‘An Hour to Sing – A Journey of Following’

An Hour to Sing – A Journey of Following by Kym Martindale and Caroline Blythe, is a collaboration featuring drawing and writing, published in Edition Three of Elementum Journal.

Images of ‘An Hour to Sing – a Journey of Following’ by Kym Martindale and Caroline Blythe from Edition three of Elementum Journal

Caroline Blythe, a recent BA(Hons) Drawing graduate of Falmouth School of Art, and Dr. Kym Martindale, Senior Lecturer in Falmouth’s School of Writing and Journalism have, over the last three years, been collaborating on a project that has sought to explore and respond to Edward Thomas’s In Pursuit of Spring, an account of a bicycle ride from Guildford to Somerset in 1913.

Between 2012 and 2017, poet and cyclist Kym Martindale began the pursuit of Edward Thomas, riding and writing parts of Thomas’s journey from Winchester to the Quantocks in Somerset. In 2014, Caroline Blythe joined in, equipped with OS maps, and a copy of In Pursuit of Spring, and set off to explore and discover the landscape and locations described in poetry and prose by Martindale and Thomas.

For practical reasons both Kym and Caroline split Thomas’ journey into three distinct areas, visiting these when time allowed, following Thomas on bicycle, foot and at times by car. They recorded snippets of time and place ­– observing and notating the landscape as they travelled. The result is a collection of poems by Dr Kym Martindale and drawings by Caroline Blythe recently published in Edition Three of Elementum Journal.

Images of ‘An Hour to Sing – a Journey of Following’ by Kym Martindale and Caroline Blythe from Edition three of Elementum Journal

We talked with Caroline and Kym to find out more…

Caroline says, “It has been an absolute pleasure to discover and explore both the countryside in the south of England, described so beautifully by Edward Thomas, and also respond to and work with Kym’s wonderful poems, while at the same time recording my own visual observations. As I travelled through the locations described by Edward Thomas and Kym, capturing fleeting moments in sketchbooks, I kept thanking them for introducing me to these beautiful and interesting places. It was a privilege to experience the landscape through their eyes as well as observe for myself. It was a fascinating process. Perhaps the most exciting visual outcomes from this project evolved through this collaborative working process which led to the creation and compiling of palimpsests – an interleaving of tracings of drawings.”

Kym adds, “This research project combined two great passions of mine, poetry and cycling. In Pursuit of Spring describes a landscape on the brink of change, but it is the cradle too of so much of Thomas’s poetry, and an index to the man himself. The poems and drawings are ‘re/tracings’ of journeys made by Thomas, then myself, then Caroline, through a landscape that is constantly changing economically, politically, and aesthetically. And about halfway through the project, we suddenly realised that although we each travelled alone, we were also together in the journey we were making. I am sorry in some measure, that we have arrived.”

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Elementum, founded by Falmouth MA graduate Jay Armstrong, is a biannual publication of new writing and visual arts that explores the natural world and our role within it. Through folklore, literature, poetry, science and specially commissioned art and photography, Elementum quietly brings the reader back to what really matters by nurturing our connection to the natural world and the myths that surround it. The theme of the third edition is ‘roots’ and explores our origins and what sustains us.

If you would like to know more about Elementum journal or purchase a copy of the publication, you can do so by visiting their website: https://www.elementumjournal.com/

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Utopia and dystopia at Kestle Barton

Students from BA(Hons) Fine Art, BA(Hons) Architecture and BA(Hons) Creative Writing came together for a 1 day collaborative project at Kestle Barton, a rural centre for contemporary art on Frenchman’s Creek in Cornwall.

Students explored themes of utopia and dystopia in the current show Kestle Barton exhibition, Togetherness: Notes on Outrage. Curator Ben James opened up questions for debate relating to a post industrial landscape; students discussed the themes in small groups before setting out into the landscape of Kestle Barton and its beautiful gardens to make artworks in response to place.

Students took a documentary approach, walking though the landscape gathering a sense of the environment, generating fiction and narrative about Kestle Barton. In small, mixed discipline teams, recording the soundscape of place with high-tech sound equipment that picked up frequencies within the earth, students walked, talked, made drawings, collected sound and film footage which informed their discussions about their relationship to place and site. BA(Hons) Fine Art Senior Lecturer Lucy Willow, said ‘The warm autumn day provided the perfect opportunity for students to explore the possibilities of working off campus, away from the studio, with students from different creative subjects, finding common ground within their practice’.

BA(Hons) Fine Art student Alex Maclachlan shared some thoughts about the day…

‘Kestle Barton was a very refreshing experience for me, and I am very grateful to have gone. The idea that we would be exploring the theme of Utopia/Dystopia throughout is what drew my initial interest in the trip and yet the day turned out to have many more advantages than just aiding me in my current practice. For some time I’ve been eager to partner up with students on other courses at Falmouth, and [this study visit] extended me the opportunity to do just that…By the end of the day, some really interesting collaborative work had been produced among creative writers, architects and fine artists. We were exceedingly lucky with the weather, and the gentle conversation among students, tutors and Kestle Barton staff was all the more effortless because of it. We talked as we walked about the gardens in the sun, enjoyed the homemade lunch provided, all on top of the time dedicated to serious discussion…it was lovely to indulge in casual debate away from the elevated pressure you might find on campus or perhaps the more serious atmosphere you may find in the studio. This was an experience that I would happily participate in again’.

On at Kestle Barton until 4 November 2017, Togetherness: Notes on Outrage celebrates the pioneering work of the architecture critic Ian Nairn, whose 1955 edition of Architectural Review, entitled Outrage, revolutionised architectural criticism. For Outrage, Nairn traveled across England observing and documenting the urban sprawl and ubiquitous civic architecture. Broken into 25-mile segments, Outrage proposes an audit of every facet of subtopian aesthetics, covering subjects ranging from wire fencing, telegraph poles and street lights, to military installations and power stations, culminating in a manifesto and checklist of planning malpractices.

FOMO – Introducing Falmouth’s first Art Publishing Fair

F O M O – the first ever Falmouth Art Publishing Fair – opens at 4pm on Friday 29 September for a weekend of talks, workshops, screenings, artists’ book works, performances, zines and comics and readings.   

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Organised by Falmouth School of Art’s Senior Lecturers Neil Chapman, Gillian Wylde and Carolyn Shapiro and Associate Lecturer Maria Christoforidou, F O M O will take place at Falmouth Art Gallery and the Library of the Municipal Buildings, The Moor, Falmouth, and brings together Falmouth School of Art staff and students with local participating institutions including: Falmouth Art Gallery, Falmouth Library, Tate St Ives, Stranger Collective, Urbanomic, Atlantic Press, Burning House Books, BLNT Collective, Keiken and Krowji. 

F O M O will include contributions from academic and research colleagues from: Royal  Holloway University, Cambridge University, West Dean College, Aarhus University, Plymouth University, Goldsmiths University of London, Research Center for Material Culture Netherlands and from across Departments at Falmouth University.

Generously supported by Falmouth Art Gallery, the event has grown out of discussion between colleagues across different departments at Falmouth University. From meetings as a Research Forum, finding common ground between their varied interests, the group started to consider joint research and how best to team up for that work. One of the organisers, Neil Chapman, reflects on the development of the event, and what we can look forward to over the weekend…

‘As a research group, we share a commitment to collective work. That’s both a pragmatic interest and a critical position too. Most often, when people work together it’s so that a workload can be shared. But collective work is unpredictable and inefficient too and these are values that might tend to be lost in the current climate. There is a lot of emphasis in the contemporary workplace on individuals’ success and the competition that results can be destructive. Our title for the event – Fear of Missing Out – is on some level an ironic allusion to these issues.

We are all of us, in different ways, committed to discursive work, to the climate of ideas that surrounds ‘making’ in our different disciplines. And that’s a foundation for the publication fair too, reflected in the many talks, screenings, readings and performances scheduled over the weekend. F O M O provides an opportunity for us to invite our colleagues and friends to Cornwall. It’s good for the cultures of creative practice here in Falmouth. F O M O will bring lots of people into contact who might not have met otherwise. We’re excited to imagine the new partnerships and the new work that might result.

The aim has been to inaugurate the kind of event that we would want to go to ourselves, also the kind of event that students would be excited about. Henrietta Boex, Director of Falmouth Art Gallery, has been extremely supportive. We’ve made all kinds of demands on her and she seems never to say no to anything; the Gallery’s Glyn Winchester has also been a great support. The independence of the project is a way of underscoring our own priorities, which are evident in all kinds of ways through the framing of the event: the name, the graphics, the publicity, the choice of which artists, writers and publishers to invite. There are many Art Publishing Fairs in the UK and abroad and we have had an eye on some of those. But in another sense this Fair has been invented from scratch. And for that reason it will work well as a foundation for bigger and more varied research initiatives to come. We’re talking about a future peer-reviewed journal, discursive gatherings – dream dinner date/fantasy football team type things with exciting living people—maybe some dead folk too, ghosts. No zombies. Digital Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida . . .

It’s particularly good to be working with current students and recent Falmouth University graduates. As part of FOMO, Graham Taylor who studied Fine Art and who graduated in 2015 is curating an exhibition entitled Practically Outside, involving a dozen or more Falmouth alumni. His contribution makes a direct engagement with the FOMO ethos, looking critically at what it means to be an ‘emerging artist’, engaging in the most thoughtful way with different platforms of exhibition and print publication.’

F O M O also includes contributions from writers, artists, poets, publishers, activists, hackers, Falmouth University alumni and musicians both national and international.

F O M O is an inaugural event, bringing a new art research collective into being, which, over forthcoming months will stage events in different forms and at different locations, connecting diverse networks.

https://falmouthartpublishingfair.wordpress.com/

Cafe Morte – The Tears of Things – exhibition and events

This weekend sees the opening of Cafe Morte’s The Tears of Things at the Exchange Gallery, Penzance

A growing collection of broken objects, to initiate conversation around the emotional value and attachment we have to something that is broken in our lives. The collection will form the beginning of a growing body of research relating to death and loss. The show includes work from current Falmouth BA(Hons) Fine Art students, alumni, and lecturers, as well as other established writers and artists. As well as work artists from the UK, the exhibition features submissions from artists from Cyprus, Tunisia, USA, Poland and Spain.

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CAFE MORTE: THE TEARS OF THINGS | 11Feb – 18 March 2017 | THE EXCHANGE – PENZANCE

OPENING EVENT FRIDAY 10TH FEBRUARY, 7pm – 9pm, ENGINE ROOM: EXCHANGE GALLERY PENZANCE  Join us for an evening of performance, video, objects, narrative and stories generated by Café Morte to celebrate the life of a broken object.

EVENT: SATURDAY 11TH 10.00 – 4.00 BROKEN WRITING OPEN INVITATION  Members of the public are invited to participate by bringing a broken object to the gallery to be documented photographically and to write a short piece of text that will be added to the collection. The collection will form an online museum of broken objects reflecting the power that these objects still hold.

Two BA(Hons) Fine Art alumni, Polly Maxwell and Lulu Richards Cottell will be returning to install and help curate the show, and as part of their visit will also be talking to current Fine Art students about their experiences since graduating last year.

Café Morte is a research group led by Falmouth Fine Art Senior Lecturers Mercedes Kemp and Lucy Willow, involving undergraduate and postgraduate students from Falmouth University, along with other artists and curators. Its central focus is to create projects that enable audiences to discuss the rich and varied themes of death found in art and literature. This is an adaption of the recently popular model of the ‘Death Café’, which has arisen worldwide as a meeting place in which to discuss death over a cup of tea.

Café Morte provides Falmouth students with the opportunity to research and make work around a focused theme. It enhances their research capability and enables them to experience the setting up and curating of a show, work collaboratively, experience working directly with audiences and networking with established artists. Each year, Café Morte welcomes a number of new students, and continues working with alumni.

The group started three years ago, working with BA(Hons) Fine Art students at Falmouth to develop research and ideas. The second year culminated in an exhibition at the university, curated by students and showing student work alongside that of established artists. The exhibition coincided with a Symposium by Moth, a research group concerning death and design run by colleagues in Graphic Design.

The Tears of Things exhibition follows a public testing of the project at The Exchange last December.

Crafting the Cathedral – BA(Hons) Contemporary Crafts Exhibition

 

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‘Crafting the Cathedral’ brings together for exhibition contemporary craft artefacts, created and designed as a personal response to Truro Cathedral by invited third year students from Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Contemporary Crafts course.

The responses to Truro Cathedral – its stunning architecture, history and purpose as a place of worship – has led to an engaging mix of small and large-scale art works.

BA(Hons) Contemporary Crafts has long worked closely with a range of external partners, exploring new ways of engaging audiences with objects and places.

‘It’s been a really important, demanding, yet rewarding challenge to create interpretive objects that live up to the building, the people and items that live there’, says Jason Cleverly, Senior Lecturer on the course. ‘Many of the Cathedral’s artefacts carry great metaphorical power and some fascinating and unusual stories – we hope you will enjoy the students’ responses to the building’.

crafting-the-cathedral-posterTruro Cathedral is keen to provide opportunities for students to creatively explore the building, its artefacts and how it is connected to the wider community.

Kirsten Gordon, Education & Schools Officer, commented, ‘We have found the students’ approach to their brief to be interesting and incredibly varied, demonstrating technical skill and creativity. It is a valuable experience for us to see with fresh eyes the many different facets of cathedral life which speak on so many more levels than we perhaps see at first glance’.

Lizzie Arthur, Truro Cathedral’s Education and Interpretation Officer and graduate of the Contemporary Crafts course added, ‘We hope that our visitors enjoy the students’ personal responses to Truro Cathedral. Such exhibitions challenge the audience to look more closely at the familiar, inspiring both the cathedral community and our visitors’.

Crafting The Cathedral is on at Truro Cathedral, 2-16 February (Monday-Saturday 10-15, Sunday 12-4) Entry is free.

GAFA, China/Falmouth University International Collaboration

Lucy邀请函电子版RGBMy visit to China this time was a little different. I was invited to participate in a 3-week international teaching and artist residency collaborative project between Falmouth University and the International Art Program (AIP) at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art (GAFA), South China. (Funded by Falmouth University and GAFA)

In partnership with Fanfan Yang, a dynamic young designer, fine artist and teacher on AIP we devised a short 3-week course for 2nd year students. This involved asking students to select a group of objects that had meaning to them (no mobile phones allowed) and getting them to abstract a number of different ideas and outcomes from one starting point. We taught the students what it meant to ‘abstract’ starting points from looking at selected objects in new ways. The students participated in a number of drawing games and took their one theme through a number of outcomes in sculpture, painting and fashion design. We encouraged continual reflection and sketchbook work.

As well as teaching  I focused on developing a new body of work for a solo exhibition in the schools gallery space; a vibrant and trendy contemporary art gallery in the Redtory district of Guangzhou. The ‘Redtory’ area consists of wonderful old soviet style red brick factories that have architecturally designed and converted into studio spaces, galleries and cafes.

The gallery space  enabled me to develop a new body of work based on drawings and research started earlier in the year whilst in Iceland. The environment couldn’t be more different, yet within the dust and ruins similar themes emerge. For this exhibition and residency I have drawn directly onto the gallery walls, made a short animation and soundscape using sound sampled from the NASA website. And there is dust, a lot of it collected from a demolition site nearby. Piles of dust and debris are common in China making it in some ways a perfect location to show the kind of transient ephemeral work that I make. The Chinese easily relate to the themes within my work as they live amongst transitory ruins all the time. Old China is disappearing at an alarming rate. I have created an environment that reflects the feeling of a pause, and ‘interlude’. It is left open and ambiguous.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Processed with Rookie Cam

This is my 5th visit to AIP GAFA in South China. I have been working with the AIP students since 2013 running portfolio workshops and interviewing for a range of courses at Falmouth University. The students spend 3 years learning English intensively alongside an art foundation program. It is a progressive and experimental course enabling the students to study creative subjects at university in the UK. It is a relaxed and messy environment; unlike the traditional Chinese art education they would otherwise receive. The students are a delight. They are eager to take on new ideas and concepts, which must be challenging given the fact that their education prior to this has been entirely traditional. I am surprised and enjoy the pace in which they have embraced it.

I have particularly enjoyed conversations with the artists and teachers here. Positive working relationships have been formed paving way for future international collaborative projects to take place between staff at Falmouth University and AIP GAFA. Despite the huge cultural differences it is interesting to explore common ground. The academics were particularly interested in how Chinese fine art influences could be interpreted from a contemporary Western perspective.

Whilst there I immersed myself fully in the cultural experience. I was lucky enough to be invited by Fanfan’s family ‘tomb sweeping’ a public holiday for remembering one’s ancestors. This consisted of thousands of families attending the cemetery at the same time, lighting firecrackers to scare away any unwanted ghosts and burning a lot of paper money and gold for the dead relative. It was a fascinating yet rather smoky and noisy affair! I was also taken to a Cantonese opera by one of the student’s families- another unforgettable experience. I find the Chinese people kind and gracious. They are willing to go out of their way to make sure you experience the best of their culture- which I most definitely have.

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CAFÉ MORTE presents: Lost For Words, Exhibition 6-10 January

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CAFÉ MORTE presents: Lost For Words

FALMOUTH UNIVERSITY PROJECT SPACE (Falmouth Campus)

6-10 January 10am-4pm (Private View 6 January 16-9pm)

Lost for Words is a culmination of the work of Café Morte to engage in and encourage discussion around the subject of death with a wider community of artists, curators and healthcare professionals.  It has been curated with the intention of creating a thoughtful and contemplative space for both artists and audience to reflect on their own personal interpretations of death and how it is represented in art and literature. The works are varied, expressed through a variety of different media and address through physical means the often unthinkable concept of absence and loss.

Exhibiting artists: Bram Arnold, Ed Ashby-Hater, Nicola Bealing, Regan Boyce, Neil Chapman, Esther Cooper-Gittens, Kerry Foster, Glad Fryer, Tanith Gould, Joanna Hulin, Sasha Knezevic, Angela Lloyd, Polly Maxwell, Neil McLeod, Janet McEwan, Lucille Moore, Eloise Pilbeam, Viola Qian, Andrew Ross, Edward Rowe, Jessica Russell, Carolyn Shapiro, Chris Slesser, Kate Southworth, Tabitha Tohill-Reid & Joshua Green, Virginia Verran, Belinda Whiting, Lucy Willow, Sandi Williams, Gillian Wylde.

EVENT: FRIDAY 8 January 11.00 – 12.30 Café Morte | The Falmouth School of Art | The Project Space, Falmouth Campus.

‘Lost for words’ – open discussion led by the curatorial team.

Limited to 30 places.

Reserve your free tickets by following the link below:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cafe-morte-discussion-lost-for-words-tickets-19864278592

CAFE MORTE is a pop up research group established at Falmouth University in 2014.  Inspired by the recent surge of death cafes across Europe, our aim is to identify themes and ideas relating to death and dying, mourning, transience, ritual and how these translate into contemporary art practice.

Café Morte’s Lost for Words exhibition is a collaborative project with MOTH, a research group which, through the discipline of Graphic Design, explores visual language associated with death and end-of-life experiences – creating visual ‘toolkits’ (analogue and digital) as devices for change in attitudes, conventions and context surrounding death issues.

You may also be interested in:

MOTH Talks: In the face of death – 8 January 2016 | Falmouth Campus, Fox 4 Lecture Theatre, 1.30pm-5pm

Guest Speakers:

Stephen Cave |Writer, critic and philosopher, Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization (2013, Biteback)

Prof. Tony Walter | Head of the CDAS, (Centre for Death and Society at Bath University) Sociologist

Joseph Macleod | Designer, Closure Experiences

Reserve your free tickets:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/moth-talks-in-the-face-of-death-tickets-19781523068