On International Women’s Day 2018, a big thank you to these artists who have inspired our students by visiting us in Falmouth to talk about their practice as part of the Falmouth School of Art Guest Speaker Programme.
Beth Garnett, alumna of MA Illustration: Authorial Practice, is currently showing a collage – From the Headland at Mawnan I – as part of Falmouth Art Gallery’s Imagine Falmouth exhibition until this Saturday. The piece was produced during Beth’s participation in Falmouth School of Art’s Observational Drawing Intensive last July.
After the success of Falmouth Art Gallery’s inaugural submissions show last year, ‘Imagine Falmouth’ has grown in scale, and is now a bi-annual exhibition and arts prize. The gallery invite emerging and established artists from across the county to submit their work. With no theme and no restriction on medium, the exhibition has reflected the very best of Cornish art today. The exhibition, which opened in November, closes on Saturday 20 January.
Falmouth School of Art Intensives offer a selection of 5-day courses for artists and art educators, all taking place in the studios and grounds of Falmouth Campus, and the surrounding area. Of her experience at last summer’s Intensive, Beth says, ‘The course was a really great timeout from real life to get back to drawing again, in beautiful surroundings. The tutors were supportive and offered really practical advice. The group size wasn’t too big and we had a lot of fun. I was able to find new directions for my work and new ideas for my process which has really refreshed my practice. I’m am sure will continue to impact on my drawing work for a long time to come’.
for 2018, Falmouth School of Art will run three Intensives; in Drawing, Abstract Painting and The Figure. Course descriptors will soon be available online, at www.falmouth.ac.uk/fsaintensives, where you can also find images from previous intensives, terms and conditions and a short application form.
Falmouth School of Art’s Guest Speaker Programme brings significant practitioners to Falmouth to give talks to our students about their practice. Final year BA(Hons) Drawing student Megan Fatharly gives a personal response to a recent talk by Guest Speaker Christina Mackie:
‘Multi-faceted artist Christina Mackie spoke to Falmouth School of Art students about her visual language, the depth she goes to to explore materials, how they interact with each other what this can encourage within a viewer.
The themes that ultimately prevail within Mackie’s work are colour and perception; this is evident in the work she did with Tate in 2015, in which artists worked with nets dipped in semi-crystalised dye and suspended to create a stark installation piece. As part of her talk, Mackie showed generated videos and plans of how that exhibition was put together.
As well as discussing this installation, Mackie also spoke about other works: on paper, photographs and how she works with objects to manipulate their purpose and form. I found this conversation between the layers of her work really engaging. Artists who are not afraid to work within more than one avenue show how important it is to do so, because it encourages these dialogues to be had and shows younger artists it’s a thing to be embraced.’
Author, artist and designer Graham Rawle will give his inaugural lecture as Falmouth School of Art’s Visiting Professor of Illustration on 22 March 2017.
Internationally admired, Rawle is one of the UK’s most interesting and original visual communicators, known by many for his long running ‘Lost Consonants’ strip, which appeared in the Guardian from 1990. A writer and collage artist whose visual work incorporates illustration, design, photography and installation, Rawle has a strong following for his eagerly-awaited published books, which include The Card (shortlisted for the 2013 Writer’s Guild Award), Graham Rawle’s Wonder Book of Fun and Diary of an Amateur Photographer. His collaged novel Woman’s World, created entirely from fragments of found text clipped from vintage women’s magazines won wide critical acclaim, described by The Times as ‘a work of genius…the most wildly original novel produced in this country in the past decade.’ His reinterpretation of The Wizard of Oz won Book of the Year and Best Illustrated Trade Book at the 2009 British Book Design and Production Awards. Alongside these works, Rawle has produced regular series for The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine and The Times.
Rawle’s flair and passion for education has been recognised through honorary appointments and awards. As a previous contributor to both Falmouth School of Art’s guest speaker programme and its Illustration Forum he already has a strong interest in Illustration here. Of his appointment in 2016, Rawle said, “It’s a great honour for me to have been made Visiting Professor of Illustration at Falmouth University. I have long admired the School of Art’s commitment to nurturing original and individual thinking in art and design. My own research in sequential design and visual narrative spans across illustration, literature and, more recently, film. I’m interested in how the principles of storytelling, particularly three-act structure, can be employed in the development of design strategies across a wide range of disciplines. I look forward to finding ways of making connections with students, staff and researchers at Falmouth”.
Rawle has established himself as a ground-breaking research-led writer, illustrator and designer, evidenced through the range and depth of key scholarly texts that cite and analyse his work. He teaches on the MA Sequential Design/Illustration and MA Arts and Design by Independent Project courses at Brighton and in 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate for Services to Design from Norwich University of the Arts.
Graham Rawle’s lecture at our Falmouth Campus is free, but registration is required, as seats are limited: Click here to register through our Eventbrite page.
Find out more about our BA(Hons) Illustration and MA Illustration: Authorial Practice.
Posy Simmonds joins us at Falmouth School of Art on 1 March in the next of our Guest Speaker events. It’s a welcome return for Simmonds, an Honorary Fellow of Falmouth University, and the author and illustrator of books for adults and children, including Literary Life, Tamara Drewe, Lulu and the Flying Babies and Fred, the film of which was nominated for an Oscar.
Simmonds made her name with a series of weekly cartoon strips for the Guardian from 1977; her acclaimed graphic novels Gemma Bovery, and Tamara Drewe were both serialised in the paper before their publication as books, and both have since been adapted into successful feature films.
Simmonds’ style for adults gently satirises the English middle classes. Her books often feature a ‘doomed heroine’, much in the style of the 18th- and 19th-century gothic romantic novel, to which they often allude, but with an ironic, modernist slant.
Simmonds’ carreer as a children’s author began in 1987 with Fred, the tale of the death of a domestic tomcat who, to his owners, appeared to have done little more than eat and sleep all day, but who had in fact by night been pop superstar ‘Famous Fred’, adored by thousands of fans
Further reading / listening…
Posy Simmonds will be talking at Falmouth University on 1 March 2017, Lecture Theatre 1, Falmouth Campus, 5pm-6pm
Atlantic Press, an independent press associated with the MA Illustration: Authorial Practice course at Falmouth has won the prestigious Michael Marks Illustration Award. The book’s illustrator Mairead Dunne received the award for her illustrations to Luke Thompson’s book of poems, The Clearing, which was published last summer. Mairead is a graduate of the Authorial Illustration Masters course (September 2016).
The winners were announced at a special dinner with the shortlisted poets, publishers and illustrators at the British Library in December last year. Mairead was presented the award along with a cheque for £1,000 by Lady Marina Marks, Chairman of the Michael Marks Charitable Trust.
The images are a contemplative series in photography, using experimental lenses and interventionist drawing. The work reflects and reveals the narrative, highlighting the sense of reader as voyeur, as well as developing the symbolism and ambience of the poetry. Every copy of the clearing is unique, the cover birds having been individually hand-stamped by Mairead.
Steve Braund, Course Coordinator of MA Illustration: Authorial Practice and Director of Atlantic Press has written a piece about the work:
“The Clearing is one of a series of four ‘poet-illustrator’ collaborations we’ve published recently at Atlantic, the others being Stone by Em Strang and Mat Osmond, Pick Me Up by Anna Kiernan and Harriet Lee-Merion and On Ridgegrove Hill by Alyson Hallett and Phyllida Bluemel.
Attempting to illustrate poetry can be foolhardy as the ability of poems to picture subject matter so vividly make them powerful illustrations in themselves. So, we’ve tried to support collaborative conversations between the pairings of poets and illustrators where the images augment the words with a fair degree of ambiguity allowing open-ended readings. In addition, and of equal importance, is the attention to the design and typography: how the book feels in your hands, how the pages turn and the use of empty spaces. In The Clearing, as with the others in the series, the design was in the hands of the illustrator.
Part of the underlying excitement in all our books is in that suspension of disbelief where the ‘unreal’, the fictional construction (or sometimes imaginative take on the real), captivates the audience, holding their attention, taking them on a journey of the imagination, the story. The best results occur when the creator/s (in this case the poet and illustrator in collaboration) inhabit their characters from within. The storytelling never works quite as well when the characters feel consciously contrived as if from a distance. If your character cuts their knee, you need to feel their pain. If you don’t, then don’t expect your audience to either.
The publication was supported by a grant from the Arthur Quiller Couch Memorial Fund (Q Fund) and through Crowd funding.”
The Award was judged by Sir Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery, London from 2008 – 2015. The Illustration Award recognises outstanding illustration of a poetry pamphlet published between July 2015 and June 2016. Sir Nicholas Penny considered illustration in any medium and was looking for a subtle and sustained relationship between image and text, as well as the overall quality of the images.
The Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets are sponsored by The Wordsworth Trust, The British Library and the Michael Marks Charitable Trust in association with the TLS and the Harvard University Centre for Hellenic Studies.
The Falmouth School of Art Guest Speaker Programme resumes in February with a series of events featuring acclaimed artists and illustrators…
Artist Joey Holder starts the season with a talk on 8 February. Working with scientific and technical experts, Holder makes immersive, multi-media installations that explore the limits of the human and how we experience non-human, natural and technological forms. Mixing elements of biology, nanotechnology and natural history against computer programme interfaces, screen savers and measuring devices, she suggests the impermanence and inter-changeability of these apparently contrasting and oppositional worlds: ‘everything is a mutant and a hybrid’. For a recent exhibition – against the backdrop of the emergent field of computational biology and the Google Genomics project – Holder invented ‘Ophiux’, a speculative pharmaceutical company, imagining its use of genetic sequencing equipment and biological machines to collect data from humans and to sample data from other organisms. She explains: ‘It seems as if everything has become a branch of computer science, even our own bodies probed, imaged, modelled and mapped: re-drawn as digital information’.
On 15 February artist Chantal Joffe will be in conversation with Falmouth School of Art’s Director Dr. Ginny Button. Joffe’s figurative paintings usually depict women or girls, from catwalk models, porn actresses and literary heroines to mothers, children and loved ones. Her paintings question expectations of what a feminist art might be, often pointing to how appearances are constructed – whether in a fashion magazine or the family album – and to the choreography of display. Sometimes shown in groups but recently in iconic portraits, her images of women draw loosely on a range of sources such as photographs, magazines and even reflections in the mirror, using distortion to make her subjects seem more real. Her paintings achieve a psychological and emotional force, prompting reflection on ever-changing human relations and the endless complexity of looking.
1 March sees a return to Falmouth of Illustrator, author and Falmouth Honorary Fellow Posy Simmonds. Simmonds’ work includes many books for adults and children, including Literary Life, Lulu and the Flying Babies and Fred, the film of which was nominated for an Oscar. Working across a range of formats and contexts, Simmonds is probably best-known for her series of weekly cartoon strips commissioned by the Guardian since 1977. Gemma Bovery, her reworking of Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary into a satirical tale of English expatriates in France appeared first in the Guardian before publication as a graphic novel in 1999. Acclaimed by the critics for its wit and wickedly sharp observation, it was made into a feature film in 2014. Her prize-winning graphic novel Tamara Drewe also became a very successful film, directed by Stephen Frears.
Falmouth School of Art’s new Visiting Professor of Illustration delivers his inaugural lecture on 22 March. Graham Rawle is an internationally admired writer and collage artist whose visual work incorporates illustration, design, photography and installation. He has produced regular series for The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine and The Times and among his published books are The Card, The Wonder Book of Fun, Lying Doggo, and Diary of an Amateur Photographer. His collaged novel Woman’s World, created entirely from fragments of found text clipped from vintage women’s magazines won wide critical acclaim, described by The Times as ‘a work of genius…the most wildly original novel produced in this country in the past decade.’ He is perhaps best known to some for his long running ‘Lost Consonants’ strip, which first appeared in the Guardian in 1990.
We finish the 2016-17 Guest Speaker Programme with a TateTalk at Falmouth by Fine Art alumna (2001) Jessica Warboys. Warboys works across painting, performance, film and sculpture. Her talk is in association with Tate St. Ives, which in March will present a major solo show of Warboys’ work. The show will feature films, sculptures, large scale paintings, and Sea Paintings commissioned for the show and created along the Cornish coast. In her Sea Paintings, Warboys explores the connection between painting and performance, submerging damp, folded canvas scattered with coloured pigments into the sea, and allowing the movement of the waves to ‘paint’ the canvas. Her work is informed by personal or collective memories – hystorical, mythical or fictional. Warboys currently lives and works in Suffolk and Berlin and has enjoyed wide international exhibition success, including solo exhibitions. Her work was recently included in British Art Show 8.
Registration is required for these events, and is open now: http://falmouthschoolofart.eventbrite.co.uk
See all Falmouth University events on our website: www.falmouth.ac.uk/events