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.