Announcing the Caroline Sassoon Emerging Artist Award

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. 

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Falmouth School of Art Purchase Prize – Robin French

Artist Robin French, with a detail from his painting.

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…

Robin French – Kitchen, Early Spring, 112 x 152cm, oil on canvas

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.”

https://www.instagram.com/robinfrenchartist/

Congratulations Class of 2018!!

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).

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MA Illustration: Authorial practice graduates win Laydeez do Comics Graphic Novel Prizes

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.

 

Rebecca Jones, a 2012 graduate also from MA Illustration: Authorial Practice, came fourth.

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.”

International awards for Falmouth Illustration alumni

Two of this year’s four winners of the BolognaRagazzi Award are alumni of Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Illustration. The BolognaRagazzi Award is one of the world’s most highly regarded international prizes in children’s publishing, giving winners extraordinary visibility, including through high profile recognition at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

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Emma Lewis won the Opera Prima category for The Museum of Me, by Tate Publishing. She said, ‘Winning the award was an amazing surprise, as I hadn’t even considered that I would be put forward. I’m also pleased because it reflects all the brilliant hard work put in by my publishers, Tate’.

2012 graduate William Grill won the Non-fiction category for his book The Wolves of Currumpaw, published by Flying Eye Books. Grill said ‘I am over the moon that Wolves was chosen for this year’s non-fiction category, I had never imagined that it would be so well received overseas. Since my aim was to bring Seton’s tale to a modern audience, I now feel more hopeful that more people will appreciate the story’.

The Wolves of Currumpaw has also been long listed for this year’s CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, the UK’s oldest award for Children’s literature, previously won by some of the best loved children’s illustrators, including Quentin Blake and Raymond Briggs. Grill won the Medal in 2015 for his acclaimed Shackleton’s Journey.

Alongside Grill on the Kate Greenaway Medal long list is Levi Pinfold, who graduated from Falmouth in 2006. Pinfold – also a previous Medal-winner, in 2013 for Black Dog – has been selected for his picture book Greenling, published by Templar Publishing. The Kate Greenaway Medal short list will be announced on 16 March, with the winners announced at a ceremony in June.

Midas Exhibition 2016 opens 11 November

Recent work by Linda Straehl (video still)

Recent work by Linda Straehl (video still)

We’re getting ready for the 2016 Midas Exhibition at Newlyn Art Gallery, featuring work by ten artists, selected from their BA(Hons) Fine Art degree shows at Falmouth Campus this summer.

The exhibition runs from 12 November to 7 January, and includes work by Ella Caie (film), Finbar Conran (kinetic and sound installation), Tanya Cruz (sculptural video installation), Robert Davis (large kinetic sculpture and other works), Joe Fenwick-Wilson (painting and sculpture), Nicholas Griffin (painting), Zoë Pearce (painting), Bharat Rajagopal (painting), Isabel Ramos (video installation), and Calum Rees-Gildea (painting).

In the lower gallery, last year’s Midas winner, Linda Straehl, who graduated in 2015, will present a new video work.

A preview evening on 11 November (7-9pm) will include food from Cornish Fusion Fish and Food, as well as a pay bar. We are pleased to be enabling a group of current BA(Hons) Fine Art students will be attend the preview and an Artists’ Talk at 11am on 12 November, also open to the public (free with the cost of admission).

For more than ten years, Midas Construction, through the Midas Award, with Falmouth University, Newlyn Art Gallery and Anima-Mundi (formerly Millennium, St Ives), has provided recent graduates with funding for materials, mentoring and an exhibition in their first year after university.

A number of those exhibiting this year were featured by ArtCornwall talking about their work earlier this year: read more here.

MA Illustration graduate receives glowing review from InterAnima

Lucy Rose Kerr, who graduated from MA Illustration: Authorial Practice at Falmouth in 2014 has received a glowing review from Becalelis Brodskis, Creative Director at InterAnima.  Lucy was taken on at InterAnima under their placement scheme and has been named as an “outstanding employee”.

InterAnima are a community interest company ‘who use interdisciplinary arts to animate the stories that need to be told.  Celebrating individual expression and breathing life into community led positive solutions.  All profits support their social objectives: to use interdisciplinary arts to facilitate community development.’

Lucy was tasked with turning an extraordinary manuscript by artist Nicky LoutitNew years day is Black  into a format ready to approach to publishers.  Lucy worked with ‘sensitivity, creativity and diligence’ when taking on the manuscript and it certainly paid off as InterAnima were overjoyed to confirm last week that New years day is Black will be published this coming Autumn!

The book has also been given a glowing review from Eimear Mcbridge, Author of “A girl is a Half-Formed Thing”

Right from the start I found it completely gripping. Beautiful and horrifying… The human story had me at its beck and call the whole way through – utterly extraordinary. The evocation of that very particular loneliness irrelevant children feel was almost unbearable: Congratulations to Nicky Loutit for making work out of the terrible. Eimear McBride

Published by Propolis, New years day is Black is available to buy now, direct from their online book store – https://propolisbooks.co.uk/products/new-years-day-is-black-by-nicky-loutit