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.

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National Open Art success for Falmouth Fine Artist

We’re delighted to congratulate second year BA(Hons) Fine Art student Edward Spencer, whose painting has made it to the final of the 21st National Open Art competition, from around 4000 entries.

Edward grew up in East Kent, and before joining Falmouth School of Art, completed a Foundation year at the Royal Drawing School in London, where he won the End of Year Exhibition Award. He told us, ‘I entered my painting, Untitled, to various art prizes before the summer; I’d never done it before and thought I’d give it a go. I’m very glad it’s being recognised, and it’s exciting to see a painting I produced in my small mezzanine first year studio engaging and interacting within a much wider context than my course here in Falmouth’.

Of Untitled, Edward says, ‘I work very intuitively, very rarely planning my paintings, but allow them to form themselves through the making. However, with this particular work, I started with a gridded structure, separating land/sea and sky, with the horizon at the centre. Moving to Falmouth from my year in London, I was struck by the presence of such a defined and wide horizon, the open spaces, and the way in which the community engages with its natural surroundings. And yet there is this disjunct I experience and I believe many of my generation experience, and that’s the way technology has such a dominant presence in my life, and so there’s an unsettling, post-natural feeling I want to capture in my work – I want to experience the world but yet it feels less and less authentic. Absorbing myself within virtual spaces and realities seems to be preventing me from truly being able to experience the real reality, the physical, the human. That I believe is at the core of this work’.

‘Untitled’, by Edward Spencer, Oil on canvas, 41x51x2cm

Edward’s painting, Untitled, will be exhibited 17-26 November at Bargehouse (Oxo Tower Wharf, Southbank), London, where he will join other selected artists at the private view. National Open Art is open to professional and amateur artists aged 15 and over, and – with each entry judged anonymously, and no ‘invited’ artists – is considered to be one of the most democratic in the UK and Ireland.

You can view more of Edward’s work at his website: https://edwardspencerblog.wordpress.com/ 

New digital artwork from Rosie McGinn, on AVD

“Tonight you’re mine, completely…”, the lyrics from a Shirelles’ classic play out to a pumped up Prince Naseem Hamed staring down his opponent Kevin Kelley

The scene features in new artwork from British artist and 2015 BA(Hons) Fine Art alumna Rosie McGinn. Boxing Series 1  is released on AVD, a digital art platform designed for mobile consumption. Artists provide the art, and AVD provides the coding. Not only offering an alternative to the white gallery space, the technology reduces work to the width of a mobile screen, allowing the viewer to determine their journey through the artwork by finger swipes, rather than having it curated for their physicality.

McGinn’s video pieces are embedded within a stream of fake adverts, porn, betting deals and forums, in the midst of which is the video piece ready to be played. McGinn brings the ever-popular, often controversial sport of boxing to the art world for evaluation, juxtaposing animalistic pre-fight stare-downs with love songs.

The first of the series of four Boxing Stare Downs was released on 17 September, with the next being released at three-day intervals. To view, go to a-v-d.xyz on your mobile.

 

Exhibition featuring Fine Art students following Summer CAST residencies | Falmouth 28-30 September

This Summer, an opportunity arose for four BA(Hons) Fine Art students to apply for a studio residency at CAST (the Cornubian Arts & Science Trust) in Helston.  The Residency, funded by the Falmouth School of Art in partnership with CAST, offered each artist a one month studio space in the summer months.

The successful artists chosen were Amy McMillan – painting & Drawing, Jasmin Mills – painting, Alberta Shearing – video, installation & performance and Ella Squirrell – painting, cyanotypes and oil pastilles.

Following their time at CAST the artists have now put together an exhibition of their work, ‘Interior | Shift’, which will take place at the old Stones Bakery on Falmouth’s High Street from 28 to 30 September.

Speaking about their Summer at Cast, they described their experience: ‘…The space became the stimulus for exploration. Light. Colour. The suggestions to memory of the architecture, for the building is a Victorian school and remembers it’s old activity in its fixtures, fittings and plasterwork. The interior’s progression to exterior also inspired thought, the location leading to the historical and modern society of Helston, the view from its windows, the sills purposefully too high for a seated pupil to see out off.  The same interior shifts through the subjective view of the artists, filtered, compared to and merging with their interests and practice. The interior of the artists shifts from a myriad of busy stimuli to the starting point of a single bare room.’

The artists would like to thank Josie, Elsa and Teresa at CAST, the Falmouth School of Art and Olly at Stones Bakery.

FSA Visiting Professor, Hew Locke, exhibiting in Bremen and Miami

Hew Locke, our appointed Visiting Professor of Fine Art, has two new projects; ‘Cui Bono’ in Bremen, and ‘Reversal of Fortune’ in Miami.

Cui Bono installed at Bremen Rathaus. Photo ©Indra Khanna 2017

‘Cui Bono’ is a 4 metre long ship that Hew has created.  The work was commissioned by Kunsthalle Bremen and installed at Rathaus Bremen, Germany, as part of the exhibition ‘The Blind Spot: Bremen and Art in the Colonial Era’.  A video on the installation can be found here.

Detail of Cui Bono ©Hew Locke & DACS

The installation in the Town Hall’s upper gallery is an invitation to grapple with Bremen’s maritime commercial and colonial history.  The exhibition takes place in Bremen Town Hall, Germany, from 5 August to 19 November 2017.  For more information on the project click here.

 

‘Reversal of Fortune’ is a new commission for Fringe Projects Miami, in an empty jewellery store in downtown Miami’s historic Art Deco Moderne DuPont Building.  The exterior of the installation is viewable from SE 2nd Ave, 24 hours a day, from 8 September 2017 to 31 January 2018.

Chinese Imperil Gold Loan 10 ©Hew Locke & Hales Gallery

Since the financial crash of 2008 Hew Locke has been buying original antique share certificates from old companies, and painting directly on them.  In ‘Reversal of Fortune’ fifteen have been selected and printed up to create an installation on the facade, and inside the vault, of an empty store.  He has chosen these defunct shares sometimes for their interesting history, and sometimes for their beauty.  He highlights historical and economic cycles. Commerce has its’ ups and downs, yet it is human nature to be optimistic, to continue to trade.  New-born companies garland their shares with confident typography and classical motifs implying stability and worth.  Figures representative of the local population in the areas in which the companies operated are sometimes seen breaking-through.  These are silent witnesses, those who paid the most to create the wealth without receiving the benefit.  Locke’s series of shares is also a wry acknowledgement of the commodity value of contemporary art.

 

Hew Locke will be a guest speaker for Falmouth School of Art later in the year. Watch out for details of our upcoming ‘Guest Speaker’ series.

Falmouth’s Visiting Professor programme brings international speakers of the highest calibre to the university to share their knowledge, insights and experiences with students, staff and wider public.  Visiting Professors are appointed for three years, delivering both public lectures and working with our students during their annual visit.

 

Sophie Wright, BA(Hons) Fine Art student – new exhibition

Final year BA(Hons) Fine Art student Sophie Wright, has and exhibition opening in Penryn on 5 August, with fellow artist and student Rebecca Pearce-Davies. Heretics of the Mundane runs until 26 August, and all are welcome to the Private View from 6pm on 4 August.

https://www.facebook.com/HereticsoftheMundane/ 

BA(Hons) Drawing Student Megan Fatharly exhibits in London Gallery This Week

Megan Fatharly, a BA(Hons) Drawing student going into her third year of study at Falmouth has been selected for Beside The Wave London’s very first ‘Open Summer Show’.

The Private View takes place on Thursday 20 July 6-8pm at Beside The Wave London, 41 Chalcot Road, Primrose Hill, NW1 8LS.  The exhibition will run until 09 September 2017.

The show has been organised to celebrate the second anniversary of their London gallery and aims to put a focus on the wealth of creativity on their doorstep as well as welcoming selected artists from across the UK with a mix of emerging and established names.

Beside The Wave - Open Summer Show

Beside The Wave – Open Summer Show