On being a Groundwork Intern…

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 BartonNewlyn 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.

Steve McQueen, ‘Gravesend’ (2007), presented for Groundwork at CAST in Helston. Image: Jamie Woodley © CAST (Cornubian Arts & Science Trust)

Christina Mackie, ‘The Judges II’ (2012-2018), presented for Groundwork in the King’s Room at National Trust Godolphin. Image: Jamie Woodley © CAST (Cornubian Arts & Science Trust)

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.

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The Drawn Exchange: A collaborative project

Alice Howard and Georgia Hunt

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.

 

Coming Soon…Falmouth School of Art Degree Shows

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.

Student exhibition opening at The Fish Factory – Tristiam and Iseult

 

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.’

Fine Art Alumni showing at Belgrave, St Ives. Exhibition runs 2 to 23 April.

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.

Sarah Woods: FSA Alumni BA(Hons) Fine Art

Jack Paffett: FSA Alumni BA Fine Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

W. Barns-Graham

BA(Hons) Fine Art Second Year Exhibition

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.

Shelterbox exhibition by BA(Hons) Drawing Students

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.’