We are excited to announce an exhibition taking place next week as part of the Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival. Seeing 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.
Falmouth School of Art at Falmouth University is delighted for the third year to be a partner in the British Council’s Venice Fellowships. The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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
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.
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.
NOT ONE PLACE | REPORTAGE DRAWING EXHIBITION
Students of Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Illustration have designed and organised an exhibition at The Poly, Falmouth, to share work created by students and staff during their 24-hour drawing event on the streets of Falmouth in August, #streetdraw24, an event which aimed to raise awareness of street homelessness.
The Poly have generously provided their upstairs gallery free of charge for the two week exhibition, in support of the #streetdraw24 team’s aim of raising funds for St. Petroc’s Society, which undertakes valuable work with the street homeless.
Alongside the drawings created, the exhibition will feature an eerie soundscape created by second year BA(Hons) Film student Aaron Mason. Also featured are quotes from those who know what it’s like to live on the street. The exhibition reminds us that many different lives are lived in one town and that the street becomes another place when you have no home to go to.
The exhibition will be fascinating for anyone interested in day-to-day life in Falmouth, in the arts or in the social challenges facing this county. It also raises the question – what can art and artists do to help make the world a better place?
During the exhibition there will be opportunities to learn about the work of St Petroc’s Society, a Truro-based organisation providing accommodation, support, advice, training and resettlement services to single homeless people in Cornwall. Funds will be raised for St Petroc’s through Donate& Draw – donate what you can afford and enter a draw to win a signed drawing by one of the #StreetDraw24 artists.
Student Helen Trevaskis was among the organisers of StreetDraw24. So far, over £700 has been raised through donations. Helen shared the learning from the 24-hour drawing event in a blog post back in August, and you can hear her talking to SourceFM the day after the event (Helen is introduced at 12:50)
Not One Place opens at the Poly Tuesday 2nd October, with a Private View open to all from 5:15-7:15.
The exhibition runs until Saturday 13 October, Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm.
Linda Scott, Senior Lecturer on BA(Hons) Illustration, has recently returned from Northern Portugal, where for the fourth year running she has had a paper accepted by CONFIA, an Illustration and Animation Conference hosted by the University IPCA. Here she talks about the importance of her continued research in Illustration to her teaching of Falmouth’s undergraduates.
‘CONFIA is unique in being one of the few conferences of its kind dedicated to the subject area of illustration. The range of themes within the broader subject, however, is eclectic, and researchers present topics that range from social, political and cultural themes to the more technical and methodological aspects of illustration and animation.
The research I have undertaken over recent years has been fundamental in deepening my appreciation of and understanding of the important role illustration has in the communication and dissemination of challenging themes. Participating in international conferences has exposed me to a range of perspectives and Illustration practices previously unconsidered and the knowledge acquired is invaluable within my teaching practice, which covers both studio based teaching and theoretical dissertation supervision. Sharing my evolving knowledge of the subject with students has lead to stimulating conversations and often reciprocal sharing of books about challenging themes, which currently is an area many students are reflecting upon.
My own research pathway is currently driven by political, ethical, environmental and philosophical analyses of illustration, from historical and current perspectives. In particular I have explored the role that illustration and arts activism might play within the field of bird conservation. My starting point for that was a trip I made to the hunting grounds of Malta with a group of artists, illustrators, musicians and film makers headed by documentary maker Ceri Levy; I had previously participated in a group exhibition collective known as ‘Ghosts Of Gone Birds‘, which showed its first exhibition in the Rochelle Gallery in London.
In recent years, I have been drawn time and again to uses of Illustration as a vehicle for powerfully communicating challenging themes. My presentations at CONFIA over the past four years have included themes embracing climate change, the use of illustrated picture books to teach philosophy and critical thinking skills to primary aged children and in July 2018, my presentation focused on the challenging themes of Colonialism and Imperialism within illustrated books, as viewed through a ‘post colonial‘ lens.
In November 2017 I travelled to Nancy, France to make a presentation at ‘Illustrating Identyties‘, a conference hosted by the University and conceived of with founding members of The Journal Of Illustration, an important peer reviewed publication. The theme of this presentation was about challenging themes within children’s picture books and included subjects such as death, domestic violence, feminism and environmentalism.
My own exploration of the importance of the role Illustration plays in illuminating challenging concepts, ensures I can encourage my students to continue to deepen their own relationship to the practice of illustration and the understanding that it can be a powerful tool for social , political and cultural change’.
Artist, drawing researcher and lecturer in BA(Hons) Drawing Dr Joe Graham, and some of his Falmouth School of Art students and alumni, presented papers and workshops at The Embodied Experience of Drawing event at The Drawing Symposium, Plymouth.
The event responded to the increasing proportion of artists in the South West working in performative drawing practice. It gathered contributors, to acknowledge and interrogate this movement and to discuss ideas around the future of drawing research, philosophy and practice.
Dr Joe Graham discussed his paper The Utility of Drawing: Drawn and Withdrawn. “This paper sketches a nascent ontology of drawing, one that uses Heidegger to explore the idea that drawing is a fundamentally useful type of thing for those who draw. Within this understanding however, the utility of drawing appears withdrawn, so to speak. It requires being ‘drawn out’ (freed) when drawings are viewed for some purpose – as pictures, diagrams, maps, plans or other forms intended for use.”
Kayleigh Jayne Harris, a recent graduate from BA(Hons) Drawing at Falmouth University, primarily focused on the identity of line within contemporary drawing practices. Her paper Drawing line through performance: does the drawing live as an immaterial trace, a material document, or both, through the experience of line? explored whether performative acts be identified as a form of drawing, through the acknowledgement and experience of the lines generated during and by gesture.
Bhuvaneshvari Pinto a current student of BA(Hons) Drawing and Ralph Nel (Alumni) presented a joint workshop Drawing as a Tool in Cultivating Awareness – A Workshop in Observational Drawing. The workshop explored the idea that observational drawing nurtures mental stillness and sharpens our awareness of ourselves and our surroundings.
Video with kind permission of Stuart Bewsey
Private View and End of year show – All welcome to the Private View of the end of year show: 6-9pm on Tuesday 4 September, Tannachie Garden Studios, Falmouth Campus, Woodlane, Falmouth, TR11 4RH. The show then runs from Wednesday 5 to Sunday 9 September, 10am–5pm.
Performance Event – There will also be a special performance event on Thursday 6 September, 7-11pm at the Fish Factory Art Space, Commercial Road, Penryn, TR10 8AG. From the weird to the lyrical, the playful to the polemical; this year’s graduating MA Illustration students hold a night of performance, storytelling and song to accompany their end of year show; NEXUS. The evening also launches an exhibition of the artists’ manifestos, on show throughout the following week. – click here for the Fish Factory’s Facebook event.
The Falmouth School of Art Purchase Prize is an occasional award made during our degree shows, whereby the School purchases an artwork from a graduating student in recognition of their achievement and the strength of their work, and in support of their continued practice. This year we are delighted to have awarded a Purchase Prize to Robin French, who has just graduated from BA(Hons) Fine Art, for his painting, Kitchen, early spring. We asked Robin if he’d like to tell us a little about the painting, and about his future plans…
“I’m very proud to have been awarded the Falmouth School of Art Purchase Prize. It is so encouraging to sell work from the show – it has really spurred me on.
My painting, Kitchen, early spring, is important to me. I shouldn’t like to tie it down to a particular narrative but perhaps I can explain my own personal ideas behind it. The figure is my mother, crouched down to hug her dog. In the room there is a stove. The bowls and mugs are pottery she has made herself. The plants are from the garden she has carefully grown. it’s not so much a portrait of my mother. I wanted more to tap into the soul of the house she has made.
I like to use negative space, leaving large areas of the canvas unpainted. I don’t want the painting to feel suffocated in it’s meaning or appearance. If I’m successful, hopefully the viewer can share certain feelings or understandings that I’ve been working through. This could be very subtle and hard to put into words. I think successful figurative paintings have this unique ability. It’s my challenge to achieve this.
For the future, I’m trying to maximise the time I can spend painting. I’m planning a motorcycle trip where I hop between different artist residencies. At the same time, I’m hoping to find somewhere on the continent where I can rent a studio on a more long term basis.”
BA(Hons) Illustration student Helen Trevaskis was among the organisers of StreetDraw24, a drawing initiative to raise awareness and money for homeless charity St. Petroc’s. So far, over £500 has been raised through donations. You can hear Helen talking to SourceFM the day after the event (Helen is introduced at 12:50)
Following the pilot event, Helen shares 24 things that this reportage fundraiser taught her and her fellow drawers about life in Falmouth, about staying up drawing for 24 hours, and about trying to do something good in the world through art.
- A town is not one place. Using Falmouth as a reportage location across 24 hours showed us other sides of the town we live in…From the early morning workers busy while most of us are tucked up in bed, to the fitness fanatics using Jacob’s Ladder as their personal gym, to the late night car racers partying at Pendennis Point – the town has many sides.
- Not sleeping sends you a bit weird. During the 24 hours some drawers went from being intensely focused to barely able to speak – let alone draw – to practically hysterical with laughter at the smallest thing, or continually hungry. Fascinating what sleep deprivation does to you!
- Make it fun. Along the long walk from The Moor to Falmouth Cemetery via Pendennis, we played drawing games to get our energy up as midnight came and went. The results were not artistic masterpieces (or even a record of where we were, given we could barely see) but were one of the most memorable bits of the night.
- Stay safe. Even though we live in a safe town, we ensured no one drew alone at night, and we kept touch with each other via a Messenger group.
- Talk to people. During the 24 hours many interesting interactions occurred. One group, drawing on a housing estate, talked to an elderly couple who then fed them fruit. Another got #StreetDraw24 followed on Instagram by a creative agency in London after chatting to its founder. Many more revealed how many people are themselves artists in this town. Embrace such interactions – it’s one of the joys of location drawing.
- Start. Many of us were not sure what to draw when we first got out on the street despite lots of great advice from reportage supremo Anna Cattermole’s blog, written for us in the run up to #StreetDraw24 (sorry Anna!). While it can be good to have a plan perhaps what’s more important is getting going, because once you do, drawing tends to have its own momentum.
- Mix it up. Bringing variety into how you draw not just what you draw can help give you and your work energy, particularly as the hours tick by.
- Be respectful. There was a point at about 1am Friday where five of us were drawing a camper van parked at Gyllygvase Beach, and realised someone was probably asleep inside! As we quietly snuck off, we imagined how weird it would have been for the occupants to find us all there, reminding us it’s important to be respectful in choosing our locations.
- Keep repeating your message. #Streetdraw24 is designed to raise awareness about the problem of street homelessness in Cornwall, but it’s very easy for people to miss the point. So don’t be shy about repeating the why of what you’re doing, to get it across effectively, and then repeating it again.
- Make it social. While drawing in pairs or a group is not something illustrators and artists normally do, even the least extrovert among us got lots out of drawing on location together.
- Dogs are of the day cats of the night. This is just true.
- Keep going. Whether you’re on location for four hours or 12 or 24, you’re not going to be in the mood the whole time and not everything you produce will be great; but we definitely saw work evolve across the 24 hours, because we just kept going.
- Be shamelessly opportunist. Telling everyone you meet what you’re up to before, during and after an event like this is really valuable. Not just because they might want to get involved, but also because the story of what you’re doing is almost as important as the thing itself, and the more you tell it the better it will get.
- Drawing from observation matters. If you’re involved in the arts, you should draw, because drawing is less about drawings and more about looking at, engaging with and absorbing what’s around you – a core artistic skill.
- Collaboration is an important creative skill. This time around there were only a few people from beyond the BA Illustration course involved in StreetDraw24. It’s something we’ll shake up next time, because collaborating brings new ideas, perspectives and opportunities.
- Wet wipes are your friend. Whether you’re using messy charcoal, find there are no open public toilets near where you’re drawing, or you’ve taken food to eat and are worried about where your hands have been; you’re going to need wet wipes during an event like this.
- Be easy-going. This was a pilot, so for us it was important to have as few rules as possible, so people could invent what worked for them and we could learn.
- Most people are really nice. They are. So talk to them.
- Getting the money bit right is hard. #StreetDraw24 was designed as a fundraiser and fundraising is difficult but an event idea isn’t a good one if it doesn’t make money.
- “The more you look the more you see”. So true.
- Laughing helps warms you up. Also true but you still need a coat, thick socks and a hat if you’re out all night.
- There are lots of ways to take part. While a small band of drawers took to the streets last week, many other people sent messages of support, donated to St Petroc’s, and ‘liked’ or commented on the images we posted. To us they were all part of the #StreetDraw24 team.
- Feel lucky. There are many things those of us with homes to go to each night take for granted – like having a toilet when and where you want one. It’s important to remember this is not everyone’s reality and to remember how lucky we are.
- Be ambitious. Next up will be an exhibition of #StreetDraw24 work – exhibition space kindly donated by the Poly– in early October. But we’ve bigger plans, too, so watch this space…
For 24 hours starting at noon on 23 August, a small band of students and other locals will be drawing from the streets of Falmouth to raise awareness of Cornwall’s homelessness problem, as part of the first ever StreetDraw24. Here, one of the organisers, BA(Hons) Illustration student Helen Trevaskis, talks about the motivation and intention for the initiative…
StreetDraw24: How can art be a force for good?
‘While beyond the Tamar, Cornwall may conjure up thoughts of pasties and clotted cream, happy childhood holidays and Poldark’s semi-clad antics on horseback along a never-ending coastline, anyone who spends proper time here knows that parts of the county face many and serious social problems. One of these is homelessness, with some reports highlighting an increase of 52% in rough sleeping in the county between 2009 and 2016. While the arts may not seem an obvious place to look to for ways to bring focus onto this problem, that’s exactly what StreetDraw24 wants to do.
How? Well, the idea is simple. Over a 24 hour period, ending at noon on the 24th of the month, draw from the streets of your town, post images to social media using the tag #streetdraw24 and share a link for donations to a relevant homelessness charity. After the event, use the best 24 images – one for each hour of the day – to promote the issue of homelessness and fundraise further. Then…learn, grow, repeat!
This will be the first ever StreetDraw24 and has been organised by first year students from Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Illustration keen to feel connected to and active in the community they now live in. With an emphasis on learning by doing on a small scale, they’ve been promoting the event on Facebook and raising funds for St Petroc’s Society – a Truro based charity supporting the single homeless. Along the way advice on location based drawing, ‘reportage’, has been shared from Falmouth students and tutors alongside information on Cornwall’s homelessness problem.
Some of those taking part in the event will draw from the streets for the whole 24 hours to bring attention to the sad reality that for some the streets are their home 24/7. So, if you see a damp cold looking person drawing from the streets of Falmouth at the end of next week go and talk to them – they’ll love to share what they’re doing! Or even better – take part by checking out the StreetDraw24 Facebook page, donating to St Petroc’s Society or offering ideas for how to make the impact of this initiative even bigger’.
This year Acts Re-Acts, at Wimbledon College of Art, took the form of an intensive two-day laboratory of selected performances, exploring the borderzone between Theatre and Fine Art.
Other contributors included: Eleanor Bowen & Jane Bailey, Henry Bradley, Greig Burgoyne, Angela Hodgson-Teall & Miles Coote, Richard Layzell & Bruce Barber, Jozefina Komporaly & ZU-UK & guests, Robert Luzar, Melanie Menard, Lucy O’Donnell, Ken Wilder & Aaron McPeake, Alex Reuben, Lois Rowe & The Haptic Collective, Aminder Virdee.
Falmouth School of Art lecturer Joe Graham is ‘in conversation’ with artist Lucy O’Donnell, March 2018.
The students made an industry visit to London in April 2018 and the industry connection was made with Luana Asiata, Creative Director & Designer of SCOOP magazine. All the illustrations were then completed whilst studying at the Falmouth School of Art .
Scoop is a magazine aimed at 7 to 12 year olds that publishes all forms of story, told by the most fantastic authors and illustrators and designed to inspire and nurture a love of reading. William Boyd in The Guardian called the magazine ‘A transforming experience.’
Following a month long residency at the historic Porthmeor Studios in St Ives, six second year BA(Hons) Fine Art students are opening their studio space to the public for an exhibition of their resulting work.
Olivia Brelsford-Massey, Holly Doran, Sofia Fernandes, Samuel Morris, Sophia Rosenthal and Edward Spencer were selected for the opportunity of a month long artist residency at Portmeor Studios. With the cost of studio hire and a materials bursary funded by Falmouth School of Art, the residency will provide these students with an invaluable experience of working within a professional studio culture.
As well as being home to acclaimed contemporary artists, Porthmeor Studios has a long history of prestigious inhabitants. The studio provided for this student residency – Studio 5 – has perhaps the most compelling heritage of any artists’ studio; it appears to have been constructed around 1895 for Olsson’s School of Marine Painting, but is best known as the studio used for 50 years by two of the most influential painters of their generation – Ben Nicholson, followed by Patrick Heron.
The residency is delivered by Falmouth School of Art in partnership with Borlase Smart John Wells Trust, as part of a series of residencies and professional practice opportunities offered to students studying BA(Hons) Fine Art at Falmouth University.
The exhibition will feature an Opening Evening on Saturday 28 July between 5-9pm, and continue with two further days on Sunday 29 and Monday 30 July between 10am – 5pm.
In recent months, both artists have been working on small en plein air paintings, used to develop more sustained works, all of which will be exhibited at The Poly, Falmouth, from Tuesday 24 July (including private view on 24th 6-9pm).
Theo is currently based in West Wales; he has this year undertaken a 6 week period as Artist in Residence at the abandoned whale station in Grytviken, for the South Georgia Heritage Trust. Sam now lives and exhibits in Newcastle, so it’s great to be able to see work from both artists in Falmouth once again.
BA(Hons) Fine Art Senior Lecturer, Mercedes Kemp, is also Community and Research Director of international site-specific theatre company WildWorks. Here she talks about the company’s current production, at the Lost Gardens of Heligan – outdoor promenade performance 100:UnEarth – for which she is Lead Artist, Writer and Researcher…The acclaimed production is on until 22 July 2018, tickets from Hall For Cornwall…
‘100:UnEarth tells the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. A tragic love story. Orpheus returns to his beloved wife Eurydice. On the day they are reunited she is killed in a tragic accident. Orpheus cannot accept her death and embarks on an audacious quest to pluck her out of the Underworld. Our telling of the story is set in the vast grounds of the Lost Gardens of Heligan, and is told in a grand scale.
In 100:UnEarth, WildWorks have set the myth against the background of the First World War and the catastrophic losses it produced. The war has ended. The men are coming home. Many are damaged, broken. They return to the families they left behind. Their women have learned to survive alone, to be self-reliant, work the land, feed themselves and their children. Nothing will ever be the same…
As we journey through the Underworld we encounter the souls of those who lost their lives in the Great War, but also of those who died in more recent conflicts. Hades, the great Lord of Death continues to reap his harvest.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan give us the perfect metaphor. A place where growth and decay co-exist. A place full of promise. A place that teaches us a valuable lesson. Death is inevitable. Gardens die out in the winter, but they return back to life in the spring. And love goes on, endlessly regenerating itself.
This multi-disciplinary promenade production uses every art form: stage design, installation, performance, music, soundscape, video projection. And its connections to Falmouth University are strong: students from AMATA have done an amazing job, alongside 200 community volunteers and a team of sixty professionals. Production Designer Myrddin Wannell and Community Projects and Underworld Designer Ellie Williams are both BA(Hons) Fine Art alumni and were my students twelve years ago. Undergraduates and graduates from the School of Film and Television have been capturing our every move. Associate Lecturer in Dance and Choreography, Emily Dobson, has given performers all their moves.
I am immensely proud to have led this project to completion. Catch it if you can. Until July 22nd at the Lost Gardens of Heligan‘.
“Last night, some magic in the mist. 100: UnEarth a beautiful immersive experience, A love story inspired by Orpheus and Eurydice. See this if you can.” Falmouth University Chancellor Dawn French on Twitter
The project, carried out at the school over three weeks, was a voluntary commission, enthusiastically taken up by the three friends. Elleanna commented, “We were all very keen to get started and we had lots of ideas to share. Our ideas encouraged the Head Teacher, who seemed very pleased and excited about what we had planned”. Elleanna says she feels grateful to have been involved, describing an atmosphere of encouragement and motivation; she feels that their enthusiasm in creating the work was kept high by the positive reactions of members of the school community who popped in to see how the project was coming along.
Sophie reflects on the process of creating the pieces: “The three of us were working together on one painting, which meant all of our bizarre and strange ideas were multiplied by three! The murals happened in quite an organic way; although we had developed plans to work from, a lot of the visual elements came to life in the moment when we were drawing and painting straight onto the boards”.
The result is a feast for the eyes – a vibrant panorama depicting creatures of land and sea, as well as Cornish motifs and legends. Sophie says, “I really enjoyed this project because of the unlimited amounts of colour and creativity we were permitted to use. In the paintings, if you look hard enough, you can spot a sea monster, a sloth playing the drums, a pair of feet belonging to a giant and a couple of dinosaurs wearing high heels!”.
The murals received a fantastic response from pupils when unveiled by the artists at a school assembly. Of the experience, Sophie said, “We had a fantastic few weeks painting the murals, and I would recommend anyone who gets the opportunity to get involved in a project such as this – local or afar – to say yes!”.
BA(Hons) Illustration Course Coordinators Natalie Hayes and Keryn Bibby have since met with Head Teacher James Hitchens and Assistant Head Chris Lee, to discuss possible future projects. They were shown around the school and discussed opportunities to involve Illustration students; from the possibility of murals for the walls of the swimming pool, production of inspirational imagery to enliven library spaces, or Illustration students working with Penryn Primary pupils on a series of creative workshops. Natalie commented, “Developing the bonds between Falmouth’s Illustration course and Penryn Primary Academy will provide our students with further excellent professional practice opportunities, and we hope will enhance the school experience for the primary pupils”.
Bronwen Anwyl, Daniel Bethell and Edward May graduated from BA(Hons) Fine Art at Falmouth in 2017. Recent work by the three artists is being shown in Peckham, London, this July.
Remades and Readymades is presented by Circle Triangle Square, an art platform set up by Edward May following his degree. The exhibition explores the aesthetic and theoretical themes surrounding man-made objects and the natural environment (and the crossover between them), in the context of the art gallery.
“Rock, Paper, Scissors – When microbes play games” is a graphic novel telling the toils and hardships of a cunning little virus triumphing over its enemies with the help of a valiant knight. It illustrates the intense struggles between viruses of bacteria and their bacterial hosts. The graphic novel is currently being developed under an intense collaboration between Andrei Serpe (recent graduate in BA(Hons)Fine Art , Falmouth University) and Mariann Landsberger (postdoctoral researcher, University of Exeter). It will be available in English, German and French.
Mariann says “The project received seed funding from the ESI Creative Exchange Programme in March 2018 (Environment and Sustainability Institute, Penryn Campus, University of Exeter), allowing us to establish our collaboration, create initial designs and a storyboard, and seek additional funding. The creation of the graphic novel is primarily financed by the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB), who awarded us the European Outreach Initiative Fund at the beginning of May 2018 and the Microbiology Society, who supported the project since beginning June 2018 with the Education and Outreach Grant. The project also received the Public Engagement Grant from the Genetics Society, which contributes to the development and promotion of the graphic novel. We are actively looking for a publisher to distribute print versions of the graphic novel. The graphic novel is intended to appeal to both teenagers and adults and aims to spark a curiosity for microbiology and evolutionary biology in the reader.”
The following exhibitions feature the final graphic novel, character designs and concept art:
- The Poly: Spring Gallery 9th – 14th July 2018 at The Poly, 24 Church Street, Falmouth TR11 3EG, UK
- Falmouth Café Scientifique: Presentation of the graphic novel, creative process and the science behind the story: 11th July 2018 7.45 pm at The Poly
- Hand Beer Bar: 1st – 30th September 2018 at Old Brewery Yd, High St, Falmouth TR11 2BY
“I really enjoy collaborating with Andrei on “Rock, Paper, Scissors – when microbes play games”. It inspires and motivates my research and everyday life. Andrei is bright, full of energy and I could not have wished for a better collaborator for the project. Whilst I write the storyline, we jointly work on its interpretation into the format of a graphic novel. I highly appreciate our conjoined effort, which I imagine less probable to naturally occur when commissioning an established artist, who would have had more experience in illustrating projects independently. It is a genuine exchange of ideas and concepts on both sides.
I would like to thank the ESEB for their invaluable support and encouragement. The European Outreach Initiative Fund allows us to fully illustrate the graphic novel, display our work and gather the public’s opinion, which will be crucial to create the final print-ready version of the graphic novel.
The Creative Exchange programme at the Environment and Sustainability Institute (Penryn Campus) inspired and encouraged me to take the time and make the effort to conceptualise and develop this project. The programme motivates and supports researchers to seek out and work with local artists. The only reason I could even consider developing the project and applying to the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) for funding was due to the initial seed funding provided by the Creative Exchange Programme.”
“Working on this project with Mariann has provided an amazing opportunity for me for which I am grateful. Over the past three years I have been and am still developing a series of narratives, making this chance to illustrate a novel as my gateway into the industry incredible.
The challenge of illustrating this story was that it was that was completely new to me, in a subject matter I have never studied. This helped me develop my researching skill in researching something that I have never encountered. I found that throughout this project I have been learning and understanding Mariann’s research in a much deeper sense than I previously could. Working with Mariann has given me an insight into the industry and the key to collaborative projects, compromise. It has given me the confidence to put myself out there and advertise myself in the industry to enter the world of freelance as a career.
Overall, this has been a rewarding experience and I intend to carry on exploring narrative comics for many years to come. I have plenty of plans for projects and other collaborations for the future.”
Please visit their blog for updates on the most recent developments, upcoming events and exhibitions, information about their supporters and contact details. If you would like to display their project in your space, please contact them….they would love to exhibit in a range of venues to engage as many people as they can. Feel free to share the blog with your friends and family, comment and send them any questions you have regarding the project.
BA(Hons) Fine Art students Ella Schlesinger and Nicholas Sanderson recently secured one of Falmouth School of Art’s studio residencies, at CAST, Helston, where they have been working together for the past month. The result is England your England, an installation comprising sculpture and video, to be shown to the public at an open studio event to mark the end of their residency.
Ella says, “The piece presents a search for a more democratic and honest space to create a conversation about Britain. We see a massive emphasis put on verbal and written language: in other words, the tyranny of the spoken and written word. With the cultural weight of the English language and its global historical context, it leaves us with a predefined and therefore limited platform to connect with and express our individual selves. We want to challenge this vacant gap these words leave and how, using the language of materials we can reown the identity to our country. Humans, as multi-sensory organisms, are constantly reacting against spaces and places, objects and feelings, so why do we settle on such a single faceted form of communication? And how can we create a more immersive and inclusive form of communication through art?
We’re delighted to announce the names of the artists selected by critic and curator Sacha Craddock from our 2018 BA(Hons) Fine Art degree show, to exhibit at this year’s Falmouth Fine Art London.
Molly Allam | Matilda Beale | Crystal Bonnell | Isabelle Carr | Rebecca Cave | Antonia Eden | Brittney Formosa | Juliet Gibbs | Adriana Hancock | Samuel Hines | Daniel Hollings | Ellen Leach | Olivia Lo | Oscar McCarthy | Amy McMillan | Henry Merrick | Henry Phillips | Holly Roseveare | Megan Stacey | Amelia Thompson | Ashleigh Trim | Katja Wendland | Edward Wills Garcia | Alexandra Windsor | Louis Winyard-Sears
Wow! What a fantastic degree show. After all the hard work and energy that went into the conversion of studios into exhibitions over the last month – not to mention the brilliant achievement of having created the work itself – we hope our final year students are recovering from the celebrations marking the culmination of their three years of degree study.
To mark the end of the year, Falmouth School of Art hosts an awards ceremony; a chance for third year students to come together with their peers and tutors to reflect and to celebrate one another, before joining wider friends and family for the official opening of their degree shows. The Awards recognise Outstanding Achievement, Studentship and Dissertation in all our subjects; announcement is also made of the recipients of a raft of residencies arranged by Falmouth School of Art with external partners, to provide graduating students with further opportunities to test their work in public contexts and to network with other artists.
Thank you to all our students and tutors for making this such a celebratory occasion, and we hope you all enjoyed your evening and one another’s exhibitions as much as we did.
Here we share with you some scenes from our end of year awards and the degree shows opening – thank you for your support this year.
(Class of 2018 – please get in touch if you want a high-res version of your photo).
Securing multiple appointments with editorial giants such as The New York Times and Wall Street Journal is one thing. Receiving commissions from such renowned companies whilst still a student, immediately after showcasing your work to the directors, is quite another.
After a hectic day in New York pitching portfolios to art directors from a broad range of companies, Illustration students prepared to wind down for the evening. But one student, Tom Paterson, secured an opportunity that could be the first step into a successful editorial career.
On the strength of his portfolio presentation, Tom was offered the chance to create an illustration for a New York Times online article, the deadline for which was the next day.
Tom explained: “The article I was sent had a lot of great imagery. When creating editorial illustrations, I always tend to lean towards conceptual illustrations rather than literal interpretations of the text, as the image has to speak on its own but also must reflect the core ideas of the text.”
The piece, entitled ‘The Soul-Crushing Student Essay’, explores the dissolution of university students’ ability to write in a subjective format, the private “I”. On his creation, Tom reflected: “I had a few ideas in mind, most of which pictured the student chiselling themselves out of a block of paper. The final illustration has a more refined version of this concept, as the essay the student writes is being stacked into a shape resembling their head.”
Our undergraduate illustrators have the opportunity in their third year to attend the New York agencies study visit; after returning home, Tom was notified of another exciting prospect requiring his particular skills. The Wall Street Journal needed an illustration for their upcoming Off-Duty summer issue. He said: “In the space of three weeks I’ve worked for two of my favourite publications. I’m going to be constantly networking with more art directors and sending work out to potential clients.
“I can’t emphasise enough how well the tutors on the course have prepared us all for the real world of illustration. I’ve also found that the focus on conceptual thinking and strategies has changed the way I think about creating images. I now spend 70% of the time sketching and generating ideas, instead of focusing all my time on just creating a pretty picture.”
Second year BA(Hons) Fine Art student Bianca Cocco was recently awarded a two-week internship supporting the opening of the Groundwork season of international art in Cornwall. Supported by funding through Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence scheme, Groundwork is organised by CAST (the Helston-based Cornubian Arts and Science Trust) in partnership with Kestle Barton, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Tate St Ives.
Bianca reflects on her experience…
‘My 2-week placement at CAST as Groundwork intern allowed me many opportunities to gain insights in how multi-site exhibitions can be organised. Many staff members and volunteers were artists and students, so I made a few new acquaintances and the conversations were quite enlightening. It certainly broadened my horizons and I discovered a great deal about the local art community and gleaned insights into what could lie ahead after graduation.
My first day as intern involved some hosting for the resident artists at breakfast before they set off to install and talk about their work with staff and volunteers. That day was extremely busy and involved preparation and placement of roadside signage about the events around Helston and surrounding areas – it was important to ensure visitors were able to locate the various sites. There was also much to do at CAST as building works had just finished and the spaces needed clearing.
During the opening weekend I travelled to various locations such as Godolphin House, Goonhilly Earth Station and Kestle Barton, where my primary role was greeting and guiding guests to the exhibitions. The atmosphere was lively and positive – I really enjoyed myself and didn’t notice how long the day had been when it culminated in Andy Holden’s evening performance at AMATA at the Penryn campus.
Subsequent days involved invigilating the various exhibition spaces and works by Steve McQueen, Semiconductor, Simon Starling and Christina Mackie. Invigilation can give you a chance to spend prolonged time with artworks and it was particularly relevant for me as most were AV-based and this is my main area of interest. Christina Mackie’s work at Godolphin was rich and mysterious so I was grateful for the opportunity to study her work in detail and read press material relating to her installation.
Overall, I gained a deeper understanding of the effort involved in organising exhibitions and it enhanced my appreciation of the works and institutions involved. I would highly recommend pursuing work placements at some stage during study as it helps to ground you and offers realistic expectations of how life can unfold after graduation. My experience at CAST was invaluable to me and I’m grateful to have been able to contribute in some way to the success of Groundwork’s opening week’.
Groundwork Coordinator Josie Cockram commented, ‘Groundwork internships support people at the beginning of their careers to gain experience working alongside the team in the delivery of an ambitious programme of international art. We’ve been delighted to work with Falmouth University students working as interns and volunteers. Bianca was a big help during our opening weeks and we’re very pleased that she will stay on board as a volunteer invigilator as the programme continues’.
With an emphasis on moving image, sound and performance, the Groundwork programme of exhibitions and events in 2018 includes presentations of important new commissions and acclaimed works by internationally celebrated artists in venues and outdoor sites across West Cornwall. Volunteers are welcomed as the programme continues – to find out how to get involved, visit the volunteer section of the Groundwork website.
Falmouth School of Art student Alice Howard collaborated with her good friend and BA Photography student Georgia Hunt in the development of The Drawn Exchange, an art group involving residents at Abbeyfield Residential Home in Falmouth.
Georgia, a final year student of BA(Hons) Photography, had wanted to develop a photography workshop with residents after she discovered that some were creating beautiful artistic work in the privacy of their bedrooms. Georgia described as an immense privilege the access she gained to the private world of this community, but her plans soon broadened. She says, ‘The initial plan to begin a photography workshop was scuppered as I saw a greater need to encourage drawing, the most basic yet fundamental form of seeing. The purpose then shifted to center on relationship, the relationships between the residents and their relationship with drawing’. It was here that Alice became involved. A 3rd year student on BA(Hons) Drawing, Alice brought a love of literature and a foundational understanding of drawing, which underpinned the art group model, based on emotional awareness and creative freedom. Similar to the practice of Art Therapy, the emphasis lay in the process of making art. The success was in the quality of relationship as opposed to the final outcomes. The Drawn Exchange was born.
Each week the group got together around the living room table, with materials selected by the residents. The sessions began with an exercise to engage the emotional mind, to invite and express the unseen and then – responding to how they felt – they began to draw. Sometimes they worked with their non-dominant hand to activate the right hemisphere of the brain, to stimulate emotions, to open up a channel for feeling and to encourage emphasis away from the visual aesthetics of the drawing. Georgia says, ‘I think of it as preparing the ground for further art making to occur, yet it was often the most profound. There is a raw and unknown quality that emerged through the drawings’.
The art group worked predominately from imagination and memory and the residents communicated their internal world, bringing a shift from emotional to physical. Georgia says, ‘The magic of drawing is that it has the capacity to bring to life those fading fragments of memory, unfolding like silent stories on paper’.
Alice introduced poetry into the group, to act as a catalyst for sparking memories and understanding feelings, which could then feed into drawings. Alice says, ‘In a number of sessions, we did collaborative drawings between two people. Starting from a poem enabled the drawer to delve deeper into their emotions sparked by that poem. The collaborative aspect meant that as the paper was turned and we each worked into the other’s drawing, it was no longer about responding to the poem but to the other persons drawing’. The drawing became a form of exchange.
The culmination of the project was a showcase of the work made and curated by the Abbeyfield Art Group. The exhibition was shown in the communal areas at the Abbeyfield Residential home to the joy and acclaim of residents, students, and visitors. Georgia and Alice intend to explore the possibilities of continuing elsewhere the model they have developed here in Falmouth, following their graduation this summer.
This year the John Moores Painting Prize is celebrating 60 years. Named after sponsor Sir John Moores (1896-1993), it is the UK’s best-known painting competition, and culminates in an exhibition held at the Walker Art Gallery every two years, forming a key strand of the Liverpool Biennial.
The John Moores exhibition is held in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust, and showcases some of the best contemporary painters from across the UK.
Sir Peter Blake became the first Patron of the Prize in 2011 and says, “The John Moores is one of the most prestigious art competitions in the UK and winning the Junior Prize in 1961 is one of the achievements of which I am most proud.”
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.
BA(Hons) Illustration Senior Lecturers Linda Scott and Natalie Hayes recently accompanied a group of second and third year students to Bristol, for a week-long trip focused on studio visits, professional practice talks and workshops, as well as an exhibition of work produced by them during their visit in response to a brief.
Falmouth Alumni Dave Bain, who graduated in 2006, as established himself in Bristol as a lynchpin of the thriving Illustration scene. As well as being a successful Illustrator, Dave is responsible for setting up illustration studios in Hamilton House (in the Stokes Croft area of the city) and the Illustration Collective, ‘Drawn In Bristol‘.
A good number of Falmouth Illustration alumni have relocated to Bristol, as an alternative to London; many have studio space in Hamilton House, which Dave modeled on the Falmouth course’s studio set up. Our students were given a tour of Hamilton House, and also The Island, a converted police station on Nelson Street.
At Hamilton House, Illustrators Lara Hawthorne, Paula Bowles, Freya Hartas and others talked informally about their experiences as Illustrators since graduating; at The Island, collective Sad Ghost Club talked about collaboration, the merchandise they produce and what brought them together as a group.
Coordinating the visit for us, Dave Bain booked The Square Club as a meeting space for us, and as venue for speakers Lara Hawthorne, Joe Roberts and Laurie Stansfield, who are working together and have developed a mentoring scheme suitable for graduates who are unable to work in studio spaces and who might otherwise be subject to isolation. Joe and Laurie meet monthly to support one another with projects and business, holding one another accountable for developing projects and setting schedules. Dave talked about his experience setting up the studios and working collaboratively, and spoke about his role as a ‘connector’ of people, bringing them together to develop public realm projects which directly benefit the local community.
Before their trip, students had been given a brief, focusing on themes of Regeneration and Collaboration. The culmination of their research was the formulation of visual outputs for exhibition in the Space Gallery, in the Old Market area of Bristol. Student exhibits ranged from 3D objects to customised shirts, a video and a 3D mobile.
A private view of the exhibition followed a final day of workshops, from Tom Newell of Limbic Cinema. Tom digitised drawings from students’ sketchbooks and mapped and projected these onto plinths and walls; he taught students how to do the same, with the outcome being several visual collages projected onto 2D and 3D spaces.
We commend our students for their high level of engagement throughout this intensive professional practice study visit, and for their participation even when treacherous weather threatened to impact heavily their activities.
Featuring work from many Falmouth School of Art alumni and former staff, this specially curated collection of preparatory sketches, observational drawings and works on paper in pencil pen, charcoal and paint are accompanied by large scale works, sculpture, video and conceptual ideas in a range of media, alongside a documentary film in which the artists discuss their own approach to drawing.
NSA member Peter Webster, a former Senior Lecturer on Falmouth School of Art’s BA(Hons) Fine Art course, says, “An expanded definition of drawing is the fundamental ambition of the show. Drawing is now such a wide-ranging practice we thought it would be interesting, revealing and exciting to see how our artists engage with it’.
The NSA can be a useful next step for graduates, and welcomes applications from Falmouth University graduates and staff.This exhibition features work by Falmouth School of Art alumni Sue Bleakley, Clarissa Both, Sandra Boreham, Una D’Aragona, Jack Davis, Marie Clare Hamon, Jack Paffett, Julie Moss, Dan Turner, Duncan Walters and Pippa Young. Jack Davis has been selected by the NSA committee to have his work featured in the Upstairs Gallery, in a part of the exhibition curated by fellow Falmouth alumnus Dan Turner. Former Falmouth staff exhibiting in the Tremenheere show are Phil Booth, Sue Kinley, Gareth Edwards, Angie Munro, Peter Webster and David Westby.
See NSA Drawing Explored from 5 – 30 May at Tremenheere Gallery, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens,
Gulval, Penzance, TR20 8YL, including a special opening event from 2pm on Saturday 5 May.
Printmaking workshops are also offered as part of the exhibition. £5 for 2 hours on 12 May, booking required, see the link for details.
The studios are cleared, third years have moved in with paint, tools and the labours of their final year and are already transforming the spaces into what promises to be a diverse and vibrant degree show from Falmouth School of Art this year.
Students of BA(Hons) Drawing, BA(Hons) Fine Art and BA(Hons) Illustration will open their shows to the public on Friday 25 May, including a launch that evening, 6-9pm, all welcome. As well as final degree work from our third years, separate exhibitions will showcase work from our first and second year BA(Hons) Illustration and BA(Hons) Drawing students.
The shows will be open as follows:
- Friday 25 May, 10-4pm
- Friday 25 May 6-9pm exhibition launch, all welcome
- Saturday 26 May 10-4pm
- Sunday 27 May 10-4pm
- Monday 28 May (bank holiday) 10-4pm
- Tuesday 29 May 10-4pm
- Wednesday 30 May 10-4pm
Get the dates in your diaries and we’ll see you in three weeks!
For details of all Falmouth University summer shows, see the website.
This year’s much anticipated edition of Wunderkammer flew off the presses literally a day before both London and New York study trips. This year’s cover has been illustrated by Falmouth Illustration alumna and rising star Ana Jaks.
The standard of work in this year’s book is extremely high, showing the full range of talent that is about to graduate from the BA(Hons) Illustration course here at Falmouth. All staff that have taught the current final year students through the course can, alongside the students, take a share in the high quality of the work published in the book. Particular credit goes to the third year staff for the huge effort that they have made to research, design co-ordinate the production of this book.
Thanks also go out to the alumni who have contributed insightful interviews. These include: Calum Heath, Beth Wheatley, Owen Gent and Hugh Cowling (Uncle Ginger), Jamie Edler, Thomas Pullin.
Here’s a sample of spreads from the book.
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A group of BA(Hons) Fine Art students have put together an exhibition at the newly re-located Fish Factory Art Space in Commercial Road, Penryn.
‘A group exhibition of our most recent works.
Titled ‘Tristiam and Iseult’, inspired by the Cornish myth, this exhibition presents a group of artists who moved to Cornwall, fell in love and never left.
The hypnotic and dreamlike environment that is Falmouth, we present to you a snippet of our creative processes and a look at our last 3 years here.
From painting to illustration to sculpture, expect a range of different works and see how we inspire each other.’
Glad says “The work in this exhibition, ‘What shall we do tomorrow’, explores how we live with images both worn out and potent. I am at once driven by an amnesic compulsion (a drive towards loss and annihilation of memory) to archive and aestheticise images, while equally coveting their ability to prick, puncture and cut through the dispassionate collecting, which can yield moments of insight that extend knowledge. While painting, I have authorship of this personal, political, ethical, aesthetic and embodied experience. It occurs between archiving and forgetting, between material and signification, between interiority and exteriority. These re-acquaintances with images are critical to the formulation of ‘self’.”
The exhibition runs until 30th May.
“Andrew Mania explores identity, sexuality and nostalgia through portraiture drawing.
His works have been described with the Portuguese term saudade: a word with no English equivalent, meaning a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone beloved.
Mania develops these drawings within assemblages set on decorative backgrounds such as hanging printed fabrics. A voracious collector, he here creates a dialogue between a series of early vintage photographs selected for their aesthetic or mystery, and his own drawings that capture a state of mischief and yearning” (Spike Island).
The Laydeez do Comics Prize exists to provide “recognition and celebration of the wealth of comics work currently being produced by female-identifying people based in the UK”.
Emma Burleigh, a recent graduate of MA Illustration: Authorial Practice has won the first £2K Laydeez do Comics; Women’s Prize for Unpublished Graphic Novels in Progress for her graphic novel My Other Mother, My Other Self .
Emma is an artist and art teacher who is passionate about the vibrant, glowing and mercurial qualities of water-colour and mixed media. ” I’m interested in everyday life, the inner life and the layers of life in between.” In 2015, she completed an MA in ‘Authorial Illustration’ at Falmouth University, with Distinction and My Other Mother, My Other Self is a development of her MA graphic novel, Birth Mother.
Birth Mother was an exploration in words and painting about her journey … Emma says ” It’s about tracing my birth mother who I traced about ten years ago, and it’s really just the story of how I found her and how our relationship unfolded. It actually becomes more about my relationship with myself.”
Emma was thrilled to be shortlisted for the prize as she has been working on her book for many years.
She said about her entry into the competition… “I’ve been making comics properly for about five years – cat zines that are a little bit fantastical and a bit silly. I’ve been trying to make something new by moving into social issues and doing something that’s a bit more personal. It’s called Boomerang and it’s about an unemployed psychology graduate who’s moved back home after graduation and it’s an exploration of issues around the 2008 recession and the following economic crash. It’s about a rite of passage of a few months of not knowing what to do and what it means to be an adult.”
The Falmouth School of Art Drawing Forum 2018 posed the question ‘What Does Drawing Do?’
It has been a long established assumption that drawing underpins most disciplines within the creative sector, but what drawing does, and how it functions for different practitioners, is probably an ever-changing and essential component.
By asking a series of speakers to talk about what drawing does for them, this forum hoped to develop a better understanding of the possibilities and functions of drawing. As well as Falmouth-based researchers, the event welcomed guest speakers of national and international standing, including:
Storyboard Artist Jay Clarke worked on the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit & the Curse of the WereRabbit and other projects with Aardman and was lead storyboard artist for The Grand Budapest Hotel, which won Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and the Oscar for Best Production Design. He is currently storyboarding Universal’s The Voyage of Dr Dolittle and creating an illustrated children’s novel.
Multi-disciplinary artist Solveig Settemsdal lives and works in London and Bristol; she won the Jerwood Drawing Prize for her video work Singularity in 2016.
Ed Eva and George Baldwin formed the drawing research partnership eegb after graduating from Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Drawing in 2014. eegb’s practice lies at the intersection of drawing and technology; they build machines that draw, have been awarded a number of residencies and grants and have exhibited in the UK, Ireland, Germany and the USA.
This video shares sections of the eight short talks on how drawing is used in contemporary creative practice:
Artist Peter Mathews joined a group of BA Hons Drawing students for a three day field trip to Coverack in early March.
Coverack is a small fishing village on the south coast of the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall and is surrounded by a geologically rich and diverse coastline. The village provided the perfect location for a series of drawings that responded to the dramatically changing weather that the students experienced during their stay – including warm sunshine that glistened off the water to huge crashing waves that gave everyone a good soaking.
The students had exclusive use of the local youth hostel which proved to be a welcome sanctuary to eat and shelter together, discussing and sharing their work and experience with Peter and their resident tutors.
As the wind gusted in off the sea outside the hostel windows, evenings were spent cooking together, eating a lot, playing games, and even more drawing.
All photos by Emma Edwoods
Recent Fine Art Alumni Sarah Woods and Jack Paffett are showing their work at the Belgrave St Ives from 2 to 23 April 2018. The exhibition is entitled Artscape: New Contemporary Painters and Sarah and Jack will be exhibiting alongside Jack Watson.
The New Contemporary Painters will be shown in conjunction with the key St Ives Modernist W.Barns-Graham: A Unique Collection of Works on Paper. This is an exciting exhibition of previously unseen wave/line works by the artist, that have been held in a private collection since the 1970’s.
Falmouth School of Art will again this summer be running its popular five-day Intensives delivered by specialist tutors. Intensive courses in Abstract Painting, Drawing and The Figure offer practicing visual artists and art educators the opportunity to immerse themselves in their work with daily guidance and input from the School’s expert tutors, including some of Cornwall’s leading artists.
Participants take part in studio tutorials, group discussions and practical sessions, working alongside other practitioners in well-appointed studios in the subtropical garden setting of Falmouth Campus. Nearby are Falmouth’s vibrant town centre and glorious beaches; our participants tell us that we offer the ideal place for concentrated creative activity.
Dr. Ginny Button, Director of Falmouth School of Art, comments: ‘Our students benefit from our unique mix of beautiful location, great facilities, inspiring legacy, pedagogic excellence and friendly, supportive atmosphere. We’re delighted in the summer to open up our facilities and offer our teaching expertise to artists and creative practitioners who want to further develop their work and their professional networks too.’
Previous Intensives participants’ testimonials:
“The course was perfect – very well planned and organised with good mixture of presentations, tutorials, studio development and opportunity for socialising”.
“…the best thing I have done for years: It was like a creative vitamin injection. My practice travelled a very long way in a short space of time.”
“The opportunity to take time out from a busy teaching schedule to focus on producing my own work was energising and inspiring…the course has enriched me on both a personal and professional level, giving me ideas for teaching at sixth form.”
“I loved the studio space and the time spent contemplating work with no distractions…There was a great balance of tutorials and time to work. Met some great fellow artists, there was a great buzz of creativity.”
The deadline for applications is 5th May. For more information and how to apply, please visit: www.falmouth.ac.uk/fsaintensives
Congratulations Tacita Dean!
This spring artist Tacita Dean, one of our most celebrated alumna who studied BA(Hons) Fine Art here between 1985 and 1988, has been given the unprecedented accolade of three major museum exhibitions running concurrently in London. Over the last 30 years in different ways – though primarily through the medium of analogue film – she has imaginatively explored and reinvented the genres of Still life Portraiture and Landscape. These aspects of her work are now the focus of dedicated solo exhibitions at three of London’s most prestigious venues, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts, running from March to August 2018. Don’t miss it!
For information and a review see: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/mar/18/tacita-dean-portrait-still-life-national-portrait-gallery-review
We are delighted that there’s also an opportunity to see her work in Cornwall this May as her 2015 film Event for a Stage will be presented for four days at Falmouth University’s performing arts centre, AMATA. Originally commissioned as a live performance over four consecutive nights for the 2014 Sydney Biennial, it became her first foray into theatre and her first experience of working with an actor. This screening is part of the ambitious international art project Groundwork, organised by CAST (the Cornubian Arts and Science Trust, based not far from Falmouth in Helston). Groundwork – featuring many other internationally celebrated artists, such as Steve McQueen, Janet Cardiff and Francis Alys – launches over the May Bank holiday and runs to September in venues across Cornwall For information see: http://c-a-s-t.org.uk/projects
Tacita Dean has been the recipient of various awards including the Kurt Schwitters Prize in and the Hugo Boss Prize and a nominee of the Turner Prize. Other recent exhibitions include a major solo presentation at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City in 2018; JG at Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, Utah, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and Arcadia University Art Gallery, Pennsylvania; Tacita Dean: The Measure of Things, Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro; Tacita Dean, De Mar en Mar, Botin Foundation, Santander, Spain; and Tacita Dean: The Studio of Giorgio Morandi, Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna.
Kate Holford is an artist based in South East London. Kate graduated from BA(Hons) Fine Art at Falmouth in 2013 and has since been involved in numerous curatorial projects, including group shows, Now Falmouth (2013) Shoreditch, and Doppelgangers (2015) at The Strand Gallery. Kate’s personal practice, having strong foundations in Drawing, has included video installation, sculpture and writing, and most recently the incorporation of oil painting. Conceptual drives have included the critical approach to culturally inherited narratives, the translation of mediated information, and embodiments of power. Kate has been working as a manager at Stillpoint Spaces London since 2017 and here Kate tells us about her upcoming exhibition and life since graduation:
On 15th April, I will be exhibiting In the Stories There is an Abundance at Stillpoint Spaces London in Clerkenwell, which will include pop-up installations to mark the opening of a solo exhibition. A new body of work combining drawing, painting, writing, and sculpture, this exhibition will conjure themes of homemaking, reimagined stories of religiosity, the suggestion of journeys taken through ‘carceral’ landscapes, and the ultimate search for ‘Home’. In the Stories… further explores a personal relationship with universal narratives of pilgrimage, the myth of the ‘Promised Land’, and the archetype of the Western frontier, ideas which first became clear preoccupations for me when creating my Fine Art degree show at Falmouth School of Art in 2013.
Since graduating I have put on shows a few times, always as both artist and curator, and in many cases continuing to work on projects with fellow Falmouth alumni. As is natural in group endeavours, for each show we developed specific themes or currents between our work to pull the exhibitions together. For one, a large 45-artist strong show in Shoreditch called Now Falmouth, we operated on the premise that our collective would be giving London a snapshot of newly graduated artists from outside the capital – a “showcase”, not unlike the annual selected shows ran by the art school, but on a much larger scale. Another exhibition, co-curated with fellow alumni Julia White, focused on the output of artists living double lives in the city: the life of the “artist” and the life of the “young professional”. By starting with this binary outlook, we attempted to build a show that in fact challenged the assumed limitations of that paradox. I contributed to both of these shows by building installations as well as playing a central role in their organization. This upcoming exhibition In the Stories… then, is the first time I will be showing work as a solo artist (although I haven’t quite shrugged off the responsibilities of curating the show), and the first time I will be occupying a considerably-sized – if unconventional – exhibition space on my own.
I started working as the Manager for Stillpoint Spaces London almost exactly a year ago, having left my previous job as a Bookshop Manager for Waterstones. I had, in the recess between employment, rediscovered a neglected arts practice, and for the first time took up oil paints as a way back into making work. I walked into Stillpoint then, this time last year, as an artist.
Stillpoint Spaces was created with the intention of exploring psychology in all aspects of culture, where we are building a community of psychotherapists, practitioners – artists – psychologists – activists – anyone interested in applying psychology to the everyday (and if art isn’t that, what is it?!), through events, coworking, and an onsite community of psychotherapists. Since I became involved with them I have been developing the inclusion of artists and the creative practices in that discourse; it has since become a key element in the way we develop our events programme. To play such a part in that process by having my own work included is a privilege.
It is also exciting that we will be marking this with a talk and reading from poet and professor Andrea Brady of Queen Mary University, titled Close Up is Far Away. Andrea will read from her poem The Blue Split Compartments, an extended work which incorporates found text from military manuals and the chatroom banter of drone pilots, along with myth, personal history, and writings on sculpture and psychoanalysis. She will also speak about the proliferation of artworks which have been inspired by drone surveillance.
If anyone would like to find out more about the exhibition on 15th April, the accompanying event, or the exhibition space itself, they can visit the website page here: http://www.stillpoint-lab-london.com/event/openhouse/ and follow the links. Mostly though, I am always looking to make contact with artists who are interested in psychology – be it political, anthropological, or personal – and who think their work would be appropriate for Stillpoint’s programme. Do get in touch via email at email@example.com if you want to pitch a project or start a conversation!
Our second and third year BA(Hons) Illustration students recently enjoyed a study visit to snowy Bristol. The focus of the trip included studio visits to two artist/illustration studios; Hamilton House and The Island.
The students enjoyed tours of both venues, at Hamilton House they met with practicing illustrators including Lara Hawthorne, Paula Bowles and Freya Hartas who spoke with the students about their experiences as illustrators since graduating. At The Island studios, students met with collective ‘Sad Ghost Club‘, a small team working hard to make comics, apparel and merchandise to spread positive awareness of mental health.
Students also had presentations from Lara Hawthorne, Joe Roberts and Laurie Stansfield, who have been working together to develop a mentoring scheme called ‘CAP’ which involves meeting up regularly to support one another with business, including developing projects and setting schedules.
Falmouth alumni Dave Bain, who graduated from BA(Hons) Illustration in 2006 coordinated all the activities that students participated in whilst visiting Bristol. Dave also gave students a presentation about his own experiences since graduating. As well as being a successful illustrator, Dave is responsible for setting up illustration studios in Hamilton House and an illustration collective ‘Drawn In Bristol‘, formed in 2011 which supports and profiles Bristol based illustrators.
Before travelling to Bristol, students were given a brief to work too, focusing on the themes of ‘regeneration and collaboration’ and the culmination of their primary research was to formulate visual outputs which were exhibited in the SPACE (Sound-Performance-Art-Community-Engagement) Gallery.
Prior to the exhibition Private View, Tom Newell of Limbic Cinema, provided workshops with the students; Tom digitized drawings from student’s sketchbooks and mapped and projected these onto plinths and walls – he also taught students how to do the same and the outcome was several visual collages projected onto 2D and 3D spaces.
For the exhibition, students created a range of work in response to the brief, from 3D objects, to customised shirts, a video and a 3D mobile.
We can heartily recommend anything by Graham, so if you’re new to his work, you’re in for a treat – Overland is available online from many sellers, or from your local independent bookstore! Scroll down for more…
Welcome to Overland! Where the California sun shines down on synthetic grass and plastic oranges bedeck the trees all year round. Steam billows gently from the chimney tops and the blue tarpaulin lake is open for fishing…
Hollywood set-designer George Godfrey has been called on to do his patriotic duty and he doesn’t believe in half-measures. If he is going to hide an American aircraft plant from the threat of Japanese aerial spies he has an almighty job on his hands. He will need an army of props and actors to make the Lockheed factory vanish behind the semblance of a suburban town. Every day, his “Residents” climb through a trapdoor in the factory roof to shift model cars, shop for imaginary groceries and rotate fake sheep in felt-green meadows.
Overland is a beacon for the young women labouring below it: Queenie, dreaming of movie stardom while welding sheet metal; Kay, who must seek refuge from the order to intern “All Persons of Japanese Ancestry”. Meanwhile, George’s right-hand Resident, Jimmy, knows that High Command aren’t at all happy with the camouflage project…
With George so bewitched by his own illusion, might it risk confusing everybody – not just the enemy?
Overland is a book like no other — to be read in landscape format. Based on true events, it is a novel where characters’ dreams and desires come down to earth with more than a bump, confronting the hardships of life during wartime. As surreal and playful as it is affecting and unsettling, no-one other than Graham Rawle could have created it.
The Poly, Falmouth, is host again this year to the second year exhibition by BA(Hons) Fine Art students. The student curatorial committee worked with Falmouth alumni Cat Bagg and Rosie Thomson-Glover of Field Notes, to set up the show and make any necessary changes to the curation.
The student curatorial committee share their experience of putting up the first half of the show, as they prepare for the launch of the second half this evening:
‘Students found the Poly enormously supportive in allowing us to use space and their equipment; for example, allowing one of our artists to use the grand piano in the upper space, and giving us a library room we hadn’t seen before, adding a wonderful new dimension for us to work with in order to take advantage of the space’s antiquated atmosphere and natural light.
Transporting work from the university in the pouring rain didn’t particularly hinder the set-up, and by lunch time the following day the show was basically completed and preparations for the Private view began. By 5:30 we’d already had 100 people through the door, and there was a real buzz to the evening, with an estimated 250-300 who came along. The wine and nibbles were gone very quickly, but the Poly allowed us to work alongside them and use their bar to serve extra drinks.
We’re now preparing to do it all again for the second show, which will contain more work with sculpture and audio-visual content, so we’re excited to see how we can shape the show differently in order to accommodate this’.
The second half of the exhibition is open to the public 10-5 on Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 March, and 10-1pm on Friday 16th, at The Poly, Church Street, Falmouth.
Snow has brought much to a standstill here in Falmouth…Our campuses are currently closed, no teaching is taking place today. Snow on this scale is very unusual for Cornwall, so a bit of an event. With routes leading to our campuses treacherous with ice and compacted snow and buses stopping service due to road conditions, our staff and student safety means business as usual isn’t possible today. However…snow shots from yesterday!…
BA(Hons) Drawing students from all years are exhibiting work during February and March in the Shelterbox Visitor Centre, Truro.
Course Coordinator & Senior lecturer Isolde Pullum says, ‘The students were very moved by their recent visit to Shelterbox. I think it really hit home to many of them the importance of an immediate response to an emergency situation. The idea to make drawings that could raise money came from them, and the theme of Temporary Housing seemed broad enough to encompass a range of different approaches and ideas.’
‘Also in the exhibition are The History Box drawings, which aim to capture the passage of time by including elements of change and movement within the same drawing. A drawing, unlike a photograph, has the potential to encompass time passing by the artist’s reaction to changes. The staff and students really welcome this opportunity to work with Shelterbox and hope it can be the start an ongoing relationship.’
All the drawings on display can be bought, some for as little as £10 each, with all the proceeds going to ShelterBox. Visitor Experience Assistant Ellie Howell-Round says, ‘This is very generous of the Drawing students, and the artworks are fascinating and thought-provoking. Everyone can empathise with the people that ShelterBox helps, as we all fear extreme weather and appreciate the importance of safety and shelter.’
Artist Mark Dion, Honorary Fellow of Falmouth University, has a new show opening this week at Whitechapel Gallery, London. From the Whitechapel’s website:
Explorer, collector, activist and conjuror of theatrical environments American artist Mark Dion (b.1961) has travelled through rainforests and rubbish dumps to reveal the wonder and fragility of life on earth. Dion uses specimens – natural and manmade – to make uncanny representations of these environments. His drawings, sculptures and installations draw on the techniques of scientific enquiry and museum display; and on the telling of natural histories.
We embark on a journey through a sequence of installations created between 2000 and the present. The exhibition begins with The Library for the Birds of London (2018), a new commission continuing a series of aviaries Dion has created since 1993. The roomy sanctuary is a temporary home to 22 zebra finches, which are well-known for being social creatures. Visitors are invited into the aviary, which has an apple tree at its centre, referencing the tree of life. Over 600 books devoted to ornithology, environmentalism, literature and the natural sciences surround the birds. A scholar’s study invites us to unravel intricate drawings and models; while the Bureau for the Centre of the Study for Surrealism and its Legacy displays the strange magic of obsolete things. The muddy banks of the Thames have also yielded their treasures for poetic display in a gigantic cabinet; while The Wonder Workshop displays the ghosts of animals and instruments, many of them extinct and obsolescent. Each immersive environment is also a habitat, evoking the characters that observe, conserve or exploit the natural world.
Theatre of the Natural World opens on 14 February, until 13 May 2018.