Falmouth Illustrators Create Mural for Penryn Primary Academy

Second year BA(Hons) Illustration students Elleanna Bird, Sophie Freestone and Amelia Brooks recently completed  work on a mural to transform some of the interior space at Penryn Primary Academy.

The project, carried out at the school over three weeks, was a voluntary commission, enthusiastically taken up by the three friends. Elleanna commented, “We were all very keen to get started and we had lots of ideas to share. Our ideas encouraged the Head Teacher, who seemed very pleased and excited about what we had planned”. Elleanna says she feels grateful to have been involved, describing an atmosphere of encouragement and motivation; she feels that their enthusiasm in creating the work was kept high by the positive reactions of members of the school community who popped in to see how the project was coming along.

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Sophie reflects on the process of creating the pieces: “The three of us were working together on one painting, which meant all of our bizarre and strange ideas were multiplied by three! The murals happened in quite an organic way; although we had developed plans to work from, a lot of the visual elements came to life in the moment when we were drawing and painting straight onto the boards”.

Elleanna, Sophie and Amelia with Penryn Primary Academy Head Teacher James Hitchens, at the unveiling of the mural panels.

The result is a feast for the eyes – a vibrant panorama depicting creatures of land and sea, as well as Cornish motifs and legends. Sophie says, “I really enjoyed this project because of the unlimited amounts of colour and creativity we were permitted to use. In the paintings, if you look hard enough, you can spot a sea monster, a sloth playing the drums, a pair of feet belonging to a giant and a couple of dinosaurs wearing high heels!”.

The murals received a fantastic response from pupils when unveiled by the artists at a school assembly. Of the experience, Sophie said, “We had a fantastic few weeks painting the murals, and I would recommend anyone who gets the opportunity to get involved in a project such as this – local or afar – to say yes!”.

BA(Hons) Illustration Course Coordinators Natalie Hayes and Keryn Bibby have since met with Head Teacher James Hitchens and Assistant Head Chris Lee, to discuss possible future projects. They were shown around the school and discussed opportunities to involve Illustration students; from the possibility of murals for the walls of the swimming pool, production of inspirational imagery to enliven library spaces, or Illustration students working with Penryn Primary pupils on a series of creative workshops. Natalie commented, “Developing the bonds between Falmouth’s Illustration course and Penryn Primary Academy will provide our students with further excellent professional practice opportunities, and we hope will enhance the school experience for the primary pupils”.

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“Rock, Paper, Scissors – When microbes play games”

“Rock, Paper, Scissors – When microbes play games” is a graphic novel telling the toils and hardships of a cunning little virus triumphing over its enemies with the help of a valiant knight. It illustrates the intense struggles between viruses of bacteria and their bacterial hosts. The graphic novel is currently being developed under an intense collaboration between Andrei Serpe (recent graduate in BA(Hons)Fine Art , Falmouth University) and Mariann Landsberger (postdoctoral researcher, University of Exeter). It will be available in English, German and French.

Mariann says “The project received seed funding from the ESI Creative Exchange Programme in March 2018 (Environment and Sustainability Institute, Penryn Campus, University of Exeter), allowing us to establish our collaboration, create initial designs and a storyboard, and seek additional funding. The creation of the graphic novel is primarily financed by the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB), who awarded us the European Outreach Initiative Fund at the beginning of May 2018 and the Microbiology Society, who supported the project since beginning June 2018 with the Education and Outreach Grant. The project also received the Public Engagement Grant from the Genetics Society, which contributes to the development and promotion of the graphic novel. We are actively looking for a publisher to distribute print versions of the graphic novel. The graphic novel is intended to appeal to both teenagers and adults and aims to spark a curiosity for microbiology and evolutionary biology in the reader.”

 

The following exhibitions feature the final graphic novel, character designs and concept art:

  • The Poly: Spring Gallery 9th – 14th July 2018 at The Poly, 24 Church Street, Falmouth TR11 3EG, UK
  • Falmouth Café Scientifique: Presentation of the graphic novel, creative process and the science behind the story: 11th July 2018 7.45 pm at The Poly
  • Hand Beer Bar: 1st – 30th September 2018 at Old Brewery Yd, High St, Falmouth TR11 2BY

Mariann’s experience

“I really enjoy collaborating with Andrei on “Rock, Paper, Scissors – when microbes play games”. It inspires and motivates my research and everyday life. Andrei is bright, full of energy and I could not have wished for a better collaborator for the project. Whilst I write the storyline, we jointly work on its interpretation into the format of a graphic novel. I highly appreciate our conjoined effort, which I imagine less probable to naturally occur when commissioning an established artist, who would have had more experience in illustrating projects independently. It is a genuine exchange of ideas and concepts on both sides.

I would like to thank the ESEB for their invaluable support and encouragement. The European Outreach Initiative Fund allows us to fully illustrate the graphic novel, display our work and gather the public’s opinion, which will be crucial to create the final print-ready version of the graphic novel.

The Creative Exchange programme at the Environment and Sustainability Institute (Penryn Campus) inspired and encouraged me to take the time and make the effort to conceptualise and develop this project. The programme motivates and supports researchers to seek out and work with local artists. The only reason I could even consider developing the project and applying to the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) for funding was due to the initial seed funding provided by the Creative Exchange Programme.”

Andrei’s experience

“Working on this project with Mariann has provided an amazing opportunity for me for which I am grateful. Over the past three years I have been and am still developing a series of narratives, making this chance to illustrate a novel as my gateway into the industry incredible.

The challenge of illustrating this story was that it was that was completely new to me, in a subject matter I have never studied. This helped me develop my researching skill in researching something that I have never encountered. I found that throughout this project I have been learning and understanding Mariann’s research in a much deeper sense than I previously could. Working with Mariann has given me an insight into the industry and the key to collaborative projects, compromise. It has given me the confidence to put myself out there and advertise myself in the industry to enter the world of freelance as a career.

Overall, this has been a rewarding experience and I intend to carry on exploring narrative comics for many years to come. I have plenty of plans for projects and other collaborations for the future.”

Please visit their blog for updates on the most recent developments, upcoming events and exhibitions, information about their supporters and contact details.  If you would like to display their project in your space, please contact them….they would love to exhibit in a range of venues to engage as many people as they can. Feel free to share the blog with your friends and family, comment and send them any questions you have regarding the project.

Fine Art students’ residency at CAST, Helston

BA(Hons) Fine Art students Ella Schlesinger and Nicholas Sanderson recently secured one of Falmouth School of Art’s studio residencies, at CAST, Helston, where they have been working together for the past month. The result is England your England, an installation comprising sculpture and video, to be shown to the public at an open studio event to mark the end of their residency.

Ella says, “The piece presents a search for a more democratic and honest space to create a conversation about Britain. We see a massive emphasis put on verbal and written language: in other words, the tyranny of the spoken and written word. With the cultural weight of the English language and its global historical context, it leaves us with a predefined and therefore limited platform to connect with and express our individual selves. We want to challenge this vacant gap these words leave and how, using the language of materials we can reown the identity to our country. Humans, as multi-sensory organisms, are constantly reacting against spaces and places, objects and feelings, so why do we settle on such a single faceted form of communication? And how can we create a more immersive and inclusive form of communication through art?

 

 

 

Falmouth School of Art Drawing Forum 2018

The Falmouth School of Art Drawing Forum 2018 posed the question ‘What Does Drawing Do?

It has been a long established assumption that drawing underpins most disciplines within the creative sector, but what drawing does, and how it functions for different practitioners, is probably an ever-changing and essential component.

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By asking a series of speakers to talk about what drawing does for them, this forum hoped to develop a better understanding of the possibilities and functions of drawing. As well as Falmouth-based researchers, the event welcomed guest speakers of national and international standing, including:

Storyboard Artist Jay Clarke worked on the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit & the Curse of the WereRabbit and other projects with Aardman and was lead storyboard artist for The Grand Budapest Hotel, which won Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and the Oscar for Best Production Design. He is currently storyboarding Universal’s The Voyage of Dr Dolittle and creating an illustrated children’s novel.

Multi-disciplinary artist Solveig Settemsdal lives and works in London and Bristol; she won the Jerwood Drawing Prize for her video work Singularity in 2016.

Ed Eva and George Baldwin formed the drawing research partnership eegb after graduating from Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Drawing in 2014. eegb’s practice lies at the intersection of drawing and technology; they build machines that draw, have been awarded a number of residencies and grants and have exhibited in the UK, Ireland, Germany and the USA.

This video shares sections of the eight short talks on how drawing is used in contemporary creative practice:

 

 

 

Keiken Collective – a productive finish to 2017…

Keiken at FOMO

Keiken, a collective of artists comprised of alumni from Falmouth School of Art, co-founded by Tanya Cruz, Hana Omori and Isabel Ramos, have enjoyed success since graduation and regularly provide opportunities for recent graduates and current students to collaborate with them. Autumn and winter 2017 saw Keiken engaged in projects around the UK…  

Keiken performance and installation at Clinic //2

Keiken performance and installation at Clinic //2

Keiken’s performance and installation piece, Silicone_Animism | The Birth of Mother Digital, was presented at Clinic //2 at the Oxo Tower, London, as part of a group show for the London Design Festival. The piece included the collective’s virtual reality film @MotherDigital (Tanya Cruz, Hana Omori, Jess Pemberton, Isabel Ramos, video design by Keiken’s George Stone and sound by Oak Matthias), alongside durational performance accompanied by live sound; a truly visceral atmosphere was created by 700ok (current Falmouth School of Art students Jasper Golding, Auguste Oldham and Zac Pomphrey) using generative code, in conjunction with sound artist Nati Cerutti.

Performers occupied the installation wearing costumes designed by recent graduate, Nine Derricott. Clad in silicone pregnancy bellies and PVC and reflective 3M garments, performers, in reference to the revolution of AI, explored innate feelings of connection usually associated with mother and child, in a world where the human is intertwined with the digital. Current BA(Hons) Fine Art student Alberta Shearing wrote the score and with another student Haruka Fukao performed extraordinarily alongside other performers, Nine Derricott, Kat Cashman, Sian Fan, Monty Fitzgerald, Si Garner, Sam Hall, Coral Knights, Beth Mellet and Julia Mallaby. In November, the film @MotherDigital was transmitted into space by Jon Pettigrew as part of Planet3artnews.

Keiken at Disturbed, Hacked, Reassembled

A group show curated by Drive-Thru at Lewisham Arthouse featured an adaptation of Silicone_Animism | The Birth of Mother Digital, as part of ‘Disturbed, Hacked, Reassembled’, an event which explored how artists are employing technology to stage, interrogate and celebrate the digital female body. Keiken’s interactive installation, again with sound designed by 700ok, used VR, video and sound to trace the birth of the digital; a giant networked space fused with human interaction and technology.

The installation, representative of an office environment, featured a pregnant woman working in Silicon Valley, who has

Agatha Gothe-Snape, Every Artist Remembered with Keiken, 7 October 2017, Frieze London, Regent’s Park, London. Photo: Sofia Freeman/The Commercial, Image courtesy The Commercial, Sydney

relationships with the office furniture in an allegory of Late Capitalism and animism (video design Keiken and George Stone, sound by Nati Cerutti). This adaptation was re-exhibited by Keiken as part of ‘Hervisions’ at Second Home, London.

In other recent projects, Keiken performed in Every Artist Remembered (2017) by Agatha Gothe-Snape at Frieze Art Fair, London; in November they led a performative workshop for Goldsmith University’s BSc Digital Arts Computing, and in a return to Falmouth, they performed at FOMO, the first Falmouth Art Publishing Fair.

In January 2018, Keiken will be hosting a workshop and event under keiken° mind u as part of Vorspiel transmediale, Berlin.

‘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/

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.