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. 

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.”

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 – 


BA(Hons) Drawing student Megan Fatharly is runner up in the Batsford Prize 2016

Congratulations to Megan Fatharly, a student on Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Drawing course who was chosen as a runner up in the Fine and Applied Arts category of the Batsford Prize 2016 for her piece ‘Organic Chaos’.


The Batsford Prize is an annual competition for all undergraduate and postgraduate students studying at UK institutions with 2016 having a record number of entries.  As well as prize money awarded to the winner of each category, runners up also got £50 worth of Batsford books.

The theme for this year was ‘Reuse, Recycle, Reclaim’ and judges were looking for entries that reflect the desire and need to reuse and recycle materials and to reclaim what is discarded and give it a new life.  Judges included one of Britain’s most celebrated children’s illustrators Michael Foreman, fine art photographer and former Director of Kent Institute of Art & Design Vaughan Grylls, leading fashion writer and author Gemma Williams, textile artist and lecturer in textiles Jean Draper and the Publishing Director at Pavilion Books Katie Cowan.


(c) Megan Fatharly, from ‘Organic Chaos’



Falmouth Fine Art Student Reps celebrate

BA(Hons) Fine Art Student Reps Ruby Hall and Bryony Hacker

BA(Hons) Fine Art Student Reps Ruby Hall and Bryony Hacker

Falmouth School of Art congratulates Student Representatives from BA(Hons) Fine Art at Falmouth, who are celebrating success and recognition this week at the annual FXU Awards, which took place at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.

FXU – the student union for Falmouth and University of Exeter in Cornwall – awarded the Fine Art Rep Team ‘Most significant Contribution to the Student Voice’, and from that team, Bryony Hacker, who has also served as the Falmouth School of Art Department Rep this year, was named ‘FXU Rep Legend’.

Every course at Falmouth University has Student Representatives, elected from within each year group annually. The role, which can be demanding as well as rewarding and challenging. gives students a great opportunity to gain experience representing their peers at course, department and University levels, and participate in initiatives and working groups relating to developments at Falmouth.

Fred Mallin, FXU Falmouth President, said of the Fine Art Rep Team, “They have been engaged, committed, positive and responsive, ensuring all students on their course have been represented. Between them they have attended Student Staff Liaison Groups, Departmental Boards, Student Councils, the AGM and UGM, Department Rep Working Groups and Falmouth Campus Reps meetings. [They] have been exceptionally proactive, providing strong representation of their peers and providing fair feedback both to staff and then back to students…as a cohort they have gone above and beyond their roles,effecting change on their course and the wider student experience.” First Year Course Coordinator Gillian Wylde described the team as “extremely pro-active and engaged as a point of contact for students on issues relating to the Fine Art course and facilities”.

Nominating Bryony Hacker as FXU Rep Legend, fellow Fine Art student and Rep Ruby Hall wrote, “I nominate Bryony because she is a hardworking and committed Student Rep and Falmouth School of Art Department Rep. Her attendance and communication between students and meetings is outstanding and she makes everyone feel in-the-loop. Her commitment to the roles is fantastic and she uses social media to communicate effectively. She has a passion for change and is proud to study at Falmouth, which easily rubs off on to her peers. I believe her hard work, commitment and positive energy should receive the recognition it deserves.”

Supporting the nomination of Bryony Hacker, Course Coordinator Gillian Wylde wrote, “Her role involves meeting with and talking to Fine Art students about the relevant issues affecting the cohort. Bryony is at all times, friendly, honest and hard working. She keeps the students she represents informed of key decisions so that they can feel confident that their voice is represented, working with the School to identify and resolve issues which may arise…providing feedback to the students she represents. Bryony has been exemplary in her role, directing students to information about services offered within the University and the Students’ Union. She is aware that the ‘voice’ of students matters and contributes toward positive change and improvements in the School.”

This year’s Fine Art Reps were Constance Barker, Jamie Battersby, Jessica Glover, Bryony Hacker, Ruby Hall, Anthony Kenny, Charlotte Macias, Tabitha Tohill-Reid, Chris Slesser  and Alexandra Trinder. We’re proud to have such dedicated and effective Reps in the Falmouth School of Art.


MA Illustration student wins The Andy Hocking Award

Ellie Robinson-Carter, a student of Falmouth’s MA Illustration won The Andy Hocking Award for Outstanding Contribution to Community Engagement at the FXU awards on Monday evening for her role in founding and running the Penryn Memory Café.   Ellie was presented the award by John Dukes, Police Representative for Falmouth University and the University of Exeter.

Ellie, a qualified dementia champion, supported by a small committee of volunteers, set up the Penryn Memory Café which launched back in September 2015.  Ellie continues to manage all aspects of the Memory Café from organising and leading activities at the fortnightly meets, to managing and recruiting new volunteers, maintaining and making new links with other community groups, attendance at local events to raise awareness of the Café and holding the monthly committee meetings.

The Memory Café welcomes those living with dementia and their carers to meet for activities, refreshments, to talk about their life stories and to help them meet new people and build relationships.  Since launching, the project has attracted a number of different society groups, creating a very important and diverse link with the local community which has rarely been seen before.  The Café meets on a regular basis every first and third Thursday of the month at the Penryn Temperance Hall.

If you would like to find out more about the Memory Café, you can email Ellie at:

Drawing student shortlisted for Batsford Prize 2016


© Megan Fatharly

The Batsford Prize is an annual competition for all undergraduate and postgraduate students.  The theme for 2016 is ‘Reuse, Recycle, Reclaim’.  We’re delighted that one of our BA(Hons) Drawing students, Megan Fatharly, has been shortlisted in the ‘Fine and Applied Arts’ category.  Winners will be announced in London on 17 May – Good luck Megan!

Fine Art student Michael Cox selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2016

Michael Cox, a third year BA(Hons) Fine Art student has been announced as one of the 46 artists chosen for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2016, an annual open submission exhibition.

Michael has submitted an oil on canvas painting titled De Beauvoir which can be viewed by following this link to the New Contemporaries website: Michael Cox

The panel of guest selectors this year comprised Anya Gallaccio, Alan Kane and Haroon Mirza.  Kirsty Ogg, Director, New Contemporaries says “The panel this year were impressed by the breadth of work and critical sense demonstrated, with the resulting exhibition set to profile a cross-section of the most dynamic work to come out of British art schools.”

The national touring exhibition will launch from 09 July to 16 October 2016 at Bluecoat, Liverpool.

EYE Prize awarded to Ben Rivers

Falmouth School of Art alumnus, artist and filmmaker Ben Rivers has been announced as the winner of the 2016 EYE Prize. Set up in collaboration between EYE, the Dutch film museum, and the Paddy and Joan Leigh Fermor Arts Fund, the EYE Prize exists to highlight the relationship between contemporary art and film, awarding £25,000 annually to fund the making of new work by a living artist.

Image: Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson, Swamp, 1971. Estate of Robert Smithson, Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.  

Ben Rivers, Swamp, 1971. Estate of Robert Smithson, Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York. Image: Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson.

The EYE Prize aims each year to support and promote the artist or filmmaker whose work unites art and film, and demonstrates quality of thought, imagination and artistic excellence.

Last month, in an event presented by CAST and LUX as part of the public programme for The Cornwall Workshop 2016, Rivers introduced and spoke about his curated film programme, Edgelands, to a crowded lecture theatre at Falmouth School of Art, from where he graduated in 1993.

Blouin Artinfo have published a new interview with Rivers in which he responds to having been awarded the prize: read it here.

Zoe Pearce and Falmouth School of Art receive awards from the British Art Medal Society

Medal Front side

© Zoe Pearce, front of medal

One of our BA(Hons) Fine Art students, Zoe Pearce, recently received the Tin Plate Company prize from the British Art Medal Society for her medal design It is July on the Moorlands: Took the wrong path when descending a 520-metre high sandstone hill.

Zoe describes her work below:

“Since entering the 2015 BAMS Student Medal competition, I really enjoyed learning the medal making progress, as well as the concept behind the medal. I have therefore continued medal making, incorporating it alongside my painting practice as well as going on to enter the 2016 BAMS Student Medal competition.

My artistic practice explores the relationship we have to the natural world, creating artworks that encourage viewers to reflect upon their understanding and observation of the physical world that surrounds us; but it isn’t without experiencing elements of the natural world for myself that I am able to understand our reality within it. Through walking within the landscape I am exposing myself to the elements of weather, light, change in temperature, and sense of space, that are all qualities of nature that have begun to inform the creation of my art medal.

In my work so far, it has been the vast and desolate British Moorland that has provided me with much of my inspiration, revealing that through my experience of walking through such open ground it is hard not to feel small and alone when surrounded by what seems such infinite space. The medal presents a place where I have walked within the landscape on one side, and the reverse featuring a figure, which is a representation of myself, which if placed on the side of the landscape would be positioned looking out into the distance. Although the subtle bronze landscape might not appear obvious to anyone where this place is, I still have no intention on giving away the exact location, instead, I have used the title in which to hint but not tell, supplying the viewer with a poetic fact of the landscape combined with an aspect of my experience there.”

Medal Reverse side

© Zoe Pearce, reverse of medal

It has also been announced that the 2016 BAMS President Medal will be awarded to Falmouth School of Art.  The BAMS President Medal is awarded annually to individuals and organisations who have made significant contributions to the understanding, appreciation and encouragement of the art of the medal.

Student award leads to exploration of Italy’s contemporary art scene

View from Torre Giunigi in Lucca, Tuscany

View from Torre Giunigi in Lucca, Tuscany

Camilla Laing-Tate, a BA(Hons) Fine Art student won last year’s Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Travel to Italy award.  Below is a summary from Camilla about her experience travelling through Italy and exploring the Italian contemporary art scene.

Words and images by Camilla Laing Tate

Known world-wide for its Renaissance art and architecture, Italy is definitely a regularly visited place when it comes to historic creativity. However, that’s not what I went searching for when I set off to Tuscany in September. My aim was to find out what the contemporary art scene in Italy has to offer and whether work being made today is as valued and influential as work made hundreds of years ago. After travelling through Tuscany, Umbria, Rome and Turin, I can safely say that it is!

Within only a couple of days of arriving, I reached a beautiful Tuscan town called San Gimignano and was surrounded by contemporary art wherever I looked. Here, they have developed a programme called ‘Arte All’ Arte,’ which involves scattering permanent site-specific installations around the town; the philosophy being to put them anywhere and everywhere: in tunnels, in churches and in fountains. The motivation behind this programme is to continue the municipality’s traditional commitment to art by bridging the old with the new. I felt like I was going on an Easter egg hunt but rather than finding chocolate, I came across works by the likes of Anish Kapoor and the influential Italian artist Jannis Kounellis. It was fascinating to see how the different works responded directly to their environments, depending upon them for both aesthetic and conceptual reasons. It was a definite highlight of my trip and laid the ground for what was to come.


Installation by Luciano Fabro entitled ‘Italia all’Asta’ in Palazza Duomo of San Gimignano, Tuscany

On to Umbria and the art-oozing town of Citta di Castello, the birthplace of contemporary Informale artist Alberto Burri, whose work was incredibly influential during the 21st Century.  In celebration of him, two large Foundations (one of which is an enormous ex-tobacco factory painted entirely black upon the artist’s request) have been dedicated to exhibiting works which span his entire career. Everyday materials, holes, tears and sacks form his textural canvases, whilst his use of fire as a paintbrush and plastic as a surface challenge preconceived ideas of what can be defined as painting or sculpture. The sense of movement and energy that exudes from both his works and the galleries themselves creates a unique atmosphere in the spaces and shows the fascinating development of over 40 years’ worth of his work. Breaking boundaries and challenging our preconceptions proved to be a recurring theme in this town and was something clearly evident in a ceramics exhibition I came across. Set in a fresco-covered villa, the ceramic works here (including two by Lucio Fontana) were driven as much by ideas as by appearance and so dissolved any distinction between them and Fine Art, whilst also highlighting the huge potential and versatility of the medium.


A piece by Michaelangelo Pistoletto in Galleria delle Arti, Citta di Castello, Umbria

Rome was the only place I had any pre-conceived ideas about when it came to contemporary art galleries and my expectations were quite high. Whilst I won’t say I was disappointed (perhaps I’d been spoilt by what I’d already seen!), I didn’t find the work in the main galleries as interesting as I thought I would. So I’m actually going to talk about the contemporary exhibition I stumbled across in the Vatican of all places, which was curated by none other than the Pope himself! Safe to say I wasn’t expecting to see such a range of brilliant work here and perhaps this element of surprise contributed to why I enjoyed it so much. Commissioned as part of an effort to build a ‘bridge’ between old and new art with religion as the binding connection, this impressive display contained work by Kandinsky, Dali, Henry Moore and of course, the ever-present Alberto Burri who is undoubtedly the seminal artist of Central Italy. I have to admit that I found some of the choices quite funny and at points ironic, especially when I saw Francis Bacon’s painting of the Pope. It was as though the true meaning behind the work hadn’t been fully understood but because it appeared to be religious, it had been included anyway. Nevertheless, it was interesting to see these works in this context and displayed only a few hundred metres from Michelangelo’s astounding Sistine Chapel. ‘Bridges’ don’t get much smaller than that!

Through the fountains at the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, just outside of Rome

Through the fountains at the Villa d’Este in Tivoli, just outside of Rome

My interest in the Arte Povera movement was a main part of why I was so excited to go to Italy. Upon arriving in Turin, where the movement was founded, I was amazed by the number of galleries dedicated not only to Arte Povera, but to contemporary art across the board. From a ‘Living Art Park’ to a contemporary gallery housed inside a castle just outside of the city, Turin was the perfect way to end my trip. I was lucky enough to see work after work by some of my favourite artists, such as Mario Merz and Giovanni Anselmo, all set within extraordinary surroundings and located throughout the city itself. The art section in my guide booklet told me to: ‘look upwards when walking around Turin,’ which proved to be wise advice and I was rewarded by discovering art everywhere.

'Igloo Fontana' by Mario Merz in the city of Turin

‘Igloo Fontana’ by Mario Merz in the city of Turin

After six weeks of travelling, it was the abundant, active and diverse nature of contemporary art in Italy which led me to the conclusion that it is undoubtedly an important part of today’s culture and furthermore, integral to the identity of the country as a whole.

Design competition success for Fine Art student

One of our Third Year BA(Hons) Fine Art students, Jake Booth, has won the national Student Volunteering Week t-shirt design competition.

Jake commented about his award: “It was great for my design to be picked for the official SVW t-shirt, the design is very different from my usual art work and used my new skills in Indesign.  It’s nice knowing that something I had designed was being worn across the UK by students doing great volunteering work.”Jake Booth 3

Jake’s t-shirt design was worn by hundreds of volunteers across the country for The Student Volunteering Week.

Jake Booth 1

Jake with his winning design




Falmouth School of Art celebrates its Turner Prize 2013 nominee

Around 120 Fine Art students and staff gathered for a panel discussion about the Turner Prize, followed by the live televised broadcast of the announcement of the 2013 winner. Among the four nominees this year was Falmouth Alumna Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, who graduated from Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Fine Art with first class honours in 2000.

Students and staff filled the refectory

Director of the Falmouth School of Art, Dr. Ginny Button, who curated the Turner Prize from 1993-1998, and authored The Turner Prize: Twenty Years, led the discussion, with panel members critic, writer and former Turner Prize juror Sacha Craddock, and 2013 Threadneedle Prize winner and Senior Lecturer at Falmouth University, Lisa Wright.

The panel started by considering the value of art competitions generally, and noted that the Turner Prize is particular in that it is based on closed selection, rather than open submission. This led to reflection on the move, among open competitions, toward digital submission. In 2014, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, which has always invited physical work, will for the first time shortlist all categories from initial digital submission, anticipating this process being easier for entrants. Wright, winner of the 2013 Threadneedle Prize, an open competition for figurative and representational painting and sculpture, suggested that entering certain work digitally can be problematic due to the loss of the sense of scale, surface and presentation. The panel encouraged students, however, to enter open competitions: Craddock recalled having offered Falmouth alumnus Ben Rivers a show when his work caught her eye whilst she was judging competition submissions.  Rivers has gone on to win numerous awards and prizes and exhibit internationally, and last month returned to give a guest lecture at Falmouth.

Turning their attention to the role and operation of juries, the panel considered the experience of judging an art prize. Button asked, ‘What is it like in that room?’ In Wright’s experience of fellow judges, ‘the work you think a judge will select will be nothing like the work they select’. For Craddock, the role leaves jurors vulnerable, the process of evaluation also being revealing about those doing the evaluating. That process of evaluation and critique, the panel pointed out, was one that this audience was already well-versed in, from reflecting on their own work and that of their peers throughout their studies.

Button’s experience assisting juries as curator of Turner Prize revealed to her the extent to which all four shortlisted artists have had to resonate with all the jurors in order to make the shortlist. At this point, Button suggests, all four are winners – from the shortlist, the prize really could go in any of four directions. But the make-up of the jury can, she observed, give an indication of which artists may appear on the shortlist, reflecting the particular interests of the jurors.

The Turner Prize is awarded for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of work in the 12 months preceding nomination; however, it is the later Turner Prize exhibition which draws the wider public and has tended to capture the media’s imagination. Craddock recalled how in 1999 – when she and her fellow jurors awarded the prize to Steve McQueen – media and public attention focused on Tracey Emin’s Turner Prize exhibition, My Bed, with then Culture Secretary Chris Smith accusing the jury of ‘controversy for controversy’s sake’. In fact, Emin had been nominated for earlier 1998-99 works, including film and, as Tate announced, ‘for her exhibitions in New York and Japan in which she continued to show her versatility across a wide range of media, her vibrancy and flair for self-expression’.

The panel deftly avoided revealing to the audience which artist any of them was rooting for from the 2013 shortlist – ‘You’re not supposed to ask that!’ – but they were happy to share their admiration for Yiadom-Boakye. Wright described her as ‘very true to herself’, and Craddock, who taught Yiadom-Boakye at the Royal Academy Schools, reflected on her ‘amazing ability’, and noted the mysterious quality of her paintings. Yiadom-Boakye, who describes her nomination as ‘a very big surprise’, is the second Falmouth alumna to be nominated for the Turner Prize: Tacita Dean was nominated in 1998.

As attention turned to Channel 4’s televised lead-up to the announcement of the 2013 winner, the Falmouth crowd heard Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic, the daughter of a painter, enthuse about Yiadom-Boakye’s work: ‘I love, love, loved it’. 

And finally, the live announcement, from Derry-Londonderry, of the 2013 winner…Congratulations to Laure Prouvost!

Congratulations, too, to Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Tino Sehgal and David Shrigley, who, as Ginny Button pointed out, are all winners by virtue of making the shortlist and – as Shrigley observed – ‘get paid £5000 anyway…that can’t be bad!’.


A Year of Success for Falmouth’s Illustrators

This has been a really successful year for our third year Illustration students and alumni. As well as some significant commissions that came out of the annual industry visit to New York, a number were successful in some of the major competitions. Notable were four students who were chosen to exhibit in the Serco London Transport Poster exhibition, held at the London Transport Museum. Finn Clark, who graduated in 2012, was the overall winner. His winning poster can been seen at Tube stations all over the underground. Well done to Elena Boils and Oliver Kellett who also were part of the exhibition.

Recent graduate Jim Boswell has been commissioned to produce illustrations for the Folio Society, and had success at D&AD New Blood: Best in Year – D&AD 2012 Illustration – Little White Lies.

Charlotte Trounce, who graduated in 2011 has, with BA(Hons) Illustration Senior Lecturer Linda Scott, recently been commissioned and subsequently published in the Dutch edition of Jamie magazine.

Illustrator Mark Smith recently visited to present his work to all our students. He had been due to speak at our London Illustration Forum, but had to pull out at the last minute, so we are very grateful to him for coming down to Falmouth.

Our third year students will shortly be attending a series of presentations on the subject of Business Skills, as part of our Professional Practice delivery. Themes will include ‘Business Start Up’, ‘Tax Issues’, and ‘Intellectual Property Rights’. Tp compliment this, three successful alumni (Owen Davey, Emma Dibben, Robert Fresson) will talk to students about how they have built their careers; second year students will also hear talks from these alumni, regarding their working practices.

Falmouth Four Shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize


Air Dies Elsewhere by Catrin Morgan, Associate Lecturer, MA Illustration: Authorial Practice.

The UK’s largest and longest running annual open exhibition for drawing, The Jerwood Drawing Prize, has seen a strong Falmouth contingent this year, with three alumni and one member of staff joining luminaries in the final exhibition.

With over 3,000 submissions, the 2013 standard of entry was exceptional. An independent panel whittled down the ensemble to a final shortlist, and judges Kate Brindley, Director of Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima), Artist Michael Craig-Martin RA and Charlotte Mullins, Editor of Art Quarterly, selected a range of works representative of the diversity and excellence in current drawing practice.

Four Falmouth BA(Hons) Fine Art alumni – Paul Bradley (1993), Susannah Douglas (2003) and Olivia Jones (2013), and Catrin Morgan, Associate Lecturer in MA Illustration: Authorial Practice were shortlisted.

Drawing as a discipline in its own right was introduced at Falmouth in 2011 and offers a pure education in drawing, encompassing a wide range of approaches, traditions and applications. Phil Naylor, Head of Drawing & Foundation Studies, explains: “We believe that drawing sits right at the centre of visual practice; a core subject that encapsulates the essentials of the visual arts, but also translates across the broader terrain of science, technology and the wider cultural world.”

Also showing in London is RAW Drawing, an exhibition showcasing the work of second year BA(Hons) Drawing students at London’s RKB Gallery. Offering a diverse, unique and beautiful collection, the exhibition straddles all forms of the discipline from architectural design to surrealism.

Pablo de Laborde Lascaris Wins International Emerging Artist Award

Falmouth alumnus Pablo de Laborde Lascaris has won the prestigious International Emerging Artist Award (IEAA) for 2013.

An established sculptor at just 28, since graduating from BA(Hons) Fine Art in 2011, Pablo moved from coordinating the Breakfast graduate exhibition in London to winning an Artist’s Residency at Christ’s Hospital School in West Sussex, to obtaining a bursary with the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

His latest achievement, the IEAA, represents excellence in contemporary art and offers emerging artists valuable international exposure alongside exhibition opportunities. Since receiving the accolade Pablo has enjoyed exhibiting across the globe: from Dubai’s FN Designs gallery, to the Vue Privée gallery in Singapore and latterly joining the Galerie Gourvennec Ogor in Marseille as an Associate.

Pablo won the coveted IEAA for his Cube, made whilst studying at Falmouth. The mixed media piece composed of different woods, grains exposed, and filled with 100kg of sand, poses queries regarding the relationship between two materials in a piece suggestive of time, movement, and displacement.

A prolific sculptor, Pablo’s latest work is set to form a pivotal role in the Marseille-Provence European Capital of Culture 2013 celebrations, showing at the Swab Barcelona Art Fair between 3-6 October before informing a solo exhibition at the Galerie Gourvennec Ogor.

Didier Gourvennec Ogor, gallery owner and President of Marseille Expos explains, “Pablo will be exhibiting from 31 October at the Galerie Gourvennec Ogor in a solo exhibition. He will have the opportunity to invest in a space nearly 200m by 4.7m high. This is a difficult exercise for artists in general, but I am sure he will take advantage of this great opportunity… I am very excited by this new collaboration with such a promising artist.”

(C) Pablo de Laborde Lascaris

(C) Pablo de Laborde Lascaris