Catching up with last year’s summer Intensives participants

Falmouth School of Art is currently accepting applications for its summer Intensives – 5-day studio-based courses for artists and art educators. We’re always bowled over by feedback from participants at the end of their week with us, but we have just caught up with some of 2016’s participants to ask them to reflect on their experience nine months on…

Burgundys in project space – Gwenyth Fugard

Abstract Painting participant Gwenyth Fugard highlighted the benefit she had felt of being among a group of artists for the week, having worked alone for three years since graduating in Fine Art from Central St. Martins. She also experienced a development in her way of working, as a result of the environment and structure of the course: ‘Though my own practice does not respond to abstracting from life, I found the projects set were hugely beneficial. I was taken away from my usual methodologies and the studio spaces provided were fantastic [and] enabled new approaches and ideas to develop quite quickly’. After finishing the Intensive last summer, Gwyneth successfully applied for a place on an MA at City & Guilds London Arts School.

Oversized Raincoat, by Karina Barrett

Wales-based artist Karina Barrett, who took the Figure Painting course, similarly valued the experience of community that shaped the Intensive week: “I enjoyed working in a studio with other artists – something I have not done since graduating” Within that context, she recalls, ‘I found the tuition to be of the highest standard and incredibly informative. As a professional, working, painter, I gained a lot from the advice given to me by both Jesse [Leroy Smith] and Ashley [Hold]’. Figure Painting participants also commented that the opportunity to work from a model for whole week was something that they couldn’t easily replicate as part of their day to day routine.

Amanda Jackson chose the Abstract Painting Intensive in order to develop her mostly figurative practice in a more abstract direction, and the course made such an impression that she will be joining us again this year. She observes, ‘The course gave me many ideas and processes, through tuition, critique and lectures, to set this development in motion’. In addition to this, she too cites working alongside other artists as an important benefit to her: “…the great experience of spending a week with other artists, to explore my own ideas but have others’ input and critique and discuss work and network with artists, some of whom I am [still] in contact with via social media’.

Amanda has continued with her practice, and has found the influence of the Intensive staying with her in her work, “Almost a year on, I have continued the work started in Falmouth, enjoying pushing my work ever further into abstraction. I have found that since the course, my work is much looser; I spend more time developing the work through direct painting – that is, exploring ideas on the canvas and seeing where it might lead – rather than planning and replicating.

Her week at Falmouth has resonated in her subsequent studio practice, as well as in the work she has produced since last summer: ‘I am more focused on my work, spending longer in the studio, so the course has given me discipline as well as inspiration…The back drop of the garden and grounds at Falmouth, which was used as a starting point for abstract paintings on the course, has led to a body of work that will be shown this summer as part of Leigh Art Trail’s 20th Anniversary show’.

For many, the Intensives have provided the opportunity to work differently than they would in their own home or studio environment, with learning and experiences that have lingered and resonated in their continued studio practice. For London-based Val Coumant, ‘[it] was exactly what it said on the label – intensive. I haven’t worked so hard since my Psychotherapy training in the 1980’s. Or with such absorption and excitement’. But for Val, ‘the greatest insight was how the pieces I liked best were fortuitous rather than planned. It was like the Zen story about learning to paint bamboo: you go and live in a bamboo grove, and watch the bamboo in spring, summer, autumn and winter; in the morning, at noon, in the evening and in the moonlight; in mist, rain snow and sunlight, year after year. And then you go away and forget about bamboo. That’s when the painting starts’.

2016 Intensives participants relax in the walled garden with a cream tea.

The lasting impact of the week of focused creative activity is something we hear repeatedly. Karina noted, ‘I find that the advice of my tutors still echoes in my head, while I work…along with the memories of a truly fantastic week’.

For more information or to make an application to Falmouth School of Art’s Intensives – this year offered in Abstract Painting, Figure Painting and Observational Drawing, see our website:

www.falmouth.ac.uk/fsaintensivesThe application deadline is 28 April.

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!’

Celebrating the legacy of Anna Maria Fox

BA(Hons) Drawing recently marked its move to the Tanachie Garden Studios with an event in collaboration with Scary Little Girls Productions, which brought to life Falmouth’s most famous philanthropist, Anna Maria Fox.

Scary Little Girls have been marking Anna Maria’s 200th anniversary year with community events, and worked with the Drawing team to bring a modern-day Anna Maria to Falmouth Campus to open the new studios. Anna Maria’s ideas saw the formation of The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society in 1833, home to Falmouth’s first art classes, now The Poly.

The celebration featured children from Mawnan Smith School, who sang, played instruments, performed a dance and told the assembled crowd about Anna Maria’s life. The children then joined BA(Hons) Drawing students and invited guests, including Charles Fox of Glendurgan Garden, for lunch and a portrait drawing class featuring the modern-day Anna Maria Fox – Scary Little Girls’ Patricia Grace-Norton – as the model.

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Intensive short courses this summer at Falmouth School of Art

The Falmouth School of Art Intensives are back!… Online payment image (Gateway)

This summer, Falmouth School of Art is delighted to offer a choice of three intensive five-day courses for practitioners and art educators, delivered by some of Cornwall’s leading artists. All run at Falmouth Campus from 4-8 July and the deadline for application is 29 April 2016.

This year, choose from: Abstract Painting (tutors Simon Averill and Mark Surridge), Figure Painting (tutors Ashley Hold and Jesse Leroy Smith), and Drawing (delivered by the team behind our popular BA(Hons) Drawing course.

As well as generous studio time, the Intensives include daily one-to-one input from expert tutors, tutorials, group discussions and practical sessions and social time.

For more details and to apply: www.falmouth.ac.uk/fsaintensives   

What last year’s Intensives participants say:

“This was a well organised and thoroughly enjoyable week. I very much enjoyed and benefited from talking to the tutors. I came away from this feeling like I had undertaken an MA in a week”.

“The course gave me the time and space to really think through making. This resulted in my work shifting and improving quite radically in five days…and allowed me to develop strategies to tie together various strands into my work more successfully”.

It has helped me put my work into a contemporary context, helped me focus my ideas and practice and given me a boost of energy and inspiration”.

 

A few photos from the FSA Intensives 2015

 

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Last week we held the Falmouth School of Art Intensives for five days.  It was a great success and the work the participants produced was stunning.  Comments from participants included: “The facilities were excellent.  It was a delight to spend five days with other committed artists,” and “I found a new way of working within my usual practice, building a new vocabulary of mark-making and having some new techniques to use.”  We’re already looking forward to the Intensives in Summer 2016!  If you’re interested in more information on the Intensives please email us at schoolofart@falmouth.ac.uk

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Ed Hill on his Spike Island Residency

2014 BA(Hons) Fine Art graduate Ed Hill was awarded the Spike Island Residency, following his studies. Here he shares with current students of the course his reflections on the experience…

Working at Spike Island for three months allowed me to continue the momentum of working post graduation. In my case, this meant painting.

Ed Hill's Spike Island studio space

Ed Hill’s Spike Island studio space

The Residency studio was big and situated among other artists’ studios. After moving timber, paint, canvas and stretchers into my space, I shared the studio with three other recent graduates. With 24/7 access, you are free to come and go anytime, day or night. I enjoyed the access to a wood workshop – where I made stretchers, (there is also a metal workshop and plenty of room for larger scale projects).

The atmosphere was very professional, and it was a realistic and beneficial experience of a totally independent way of working outside of art school. I made paintings for a show, and without the studio, facilities and space it would have been much more challenging to do so.

'At the beach (after Mr and Mrs Andrews)' 100x100cm, oil on canvas

‘At the beach (after Mr and Mrs Andrews)’ 100x100cm, oil on canvas

If you are hoping to carry on working on art projects after graduating, and if you are serious about being artist, the residency is something to aim for – it will provide space, facilities and an opportunity to continue momentum in an art environment at a time when it is increasingly hard to do so. I recommend applying for the residency.

Edward Hill, Standing on a Rock

Edward Hill, Standing on a Rock

Ed Hill was one of four Falmouth alumni selected for the 2014 Bloomberg New Contemporaries which, having toured to Liverpool and London, will be on display at Newlyn and the Exchange Galleries from 21 March – 30 May 2015. You can see Ed’s work as part of that exhibition. Ed was also the recipient of The Falmouth School of Art Purchase Prize 2014 for his Bloomberg-selected piece Standing on a Rock.

Introducing The Falmouth School of Art Intensives

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The Falmouth School of Art | Summer Intensives

6 – 10 July 2015

The Falmouth School of Art has announced an exciting range of five-day Intensives delivered by its specialist tutors. Intensive courses in Abstract Painting, Art & Environment, Book Arts, Drawing, Figure Painting and Printmaking offer practicing visual artists an opportunity to make a step change in their work this summer.

Supported by daily one-to-one input from expert tutors – including some of Cornwall’s leading artists – participants can take part in studio tutorials, group discussions and practical sessions. Working alongside other practitioners in well-appointed studios and workshops in a unique subtropical garden setting, all conveniently close to Falmouth’s vibrant town centre and glorious beaches – there can’t be a better place for concentrated creative activity.

Taking its name from the original art institution founded in 1902, the Falmouth School of Art is part of Falmouth University, the UK’s No. 1 Arts University (as ranked by The Sunday Times 2014). For over a century visual arts have been practiced and taught at the institution, which has an established reputation for excellence.

Dr. Ginny Button, Director of the Falmouth School of Art has commented: ‘The School of Art is hugely popular with our students – understandably so, thanks to its unique combination of beautiful location, great facilities, inspiring legacy, pedagogic excellence and friendly, supportive atmosphere. I’m delighted to be able to open up our facilities to practitioners who want to further develop their work and their professional networks too.’

A two-day Introduction to Investment Casting in Bronze is also available 13-14 July.

How to apply and information: fsaintensives.wordpress.com

Further queries: SchoolofArt@falmouth.ac.uk or phone us on +44 (0)1326 370432