this addition to our 2016-17 Guest Speaker programme.  In partnership with CAST as part of the Groundwork programme, Falmouth School of Art welcomes artist Sean Lynch on Wednesday 10 May, 5pm.

Irish artist Sean Lynch is interested in loose ends within stories: the footnotes that tend to get lost, and how to mediate their presence. The sculptures, installations, videos and publications generated in this process are speculative and open-ended. He forensically investigates anecdotes and half-truths, uncovering marginalised stories, forming them into alternative arrangements of history to open up new understandings. For example, he represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2015 with Adventure: Capital, a multi-media installation that took viewers on a journey through myth and ideas of minimalism across Ireland and Britain, exploring value from an anthropological view point.

Born in 1978, Lynch lives in Dublin and studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. He has recently held solo exhibitions at The Rose Art Museum, Boston, Modern Art Oxford, Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver and Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, amongst others. With Michele Horrigan, he works at Askeaton Contemporary Arts, organising artist residencies and exhibitions in southwest Ireland.

Over the last few years, Lynch has been a regular visitor to Cornwall, preparing a new artwork for Groundwork, an international art programme developed and delivered by CAST in Cornwall, that will culminate next year in a series of high-profile commissions and sited work. (http://c-a-s-t.org.uk/projects/groundwork).

This is a free event but registration is required via Eventbrite.

Catching up with last year’s summer Intensives participants

Falmouth School of Art is currently accepting applications for its summer Intensives – 5-day studio-based courses for artists and art educators. We’re always bowled over by feedback from participants at the end of their week with us, but we have just caught up with some of 2016’s participants to ask them to reflect on their experience nine months on…

Burgundys in project space – Gwenyth Fugard

Abstract Painting participant Gwenyth Fugard highlighted the benefit she had felt of being among a group of artists for the week, having worked alone for three years since graduating in Fine Art from Central St. Martins. She also experienced a development in her way of working, as a result of the environment and structure of the course: ‘Though my own practice does not respond to abstracting from life, I found the projects set were hugely beneficial. I was taken away from my usual methodologies and the studio spaces provided were fantastic [and] enabled new approaches and ideas to develop quite quickly’. After finishing the Intensive last summer, Gwyneth successfully applied for a place on an MA at City & Guilds London Arts School.

Oversized Raincoat, by Karina Barrett

Wales-based artist Karina Barrett, who took the Figure Painting course, similarly valued the experience of community that shaped the Intensive week: “I enjoyed working in a studio with other artists – something I have not done since graduating” Within that context, she recalls, ‘I found the tuition to be of the highest standard and incredibly informative. As a professional, working, painter, I gained a lot from the advice given to me by both Jesse [Leroy Smith] and Ashley [Hold]’. Figure Painting participants also commented that the opportunity to work from a model for whole week was something that they couldn’t easily replicate as part of their day to day routine.

Amanda Jackson chose the Abstract Painting Intensive in order to develop her mostly figurative practice in a more abstract direction, and the course made such an impression that she will be joining us again this year. She observes, ‘The course gave me many ideas and processes, through tuition, critique and lectures, to set this development in motion’. In addition to this, she too cites working alongside other artists as an important benefit to her: “…the great experience of spending a week with other artists, to explore my own ideas but have others’ input and critique and discuss work and network with artists, some of whom I am [still] in contact with via social media’.

Amanda has continued with her practice, and has found the influence of the Intensive staying with her in her work, “Almost a year on, I have continued the work started in Falmouth, enjoying pushing my work ever further into abstraction. I have found that since the course, my work is much looser; I spend more time developing the work through direct painting – that is, exploring ideas on the canvas and seeing where it might lead – rather than planning and replicating.

Her week at Falmouth has resonated in her subsequent studio practice, as well as in the work she has produced since last summer: ‘I am more focused on my work, spending longer in the studio, so the course has given me discipline as well as inspiration…The back drop of the garden and grounds at Falmouth, which was used as a starting point for abstract paintings on the course, has led to a body of work that will be shown this summer as part of Leigh Art Trail’s 20th Anniversary show’.

For many, the Intensives have provided the opportunity to work differently than they would in their own home or studio environment, with learning and experiences that have lingered and resonated in their continued studio practice. For London-based Val Coumant, ‘[it] was exactly what it said on the label – intensive. I haven’t worked so hard since my Psychotherapy training in the 1980’s. Or with such absorption and excitement’. But for Val, ‘the greatest insight was how the pieces I liked best were fortuitous rather than planned. It was like the Zen story about learning to paint bamboo: you go and live in a bamboo grove, and watch the bamboo in spring, summer, autumn and winter; in the morning, at noon, in the evening and in the moonlight; in mist, rain snow and sunlight, year after year. And then you go away and forget about bamboo. That’s when the painting starts’.

2016 Intensives participants relax in the walled garden with a cream tea.

The lasting impact of the week of focused creative activity is something we hear repeatedly. Karina noted, ‘I find that the advice of my tutors still echoes in my head, while I work…along with the memories of a truly fantastic week’.

For more information or to make an application to Falmouth School of Art’s Intensives – this year offered in Abstract Painting, Figure Painting and Observational Drawing, see our website:

www.falmouth.ac.uk/fsaintensivesThe application deadline is 28 April.

Falmouth becomes a Partner in the British Council’s Venice Fellowships Programme

Falmouth School of Art has become a partner in the British Council’s Venice Fellowships Programme, and we are very pleased to announce that our first Fellow, attending the 57th Biennale Arte this autumn, will be final year BA(Hons) Fine Art student Abbie Hunt.

Exterior of the British Pavilion on the occasion of Sarah Lucas’s exhibition, I SCREAM DADDIO, at the British Pavilion, 2015. © Cristiano Corte.

The Venice Fellowships is a steward-research programme which brings together students and volunteers from partner universities and organisations across the UK, and provides them with a month at the Venice Biennale, where they split their time between invigilating the British Pavilion exhibition and conducting independent research.

Abbie has already taken part in a two-day induction in London, where Fellows received training in the practical aspects of stewarding and received support in developing their research ideas. She reflected, “Even after the induction, having this opportunity still doesn’t seem real. I’m very excited and nervous but after meeting the other Fellows I will be invigilating with in October I feel a lot more settled. The Fellowship has given me an instant network and I feel installed into another family as everyone was confident and friendly. There was a real buzz during the induction, as collectively we were positive and willing to learn and make these connections”.

Falmouth School of Art’s Director, Dr. Virginia Button, said, ‘I’m delighted that through our partnership in the British Council’s prestigious Fellowship programme, Abbie will be spending a month at the Venice Biennale this year. It’s so important for our students to continue thinking and engaging globally, and immersion in Europe’s most established international contemporary art exhibition is sure to  be really inspiring. I think it’s great that the Fellowship supports both professional practice and research, allowing graduates to really get the most out of the experience.’

untitled: dock: emptystaircasehoarding, 2014, Phyllida Barlow. Installation view, dock, Duveen Commission, Tate Britain, London, England, 2014. Photo: Alex Delfanne ©
Phyllida Barlow. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

For Abbie, the Venice Fellowship will come soon after graduation, but her success in securing her place has already had an impact: “The Fellowship came at such a good time, as I come to the end of my degree, because it has given me a new sense of confidence and aspiration for when I finish and enter the real world. Having this amazing opportunity has really made me consider the pathway of working within a gallery context whilst still having the freedom to develop my practice”.

To secure her place on the Fellowships Programme, Abbie had to complete the British Council’s written application, from which a small number of candidates were shortlisted by a Falmouth School of Art panel to be interviewed by the British Council. Abbie’s research interests already aligned with this year’s Biennale – her dissertation included research on this year’s British Pavilion artist: “In terms of the Fellowship research, I am massively interested in expanding on my dissertation, as this surrounded Phyllida Barlow’s work. Being able to interact with the public and observing their responses to her exciting unseen exhibition will definitely take my understanding to a completely new level”.

Falmouth School of Art plans to keep in touch with Abbie and hear more about her experiences during the autumn. “I really don’t feel like I can anticipate the experience I will have in Venice until I’m actually living there”, she adds, “but it’s going to keep me going in the last few weeks before deadline!”.