Beatrice Brown – THE N0THING SERIES – 23 March–23 April 2017

Falmouth BA(Hons) Fine Art alumna Beatrice Brown is about to open her first solo exhibition in London. ‘THE N0THING SERIES’ is curated by James Birch and opens at Gallery 46 in Whitechapel on March 23, 2017 until 23 April. 


The works in this exhibition bear witness to inner visions that Brown has had from as early as six years old, when she transposed her inner turmoil and confusion onto seeing the ‘Fire Child’, a character that spoke to her from within the flames of a hearth. The sheer compressed power of the sculptural work is analogous to the potency of material transformation in alchemy, of the Jungian Nigredo, the black beginning – The Nothing Series.

Beatrice graduated from Fine Art in Falmouth in 2013, and was shortlisted for the Midas Award in that year, exhibiting that autumn at Millennium Gallery, St. Ives (now Anima-Mundi). Her solo exhibition features a new collection of drawings.

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Gallery 46 is a new art-space from Martin J Tickner, Sean McLusky, Martin Bell and Wai Hung Young in Whitechapel, London’s long-standing centre of radicalism and independence, has developed from the non-conformist curatorial approach they deployed at Redchurch Street’s infamous MEN Gallery.

http://gallery46.co.uk/Exhibitions/beatrice-brown-the-nothing-series/

http://beatricebrown.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BA(Hons) Drawing Forum 23 February 2017

Peter Skerrett and Claude Heath (far right) discuss a structural drawing built by students

Falmouth Senior Lecturer Peter Skerrett and artist and Visiting Speaker Claude Heath (far right) discuss a structural drawing built by students

BA(Hons) Drawing invited artist Claude Heath to join students and staff in the studios, where several collaborative drawings took place during the day. Drawings made included two large narrative pieces responding to poet works about the refugee crisis and World War One, a three-dimensional root-system structure made from rolled paper, and a ‘remote’ life drawing class where the model was placed in another room from the students, testing recall and memory.

During the morning, drawing stopped as students and staff listened to a conversation between Claude Heath and BA(Hons) Drawing Lecturer Dr Joe Graham, in which they talked about the validity of drawing as a means of legal communication, using a drawing of the Apple iPad as an example.

Claude also gave a lecture to students and staff from across Falmouth School of Art. Many thanks to Claude Heath from all of us at Falmouth for a very enjoyable and successful day.

Students plan collaborative drawing

Students plan collaborative drawing

Joe Graham in 'Variations' - a project about drawing movement

BA(Hons) Drawing Lecturer Joe Graham in ‘Variations’ – a project about drawing movement

Students and Claude Heath during the Drawing Forum 2017

Students and artist Claude Heath during the Drawing Forum 2017

Claude Heath and Joe Graham in conversation at the Drawing Forum

Drawing Forum Guest Speaker Claude Heath and Falmouth Lecturer Joe Graham in conversation at the Drawing Forum

A welcome return to Falmouth for author and illustrator Posy Simmonds

Posy Simmonds, pictured at the launch of the Big Draw Weekend on October 22, 2010 in London (AFP Photo PETER MACDIARMID)

Posy Simmonds, pictured at the launch of the Big Draw Weekend on October 22, 2010 in London (AFP Photo PETER MACDIARMID)

Posy Simmonds joins us at Falmouth School of Art on 1 March in the next of our Guest Speaker events. It’s a welcome return for Simmonds, an Honorary Fellow of Falmouth University, and the author and illustrator of books for adults and children, including Literary Life, Tamara Drewe, Lulu and the Flying Babies and Fred, the film of which was nominated for an Oscar.

Tamara Drewe, (c) Posy Simmonds

Tamara Drewe, (c) Posy Simmonds

Simmonds made her name with a series of weekly cartoon strips for the Guardian from 1977; her acclaimed graphic novels Gemma Bovery, and Tamara Drewe were both serialised in the paper before their publication as books, and both have since been adapted into successful feature films.

Fred, by Posy Simmonds

 

Simmonds’ style for adults gently satirises the English middle classes. Her books often feature a ‘doomed heroine’, much in the style of the 18th- and 19th-century gothic romantic novel, to which they often allude, but with an ironic, modernist slant.

Simmonds’ carreer as a children’s author began in 1987 with Fred, the tale of the death of a domestic tomcat who, to his owners, appeared to have done little more than eat and sleep all day, but who had in fact by night been pop superstar ‘Famous Fred’, adored by thousands of fans

Further reading / listening…

Listen to Posy Simmonds interviewed by Gil Roth in 2015

Posy Simmonds on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, from 2008

Read Tripwire interview with Posy Simmonds from 2008

Read an extensive Posy Simmonds profile from 2012

Posy Simmonds will be talking at Falmouth University on 1 March 2017, Lecture Theatre 1, Falmouth Campus, 5pm-6pm 

Click here to register (free, but required) through our Eventbrite page.

Recent projects – BA(Hons) Drawing

Recent observational projects for second-year BA(Hons) Drawing students have been developed around Falmouth Campus’s new Atrium, which houses cafe bar, canteen and social and studying spaces. The height and breadth of  this new architectural space have challenged the visual skills of these more experienced students.

Meanwhile back in the Drawing studios, the ancient traditions of sight-sizing are being taught, raising the bar in terms of observational precision. These drawing classes, found daunting by students to begin with, proved hugely rewarding. Head of Drawing, Phil Naylor, commented, ‘Students describe a real sense of achievement in completing these classic exercises’.

Alice Howard and Sarah Standen sight-sizing

Alice Howard and Sarah Standen sight-sizing

Student Samiir Saunders said, ‘Sight size drawing surprised me in its specificity. The particular nature of the measuring process definitely brought with it a lot of history and intrigue. However, it also demanded a huge amount of patience. My favourite phase in the process was at the completion of the first stage. The drawing appeared to be nothing more than a set of horizontal and vertical lines. And yet, contained within these lines were hours of precise measuring, mapping, checking and re-measuring – such that they evoked in me a vivid image of the completed work. This superposition of realism and abstraction was truly profound and humbling’.

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Reflections on first year BA(Hons) Fine Art exhibition

img_0384At the start of this term, the end of their first study block, BA(Hons) Fine Art students worked together towards an exhibition in their studio buildings. The exhibited work demonstrated experimentation and showed the development of work throughout the first ten weeks of the course. The range of practices and approaches reflected the diversity and individuality of first year students.

Exhibiting student Charlie Ash, said, ‘The exhibition provided an opportunity for students to display work in an open and informal setting; with multiple first year spaces across the campus being organised and curated among studio groups. The exhibition confirmed how much I value being on a Fine Art course which supports a wide variety of art practices – there is something exciting about seeing painting, drawing, sculpture, performative and time-based work (and everything else) occupying the same space. I think a self-organised open studio exhibition is a good format for first year students as there is no pressure to include fully finished work, but it is an insight into the practices which everyone is engaged in – beneficial both as a participating artist and a viewer’.

 

 

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Fine Art students from other years, and staff from the course and across the university joined exhibitors for a well-attended opening event. The project was the first of many opportunities for students to share and exhibit their work for peers and more public audiences as they progress through the course.

Student Olivia Brelsford-Massey shared her experience of being involved in this exhibition: ‘The first year exhibition – although most of us felt like we didn’t know what to do – turned out to be a success! I found it helpful, as it’s easy to crawl into hole as an art student (that hole being the studio space), and bringing our work into the larger context of an exhibition made it easier see what everyone had been making this past term, and opened up conversations about our work and ideas. The opening night was a lot of fun, some of the students had put together food and drink and posters and invited their pals/significant others to have a look around – all of this was organised in a short space of time so kudos to everyone. All in all, putting together the exhibition as well as the work itself felt like a vital part of being an art student and I’m looking forward to the next one!’

Short courses this summer – Falmouth School of Art Intensives

Falmouth School of Art Figure Painting Intensive

Falmouth School of Art Figure Painting Intensive

Applications are now invited for the Falmouth School of Art Intensives, our popular summer courses for artists, practitioners and art educators.

Taking place 3-7 July at our Falmouth Campus, we’re again offering a choice of 5-day ‘Intensives’. All are studio-based and provide daily input from specialist tutors including some of Cornwall’s leading artists.

Abstract Painting will be led by artists Simon Averill and Mark Surridge, who created and have delivered this stimulating course together for the last two years. Guidance will be given as participants explore a wide range of strategies, ways of thinking and processes for making abstract work.

Figure Painting, devised and delivered by artists Ashley Hold and Jesse Leroy Smith, promotes skills development and experimentation through daily practical and contextual workshops. Participants work from the life model throughout the week.

New for 2017 is Observational Drawing, delivered by Falmouth School of Art’s Drawing team who have diverse skill sets and expertise. Starting from the rich qualities of Falmouth’s coastal environment, the course is structured around practising observation skills in the field, capturing images from surroundings and building on those findings in the studio.

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If you’re looking for some time and space to develop or reinvigorate your practise this summer, find out more on our website – www.falmouth.ac.uk/fsaintensives. We’ll leave you with the feedback of previous participants…

“The intensive week reinvigorated me and I came home refreshed and ready to start new work.  I have lots of interesting threads to pick up on and gained new insights and ideas.  The tutors were brilliant and helped and suggested in very subtle ways that were completely personal to each participant.  It was exactly what I was looking for and I can’t wait to get working in the studio.”

“It has given me the motivation to pursue my work with greater commitment and energy and also to look more at the work of other artists, both current and historical.”

“The space allocated to us was truly fantastic and this generosity of space enabled us to expand into experimentation, which would otherwise not have been possible.” 

“There was so much that was memorable.  The beautiful setting of the campus and excellent facilities, the superb studio space, great tutors giving excellent lectures, a wonderful group of artists to be among, the social events and superb guest speaker were all wonderful.  Mostly I loved the time and space it gave me to think and work without distraction, but help and support from my fellow artists if I wanted it.”

“I loved the experience.  I was touched by all your thoughtfulness and kindness – the extra events you laid on for us.  I found the tutors’ input sensitive and supportive at all times.”

“The best thing I have done for years: It was like a creative vitamin injection. My practice traveled a very long way in a short space of time.”

 

 

 

 

 

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.