StreetDraw24 Exhibition | Not One Place

NOT ONE PLACE | REPORTAGE DRAWING EXHIBITION

Students of Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Illustration have designed and organised an exhibition at The Poly, Falmouth, to share work created by students and staff during their 24-hour drawing event on the streets of Falmouth in August, #streetdraw24, an event which aimed to raise awareness of street homelessness.

The Poly have generously provided their upstairs gallery free of charge for the two week exhibition, in support of the #streetdraw24 team’s aim of raising funds for St. Petroc’s Society, which undertakes valuable work with the street homeless.

Alongside the drawings created, the exhibition will feature an eerie soundscape created by second year BA(Hons) Film student Aaron Mason. Also featured are quotes from those who know what it’s like to live on the street. The exhibition reminds us that many different lives are lived in one town and that the street becomes another place when you have no home to go to.

The exhibition will be fascinating for anyone interested in day-to-day life in Falmouth, in the arts or in the social challenges facing this county. It also raises the question – what can art and artists do to help make the world a better place?

During the exhibition there will be opportunities to learn about the work of  St Petroc’s Society, a Truro-based organisation providing accommodation, support, advice, training and resettlement services to single homeless people in Cornwall. Funds will be raised for St Petroc’s through Donate& Draw – donate what you can afford and enter a draw to win a signed drawing by one of the #StreetDraw24 artists.

Student Helen Trevaskis was among the organisers of StreetDraw24. So far, over £700 has been raised through donationsHelen shared the learning from the 24-hour drawing event in a blog post back in August, and you can hear her talking to SourceFM the day after the event (Helen is introduced at 12:50)

Not One Place opens at the Poly Tuesday 2nd October, with a Private View open to all from 5:15-7:15. 

The exhibition runs until Saturday 13 October, Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm.

Drawing staff and students present at Symposium

Artist, drawing researcher and lecturer in BA(Hons) Drawing Dr Joe Graham, and some of his Falmouth School of Art students and alumni,  presented papers and workshops at The Embodied Experience of Drawing event at The Drawing Symposium, Plymouth.

The event responded to the increasing proportion of artists in the South West working in performative drawing practice. It gathered contributors, to acknowledge and interrogate this movement and to discuss ideas around the future of drawing research, philosophy and practice.

Dr Joe Graham discussed his paper The Utility of Drawing: Drawn and Withdrawn.  “This paper sketches a nascent ontology of drawing, one that uses Heidegger to explore the idea that drawing is a fundamentally useful type of thing for those who draw. Within this understanding however, the utility of drawing appears withdrawn, so to speak. It requires being ‘drawn out’ (freed) when drawings are viewed for some purpose – as pictures, diagrams, maps, plans or other forms intended for use.”

Kayleigh Jayne Harris, a recent graduate from BA(Hons) Drawing at Falmouth University, primarily focused on the identity of line within contemporary drawing practices. Her paper  Drawing line through performance: does the drawing live as an immaterial trace, a material document, or both, through the experience of line? explored whether performative acts be identified as a form of drawing, through the acknowledgement and experience of the lines generated during and by gesture.

Bhuvaneshvari Pinto a current student of BA(Hons) Drawing and Ralph Nel (Alumni) presented a joint workshop Drawing as a Tool in Cultivating Awareness – A Workshop in Observational Drawing.  The workshop explored the idea that observational drawing nurtures mental stillness and sharpens our awareness of ourselves and our surroundings.

Video with kind permission of Stuart Bewsey

#StreetDraw24: What can you do in 24 hours?

BA(Hons) Illustration student Helen Trevaskis was among the organisers of StreetDraw24, a drawing initiative to raise awareness and money for homeless charity St. Petroc’s. So far, over £500 has been raised through donations. You can hear Helen talking to SourceFM the day after the event (Helen is introduced at 12:50)

Following the pilot event, Helen shares 24 things that this reportage fundraiser taught her and her fellow drawers about life in Falmouth, about staying up drawing for 24 hours, and about trying to do something good in the world through art.

  1. A town is not one place. Using Falmouth as a reportage location across 24 hours showed us other sides of the town we live in…From the early morning workers busy while most of us are tucked up in bed, to the fitness fanatics using Jacob’s Ladder as their personal gym, to the late night car racers partying at Pendennis Point – the town has many sides.
  2. Not sleeping sends you a bit weird. During the 24 hours some drawers went from being intensely focused to barely able to speak – let alone draw – to practically hysterical with laughter at the smallest thing, or continually hungry. Fascinating what sleep deprivation does to you!
  3. Make it fun. Along the long walk from The Moor to Falmouth Cemetery via Pendennis, we played drawing games to get our energy up as midnight came and went. The results were not artistic masterpieces (or even a record of where we were, given we could barely see) but were one of the most memorable bits of the night.
  4. Stay safe. Even though we live in a safe town, we ensured no one drew alone at night, and we kept touch with each other via a Messenger group.
  5. Talk to people. During the 24 hours many interesting interactions occurred. One group, drawing on a housing estate, talked to an elderly couple who then fed them fruit. Another got #StreetDraw24 followed on Instagram by a creative agency in London after chatting to its founder. Many more revealed how many people are themselves artists in this town. Embrace such interactions – it’s one of the joys of location drawing.
  6. Start. Many of us were not sure what to draw when we first got out on the street despite lots of great advice from reportage supremo Anna Cattermole’s blog, written for us in the run up to #StreetDraw24 (sorry Anna!). While it can be good to have a plan perhaps what’s more important is getting going, because once you do, drawing tends to have its own momentum.
  7. Mix it up. Bringing variety into how you draw not just what you draw can help give you and your work energy, particularly as the hours tick by.
  8. Be respectful. There was a point at about 1am Friday where five of us were drawing a camper van parked at Gyllygvase Beach, and realised someone was probably asleep inside! As we quietly snuck off, we imagined how weird it would have been for the occupants to find us all there, reminding us it’s important to be respectful in choosing our locations.
  9. Keep repeating your message. #Streetdraw24 is designed to raise awareness about the problem of street homelessness in Cornwall, but it’s very easy for people to miss the point. So don’t be shy about repeating the why of what you’re doing, to get it across effectively, and then repeating it again.
  10. Make it social. While drawing in pairs or a group is not something illustrators and artists normally do, even the least extrovert among us got lots out of drawing on location together.
  11. Dogs are of the day cats of the night. This is just true.
  12. Keep going. Whether you’re on location for four hours or 12 or 24, you’re not going to be in the mood the whole time and not everything you produce will be great; but we definitely saw work evolve across the 24 hours, because we just kept going.
  13. Be shamelessly opportunist. Telling everyone you meet what you’re up to before, during and after an event like this is really valuable. Not just because they might want to get involved, but also because the story of what you’re doing is almost as important as the thing itself, and the more you tell it the better it will get.
  14. Drawing from observation matters. If you’re involved in the arts, you should draw, because drawing is less about drawings and more about looking at, engaging with and absorbing what’s around you – a core artistic skill.
  15. Collaboration is an important creative skill. This time around there were only a few people from beyond the BA Illustration course involved in StreetDraw24. It’s something we’ll shake up next time, because collaborating brings new ideas, perspectives and opportunities.
  16. Wet wipes are your friend. Whether you’re using messy charcoal, find there are no open public toilets near where you’re drawing, or you’ve taken food to eat and are worried about where your hands have been; you’re going to need wet wipes during an event like this.
  17. Be easy-going. This was a pilot, so for us it was important to have as few rules as possible, so people could invent what worked for them and we could learn.
  18. Most people are really nice. They are. So talk to them.
  19. Getting the money bit right is hard. #StreetDraw24 was designed as a fundraiser and fundraising is difficult but an event idea isn’t a good one if it doesn’t make money.
  20. “The more you look the more you see”. So true.
  21. Laughing helps warms you up. Also true but you still need a coat, thick socks and a hat if you’re out all night.
  22. There are lots of ways to take part. While a small band of drawers took to the streets last week, many other people sent messages of support, donated to St Petroc’s, and ‘liked’ or commented on the images we posted. To us they were all part of the #StreetDraw24 team.
  23. Feel lucky. There are many things those of us with homes to go to each night take for granted – like having a toilet when and where you want one. It’s important to remember this is not everyone’s reality and to remember how lucky we are.
  24. Be ambitious. Next up will be an exhibition of #StreetDraw24 work – exhibition space kindly donated by the Poly– in early October. But we’ve bigger plans, too, so watch this space…

You can donate to the StreetDraw24 fundraising page, in aid of St. Petroc’s, and you can see more of the resulting work, and hear about future initiatives via the StreetDraw24 Facebook page.

StreetDraw24: Raising awareness of homelessness in Cornwall.

For 24 hours starting at noon on 23 August, a small band of students and other locals will be drawing from the streets of Falmouth to raise awareness of Cornwall’s homelessness problem, as part of the first ever StreetDraw24. Here, one of the organisers, BA(Hons) Illustration student Helen Trevaskis, talks about the motivation and intention for the initiative… 

StreetDraw24: How can art be a force for good?

‘While beyond the Tamar, Cornwall may conjure up thoughts of pasties and clotted cream, happy childhood holidays and Poldark’s semi-clad antics on horseback along a never-ending coastline, anyone who spends proper time here knows that parts of the county face many and serious social problems. One of these is homelessness, with some reports highlighting an increase of 52% in rough sleeping in the county between 2009 and 2016. While the arts may not seem an obvious place to look to for ways to bring focus onto this problem, that’s exactly what StreetDraw24 wants to do.

How? Well, the idea is simple. Over a 24 hour period, ending at noon on the 24th of the month, draw from the streets of your town, post images to social media using the tag #streetdraw24 and share a link for donations to a relevant homelessness charity. After the event, use the best 24 images – one for each hour of the day – to promote the issue of homelessness and fundraise further. Then…learn, grow, repeat!

This will be the first ever StreetDraw24 and has been organised by first year students from Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Illustration keen to feel connected to and active in the community they now live in. With an emphasis on learning by doing on a small scale, they’ve been promoting the event on Facebook and raising funds for St Petroc’s Society – a Truro based charity supporting the single homeless. Along the way advice on location based drawing, ‘reportage’, has been shared from Falmouth students and tutors alongside information on Cornwall’s homelessness problem.

Some of those taking part in the event will draw from the streets for the whole 24 hours to bring attention to the sad reality that for some the streets are their home 24/7. So, if you see a damp cold looking person drawing from the streets of Falmouth at the end of next week go and talk to them – they’ll love to share what they’re doing! Or even better – take part by checking out the StreetDraw24 Facebook page, donating to St Petroc’s Society or offering ideas for how to make the impact of this initiative even bigger’.

 

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”.

BA(Hons) Illustration Collaborative Project in Bristol

BA(Hons) Illustration Senior Lecturers Linda Scott and Natalie Hayes recently accompanied a group of second and third year students to Bristol, for a week-long trip focused on studio visits, professional practice talks and workshops, as well as an exhibition of work produced by them during their visit in response to a brief.

Dave Bain talking about his projects

Falmouth Alumni Dave Bain, who graduated in 2006, as established himself in Bristol as a lynchpin of the thriving Illustration scene. As well as being a successful Illustrator, Dave is responsible for setting up illustration studios in Hamilton House (in the Stokes Croft area of the city) and the Illustration Collective, ‘Drawn In Bristol‘.

A good number of Falmouth Illustration alumni have relocated to Bristol, as an alternative to London; many have studio space in Hamilton House, which Dave modeled on the Falmouth course’s studio set up. Our students were given a tour of Hamilton House, and also The Island, a converted police station on Nelson Street.

At Hamilton House, Illustrators Lara Hawthorne, Paula Bowles, Freya Hartas and others talked informally about their experiences as Illustrators since graduating; at The Island, collective Sad Ghost Club talked about collaboration, the merchandise they produce and what brought them together as a group.

Coordinating the visit for us, Dave Bain booked The Square Club as a meeting space for us, and as venue for speakers Lara Hawthorne, Joe Roberts and Laurie Stansfield, who are working together and have developed a mentoring scheme suitable for graduates who are unable to work in studio spaces and who might otherwise be subject to isolation. Joe and Laurie meet monthly to support one another with projects and business, holding one another accountable for developing projects and setting schedules. Dave talked about his experience setting up the studios and working collaboratively, and spoke about his role as a ‘connector’ of people, bringing them together to develop public realm projects which directly benefit the local community.

Before their trip, students had been given a brief, focusing on themes of Regeneration and Collaboration. The culmination of their research was the formulation of visual outputs for exhibition in the Space Gallery, in the Old Market area of Bristol. Student exhibits ranged from 3D objects to customised shirts, a video and a 3D mobile.

Limbic Cinema workshop

A private view of the exhibition followed a final day of workshops, from Tom Newell of Limbic Cinema. Tom digitised drawings from students’ sketchbooks and mapped and projected these onto plinths and walls; he taught students how to do the same, with the outcome being several visual collages projected onto 2D and 3D spaces.

We commend our students for their high level of engagement throughout this intensive professional practice study visit, and for their participation even when treacherous weather threatened to impact heavily their activities.

 

First look at this autumn’s Guest Speaker programme…

This autumn we welcome five outstanding Guest Speakers to deliver lectures to students of Falmouth School of Art. Speakers include return visits from our two Visiting Professors, and an exciting event in association with the Groundwork project. Places are available at each for members of the public, our arts partners across the region and our alumni.

Places limited, registration required. Click here for more details and links to registration.

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/

HOW TO SWIM Exhibit B: Treading Water

HOW TO SWIM – a series of six contemporary art events in different spaces across Manchester’s Victoria Baths site.

Over the six events artists will react to the site, installing sculptures, paintings and video as well as performing live movement and spoken word pieces, holding workshops and giving talks.

Exhibit B: Treading Water is the second event of the series, and includes work by recent BA(Hons) Fine Art graduates Tanya Cruz and Jess Russell, and Mercedes Kemp, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art.

These events are organised and curated by recent Falmouth Fine Art graduates Polly Maxwell and Lulu Richards aka WHATCHAMACALLIT collective.

http://www.whatchamacallitcollective.com/the-collective.html

The events take place at the historic Victoria Baths in Manchester a listed Edwardian swimming pool and Turkish Baths complex.

The Big Draw at Falmouth – ‘Boatanicals’

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As part of The Big Draw, Falmouth Foundation students and staff have launched a series of workshops on the theme ‘Boatanicals’, producing some spectacular results so far.

The launch workshop took place at Falmouth’s Princess Pavilion, part of their ‘Make and Take’ series. Shapes were constructed drawing together flowers and nautical themes, from a range of colourful recycled goods.

Jane Chetwynd, Course Coordinator for the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, said ‘We are so pleased with the results from the first workshop and delighted by the enthusiasm we have seen from people wishing to participate. It’s going to be quite a ‘Boatanical’ installation!’.

The project has involved Penryn College, Constantine Primary School, Marlborough School, Falmouth Primary School and Princess Pavilion. 104 Foundation students have been involved in the making so far, with around 15 of them helping with the workshops. A number of Falmouth’s postgraduate students are also involved.

The Foundation studios at Wellington Terrace, Falmouth, are open to anyone wishing to drop in and join in the making (free of charge) on Monday 6 March, 2-5pm, Tuesday 7 March 10am-1pm, Wednesday 8 March 2-5pm and Thursday 9 March 10am-1pm. A further ‘Make and Take’ session for the project will run at Princess Pavilion on Monday 6 March, 10am-12pm.

The resulting ‘Boatanicals’ will be ‘planted out’ at the Princess Pavilion on 16 March in time for the annual Falmouth Spring Flower Show, to be held at the venue 18-19 March.

A Facebook page has been set up for ‘Boatanicals’ which will include updates and more information about the project: https://www.facebook.com/The-Big-Draw-Falmouth-1871001206500975/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Maritime Mural Project – a collaboration with Falmouth, National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Spectrum, Exeter University and street artist Marc Craig

Our Foundation students here at Falmouth are involved in a community project ‘The Maritime Mural Project‘ between partners The National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Spectrum Autism Charity, University of Exeter, Falmouth University and street artist Marc Craig.

The project is about celebrating ‘difference’ and coincides with the opening of the Maritime Museum’s Captain Bligh and Tattoo exhibition. Members of the community are being asked to draw a doodle which celebrates their difference, under the title, ‘Everyone is Different, Who are You’?

The students have decorated 16 bespoke postboxes, which are displayed around the town and also in local libraries, galleries and schools; it is hoped these will inspire the community to doodle. The doodles, together with other images researched by the students, alongside daffodils which represent Falmouth’s Spring Festival, will contribute to a 100-foot long mural which will be created by and painted onto the wall of the Maritime Car Park on Bar Road by street artist Marc Craig.

Marc Craig is based in London, and works primarily with large scale murals, both on his own and as part of the street art collective Psychodoodlz. He is also an alumus of Falmouth, having graduated with a degree in Studio Ceramics in 2003, and an MA in Contemporary Visual Arts in 2004.

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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.

Writing as art practice; drawing pedagogy; illustrators and communities in crisis…

Senior Lecturers from Falmouth School of Art have been helping shape national debates and dialogues surrounding writing as art practice, drawing pedagogy and reportage illustration, through recent conferences presentations around the UK.

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Dr Neil Chapman, Senior Lecturer on BA(Hons) Fine Art was invited to present a paper and lead a workshop at the ‘Words of Art’ conference at Wimbledon College of Arts.

The conference formed part of a wider Words of Art project, seeking ‘to explore writing as art practice by considering tactile materiality, live spoken word or performative activity, site-specific writing practices and temporality’. Participants investigated ‘bridging gaps between the written form and object-oriented art practices, shifting the focus of writing from the computer screen to the studio, breaking down perceptions of barriers between writing on the one hand and art-making on the other’.

The conference gathered together invited practitioners who use written forms within their own practices and/or are involved in curating and publishing artists’ writing.

 

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2016-11-25-16-00-32Neil said, ‘It was good to be part of an event at which some students as well as staff had the opportunity to show their work. The conference was preceded by a week of writing workshops — an effective way of galvanising interest in the themes among students in the lead up to the conference.

The usual conventions of a conference were disrupted in a number of ways, with diverse forms of presentation including performance readings, sound-art and audiovisual presentation, live drawing of diagrams and presentations assembling fictional elements with historical research. The event made evident the diverse approaches to writing being practiced widely in art education and art research, adding weight to the argument that artists have something new and important to contribute to research culture in the humanities and beyond.

In forthcoming work, staff of Falmouth School of Art will develop the network of those concerned with the politics and practice of writing in art, working with colleagues at Linnaeus University in Sweden and with staff and students at UAL to develop new work and research on questions of writing and the image’.

 

Dr Joe Graham, who this year joined the BA(Hons) Drawing team at Falmouth as Lecturer, delivered a paper at the 2016 iJADE (International Journal of Art & Design Education) conference, this year themed ‘Drawing’ and held at the University of Chester. The iJADE journal is published by NSEAD (National Society for Education in Art & Design), and the conference was entirely geared around pedagogical discussion of drawing used by communities within Art & Design Education. Among the keynote speakers was Simon Betts, External Examiner to Falmouth.

ijade-thumb ijade-thumb-2016Papers spanned a wide variety of topics, demonstrating the value of Drawing to a range of disciplines far beyond art and design. Joe’s paper, titled Autonomic Drawing: Postphenomenological Drawing Research discussed his latest research from a pedagogical standpoint, describing the (phenomenological) method of variational practice as it is used within his work.

Joe demonstrated the application of the practice with the aid of nine A3 graph paper drawings, produced specifically to test this method, and explains, ‘The method of variational practice is used to seek invariant (essential) forms of understanding from within a variety of work presented for display. When used in combination with observational drawing, it renders the drawings sensible as ‘data’ i.e. results. This means the more fluid question of what drawing ‘records’ (re-presents) can be decided on an empirical basis. This outcome has useful pedagogical implications’.

 

Dr Catrin Morgan, Senior Lecturer on MA Illustration: Authorial Practice, delivered a paper at the International Illustration Symposium at Edinburgh College of Art. The conference was titled ‘Shaping the View: Understanding Landscape Through Illustration’.

Shaping the View: Understanding Landscape through Illustration

Shaping the View: Understanding Landscape through Illustration

Catrin’s paper, The Myth of Reportage Illustration, explored ideas of authenticity and mark making in reportage illustration. Her paper was grouped within the panel, ‘Landscape as metaphor’, and examined the way in which Illustrators are increasingly being hired to report on and represent communities in crisis (communities in Syria, people living in refugee camps and endangered or destabilised communities for example).

Catrin explains, ‘I am concerned with the ethical implications of aesthetic choice made by these illustrators and what it means as a creative practitioner to report back on the lives of other communities. What voice do we use to do this? How might we choose to foreground our own presence in the situation we are depicting? Are there a set of aesthetic conventions that are establishing themselves as the language of authenticity?

Being critical of and asking questions about how artists address challenges faced by communities is vital to ensuring that the role that illustrators (as creative practitioners) play in society is truly valuable and useful. I am concerned that all areas of illustrative practice are interrogated critically, particularly those that have the social and political relevance to vulnerable communities’.

Among examples Catrin discussed were Anna Cattermole, who works with communities in Cornwall, Gill Gibbon who draws at arms fairs and Olivier Kuglar and George Butler who have reported on various communities internationally.

The Tears of Things Exhibition

CAFE MORTE

www.cafemorte.com

Cafe Morte looks at the way in which visual culture represents death and dying, mourning and grieving through art, dreams, desires, imagery and poetry.

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THE TEARS OF THINGS

The Tears of Things is a growing collection of broken objects initially exhibited as part of Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange Christmas makers market on 10th and 11th December 2016 in Penzance.  Installing the broken collection alongside a market of beautifully made and crafted objects created a strange juxtaposition between the old, discarded and broken object and the desire for something new. The stall was set up to generate conversation and dialogue around the emotional value and attachment we have to something that is broken in our lives. All the objects collected for The Tears of Things, have lost their original integrity in some way.

Members of the public were invited to contribute to the stall by bringing in a broken object and piece of text. The collection grew over the course of the weekend becoming similar to an antiques road show of broken objects often with no material value.

The collection forms the beginning of a growing body of research relating to mortality and what the broken object signifies. The project will  continue in partnership with the Exchange Gallery in Penzance in February 2017, extending the collection  to reach a wide range of community groups in various settings.

CAFE MORTE is a research group led by Mercedes Kemp and Lucy Willow, undergraduate and postgraduate students from Falmouth University, curators and artists. Its central focus is to create projects enabling audiences to discuss the rich and varied themes of death found in art and literature. We have adopted the model of the recently popular Death Cafes, which have arisen worldwide as a meeting place in which to discuss death over a cup of tea.

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A Portrait of Anna Maria Fox – Celebration at Falmouth Campus

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Staff, students and passers-by are invited to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Anna Maria Fox, Falmouth’s most famous philanthropist and life-long champion of the arts, culture and science in the town.

The arrival of a modern-day Anna Maria will be celebrated by music and dance from local school children from Mawnan Smith, and also marks the grand opening of Tannachie Garden Studios, the new location of BA(Hons) Drawing.

Students from Falmouth School of Art will then join invited guests and children in a drawing class.

 

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 

 

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: Erobinsoncarter78@googlemail.com.

Foote Notes

Technician and Alumna of Falmouth School of Art’s MA Illustration: Authorial Practice, Emilia Wharfe, talks about her involvement at this year’s Truro Festival…

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‘This year, Truro Festival decided that it needed a Cornish mascot, and who better than Kernow’s beloved Samuel Foote. For those who don’t recognise the name, Samuel Foote was a playwright, satirist, nonsense writer and all-round prankster born in Truro – and the first ever stand up comedian!

I felt flattered when the Festival organisers approached me about doing a timeline in his honour, although terrified at the sheer size of the project.

Samuel Foote

We set out to achieve three boards, each 4ftx6ft, each towering over the kids as they interact with individual elements of the boards. I used different mediums: for example, cyanotypes to create the timeline skyline running along the bottom of the boards, inks and watercolours, and finally Adobe software to vectorise elements, so as to keep their quality of line.

Inspired by the series Horrible Histories, I had a lot of fun working on a project about such a bizarre man. It allowed me to return to ideas and theories of Nonsense that I studied during my MA and to generally paint using my funny bone.

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The boards will now continue to tell the story of Samuel Foote throughout Cornwall over the next few years, visiting as many local schools as possible.

‘I had now found my first friend,’ said Tove Jansson, ‘and so my life has begun.’ I thank drawing for giving me this feeling and I thank Truro Festival for letting me share it to a larger, diverse audience. My work will continue, like Foote, to focus on the more nonsensical elements of life, using these ‘moments’ as metaphors, to create work that is at once surreal, playful and thought provoking’.

Emilia Wharfe
www.emiliawharfe.com

Lucy Willow: Research and Residency – Iceland

IMG_5241On 7th December I arrived in the remote village of Stoovarfjorour, East Fjords of Iceland at the old fish factory to start a three-week artist residency. There was a call out to the villagers on the day that I was arrived to see if anyone could pick me up from the airport two hours away. It is remote. I was met by an Icelandic writer who was staying in the neighbouring village looking after his father’s horses. He came to collect me with the promise that he would be rewarded with a good meal at the end of his long round trip.

While here I plan to host a series of coffee mornings where participants will be invited to share stories relating to Icelandic death rites and ceremonies. The project develops current research with the group Café Morte (pop up research group) looking at the way in which visual culture represents death and dying, mourning and grieving through art, dreams, desires, imagery and poetry. This is my plan.  Currently my interpreter is stuck in snow in Reykjavik where all flights have been cancelled due to the bad weather, so there is a certain amount of having to re-think and work around the weather conditions here.

IMG_5238The village sits in one of Iceland’s Eastern Fjords with mountains covered in snow rising up on each side. It has a population of 150 people that rely heavily on fishing to make a living. The residency space is in an old fish factory; a huge rambling building that is an Aladdin’s cave of potential materials. It is full of old bits of machinery and junk that have been saved and salvaged stored in vast warehouse spaces in the factory. Part of the building has been renovated and has a concert hall where the villagers get together and local bands play. This is also where Café Morte coffee morning will take place. I have the ingredients to bake some cheese scones, which I am hoping will entice the community to take part.

The studio is purpose built, warm and if I stand on tip toe  can just glimpse a view of the mountains. The mornings are dark. I am getting to really enjoy the sunrise at 10.33 am, the changing light and how it falls on the snow at the top of the mountain. I have been here for three days drawing and gathering information from my surroundings that  will be incorporated into a new body of work. A tin shack, black pools of water, dust storms and containers are emerging to form the beginnings of a new symbolic language  explored through drawing. I am finding it interesting to see how I map my imagined Iceland onto the real. I hope to then use film, sound and narrative from the Café Morte session to create an installation in one of the fish factory warehouses.

One thing I can be sure of this year is a white Christmas.

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Staff and students from BA(Hons) Fine Art take part in Goonhilly Village Green

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Staff and students from BA(Hons) Fine Art recently took part in Goonhilly Village Green an event supported by Arts Council England and led by artists Sara Bowler, Elizabeth Masterton, and curators Field Notes to celebrate the unique landscape, history and culture of the Goonhilly Downs on the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall, UK.

Goonhilly has no central village and most of its residents live around the edge of the Downs. The aim of Goonhilly Village Green was to draw together this diverse range of people and interests to meet, talk, learn and play on a temporary village green on the Downs; to find common ground on the common land of National Nature Reserve. The event opened with a musical procession from Cornish dancer ScootsKernow and continued with workshops in writing, bushcraft and natural craft; a guided archaeological walk; the Village Green Society Lecture programme; film screenings of Ian Helliwell’s ‘Practical Electronica’ and Liminal’s ‘Of This Parish’.

Throughout the day, bells rang out from a bell-tower created by artists Liminal, on a village green specially created for the event by Natural England. Liminal is a partnership between architect Frances Crow and sound artist and composer David Prior. Frances works as Senior Lecturer, Architecture at Falmouth University and David is Associate Professor in Music and Sound Art. For more about the project see here: 

A solar furnace created for the event by artists Andy Webster and Darren Ray was a focal point for discussions around renewable energy, tribute d.i.y. acts, and the ad-hoc as a dissenting practice. Andy works as Senior Lecturer, Fine Art in the School of Art. Darren graduated from BA Fine Art in 2015.

Replication of Arlene's Solar Furnace, Darren Ray & Andy Webster

Replication of Arlene’s Solar Furnace 2009, Darren Ray & Andy Webster

On Friday 25th September, the event hosted a special day for children from the primary schools of the Keskowethyans Multi-Academy Trust, who took part in workshops, devised by artists Liminal and supported by the National Trust Wild Lizard Rangers.

This was the fifth project that Sara Bowler and Lizzie Masterton have developed at the Goonhilly site and aimed to lay the groundwork for a larger village green event to take place in 2016. For more information please visit: Goonhilly Village Green

Plasizmo – Exhibition by collaborating Fine Art students

PLASIZMO is a collaborative contemporary art exhibition at Back Lane West, Redruth, created by two of our graduating students from BA(Hons) Fine Art.

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Rosie McGinn and Gareth Wilde were selected to participate in the Back Lane West residency programme in conjunction with the Falmouth School of Art. The one month residency has provided support, space and time for the artists to continue the development of their fine art practices on graduating.

Back Lane West is an artist-led residency, project and meeting space in Redruth, Cornwall. Its aims are to support and encourage critically engaged visual art practice and artists’ professional development, while contributing to the growth of a nationally and internationally connected, cultural community and network in the South West.

PLASIZMO will take place at Back Lane West, Redruth on Friday 26th June, 7-10pm.

Back Lane West is a short walk from both rail and bus links.

BA(Hons) Drawing returns to Tresco

Staff and first year students of BA(Hons) Drawing started their year with the course’s now annual trip to the Isles of Scilly island of Tresco.

During the visit, made possible by the island’s owners, Robert and Lucy Dorrien-Smith, the students drew daily, inspired by the natural  habitats and landscapes, and delivered a colour theory workshop for children from Tresco’s Five Islands School.

The trip coincided with an exhibition, Pentimento, at Gallery Tresco, which featured work by Falmouth’s first graduating BA(Hons) Drawing students and their tutors, selected by Lucy.

BA Drawing students on Tresco

BA Drawing students on Tresco

Drawing workshop with Tresco's Five Islands School

Drawing workshop with Tresco’s Five Islands School

BA(Hons) Drawing and The National Trust

BA Drawing students at The National Trust Poltesco

BA Drawing students at The National Trust Poltesco

BA(Hons) Drawing Senior Lecturer Peter Skerrett took a group of BA Drawing students to meet Ranger Rachel Holder from the National Trust at Poltesco, a hidden valley on the Lizard’s east coast. Rachel has invited our students to design a wall drawing to be digitally printed onto plastic boards and permanently installed in a recently renovated barn that is to become a new Visitor Centre.

The project will be run as a student competition, with the resulting mural to appear on the wall pictured behind the students, left. The mural will reflect the local history of pilchard fishing.