Falmouth School of Art

Interested in Falmouth School of Art at Falmouth University? Find out what our students, staff and alumni get up to…

‘An Hour to Sing – A Journey of Following’

An Hour to Sing – A Journey of Following by Kym Martindale and Caroline Blythe, is a collaboration featuring drawing and writing, published in Edition Three of Elementum Journal.

Images of ‘An Hour to Sing – a Journey of Following’ by Kym Martindale and Caroline Blythe from Edition three of Elementum Journal

Caroline Blythe, a recent BA(Hons) Drawing graduate of Falmouth School of Art, and Dr. Kym Martindale, Senior Lecturer in Falmouth’s School of Writing and Journalism have, over the last three years, been collaborating on a project that has sought to explore and respond to Edward Thomas’s In Pursuit of Spring, an account of a bicycle ride from Guildford to Somerset in 1913.

Between 2012 and 2017, poet and cyclist Kym Martindale began the pursuit of Edward Thomas, riding and writing parts of Thomas’s journey from Winchester to the Quantocks in Somerset. In 2014, Caroline Blythe joined in, equipped with OS maps, and a copy of In Pursuit of Spring, and set off to explore and discover the landscape and locations described in poetry and prose by Martindale and Thomas.

For practical reasons both Kym and Caroline split Thomas’ journey into three distinct areas, visiting these when time allowed, following Thomas on bicycle, foot and at times by car. They recorded snippets of time and place ­– observing and notating the landscape as they travelled. The result is a collection of poems by Dr Kym Martindale and drawings by Caroline Blythe recently published in Edition Three of Elementum Journal.

Images of ‘An Hour to Sing – a Journey of Following’ by Kym Martindale and Caroline Blythe from Edition three of Elementum Journal

We talked with Caroline and Kym to find out more…

Caroline says, “It has been an absolute pleasure to discover and explore both the countryside in the south of England, described so beautifully by Edward Thomas, and also respond to and work with Kym’s wonderful poems, while at the same time recording my own visual observations. As I travelled through the locations described by Edward Thomas and Kym, capturing fleeting moments in sketchbooks, I kept thanking them for introducing me to these beautiful and interesting places. It was a privilege to experience the landscape through their eyes as well as observe for myself. It was a fascinating process. Perhaps the most exciting visual outcomes from this project evolved through this collaborative working process which led to the creation and compiling of palimpsests – an interleaving of tracings of drawings.”

Kym adds, “This research project combined two great passions of mine, poetry and cycling. In Pursuit of Spring describes a landscape on the brink of change, but it is the cradle too of so much of Thomas’s poetry, and an index to the man himself. The poems and drawings are ‘re/tracings’ of journeys made by Thomas, then myself, then Caroline, through a landscape that is constantly changing economically, politically, and aesthetically. And about halfway through the project, we suddenly realised that although we each travelled alone, we were also together in the journey we were making. I am sorry in some measure, that we have arrived.”

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Elementum, founded by Falmouth MA graduate Jay Armstrong, is a biannual publication of new writing and visual arts that explores the natural world and our role within it. Through folklore, literature, poetry, science and specially commissioned art and photography, Elementum quietly brings the reader back to what really matters by nurturing our connection to the natural world and the myths that surround it. The theme of the third edition is ‘roots’ and explores our origins and what sustains us.

If you would like to know more about Elementum journal or purchase a copy of the publication, you can do so by visiting their website: https://www.elementumjournal.com/

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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/

Visiting Professor Graham Rawle to give inaugural lecture at Falmouth

(c) Graham Rawle, from The Wizard of Oz

Author, artist and designer Graham Rawle will give his inaugural lecture as Falmouth School of Art’s Visiting Professor of Illustration on 22 March 2017.

Internationally admired, Rawle is one of the UK’s most interesting and original visual communicators, known by many for his long running ‘Lost Consonants’ strip, which appeared in the Guardian from 1990. A writer and collage artist whose visual work incorporates illustration, design, photography and installation, Rawle has a strong following for his eagerly-awaited published books, which include The Card (shortlisted for the 2013 Writer’s Guild Award), Graham Rawle’s Wonder Book of Fun and Diary of an Amateur Photographer. His collaged novel Woman’s World, created entirely from fragments of found text clipped from vintage women’s magazines won wide critical acclaim, described by The Times as ‘a work of genius…the most wildly original novel produced in this country in the past decade.’ His reinterpretation of The Wizard of Oz won Book of the Year and Best Illustrated Trade Book at the 2009 British Book Design and Production Awards. Alongside these works, Rawle has produced regular series for The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine and The Times.

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Graham Rawle. Photo credit: Jenny Lewis

Rawle’s flair and passion for education has been recognised through honorary appointments and awards. As a previous contributor to both Falmouth School of Art’s guest speaker programme and its Illustration Forum he already has a strong interest in Illustration here. Of his appointment in 2016, Rawle said, “It’s a great honour for me to have been made Visiting Professor of Illustration at Falmouth University. I have long admired the School of Art’s commitment to nurturing original and individual thinking in art and design. My own research in sequential design and visual narrative spans across illustration, literature and, more recently, film. I’m interested in how the principles of storytelling, particularly three-act structure, can be employed in the development of design strategies across a wide range of disciplines. I look forward to finding ways of making connections with students, staff and researchers at Falmouth”.

Rawle has established himself as a ground-breaking research-led writer, illustrator and designer, evidenced through the range and depth of key scholarly texts that cite and analyse his work. He teaches on the MA Sequential Design/Illustration and MA Arts and Design by Independent Project courses at Brighton and in 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate for Services to Design from Norwich University of the Arts.

Graham Rawle’s lecture at our Falmouth Campus is free, but registration is required, as seats are limited: Click here to register through our Eventbrite page.

Find out more about our BA(Hons) Illustration and MA Illustration: Authorial Practice.

 

International awards for Falmouth Illustration alumni

Two of this year’s four winners of the BolognaRagazzi Award are alumni of Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Illustration. The BolognaRagazzi Award is one of the world’s most highly regarded international prizes in children’s publishing, giving winners extraordinary visibility, including through high profile recognition at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

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Emma Lewis won the Opera Prima category for The Museum of Me, by Tate Publishing. She said, ‘Winning the award was an amazing surprise, as I hadn’t even considered that I would be put forward. I’m also pleased because it reflects all the brilliant hard work put in by my publishers, Tate’.

2012 graduate William Grill won the Non-fiction category for his book The Wolves of Currumpaw, published by Flying Eye Books. Grill said ‘I am over the moon that Wolves was chosen for this year’s non-fiction category, I had never imagined that it would be so well received overseas. Since my aim was to bring Seton’s tale to a modern audience, I now feel more hopeful that more people will appreciate the story’.

The Wolves of Currumpaw has also been long listed for this year’s CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, the UK’s oldest award for Children’s literature, previously won by some of the best loved children’s illustrators, including Quentin Blake and Raymond Briggs. Grill won the Medal in 2015 for his acclaimed Shackleton’s Journey.

Alongside Grill on the Kate Greenaway Medal long list is Levi Pinfold, who graduated from Falmouth in 2006. Pinfold – also a previous Medal-winner, in 2013 for Black Dog – has been selected for his picture book Greenling, published by Templar Publishing. The Kate Greenaway Medal short list will be announced on 16 March, with the winners announced at a ceremony in June.

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.

MA Illustration Alumna, Heidi Ball, wins international writers competition

Heidi Ball, Illustrator and Writer, who graduated from the MA Illustration: Authorial Practice course in 2013 has won the 2016 Iceland Writers Retreat (IWR) writing competition with her short story ‘White Light’.  The competition to win a spot on the retreat has been running for three years and attracted over 350 entries from around the world.

The IWR will take place in Aprwhite-light-heidi-ballil this year and is a space for writers and those who enjoy the craft of writing to retreat and to foster their creative spirit.  Over the course of the retreat participants can choose to enroll in small group writing workshops led by internationally acclaimed authors, Q&A panels, numerous readings, social functions and the opportunity to explore the Icelandic countryside.

Heidi says “I’m really looking forward to the IWR 2017 retreat in April – there are some amazing speakers and I’ve been lucky enough to book on five of the workshops, with; Claudia Casper, Sara Gruen, Bret Anthony Johnston, Madeleine Thien and Meg Wolitzer. Goodness, what a line-up. I cannot wait!”

 

White Light, by Heidi Ball (471 words)

The old man watched from the dryness of the shore. On black sand in a black night. He tilted his head upwards, waiting for the clouds to pass.

He would always come here, he knew that. This was where his heart was held. A tiny beating thing. The land was so vast, so strong, and only here he remembered his place.

This time, he stood with his family, his son by his side, a man now. And they gazed together, waiting for the moon.
He had always told him on each return, that you should never fear the moon, but only fear what you find reflected there of yourself. The only true advice he could think of, as he doubted again what he himself might see.

The moon slipped silently into vision. Its light fell upon them. He tried to remember to breath. The whiteness slid along the ground, over the water and rocks and over their own small frames.

His wife, slipped her hand through the shadows and grasped his. Her hair greyed, as had his, but she hadn’t aged. Her eyes spoke of youth and the chilled air had awoken her complexion.

They aligned themselves, ready to see, ready to understand. This was the land of the moon, created in its likeness and only here, it felt like a homecoming. A resting place for the eternal.

No words were spoken aloud, they were quieted in time. Their annual trip to this place brought that moment of peace. He thought of the next year and the next, and wanted to be here to see them all. His grandchild would make the trip and he could tell her about, it all, you had to feel as well as see.

He closed his eyes to soak in the light. Then opened them wide to see what would be revealed. He was consumed by that moon. Its detail etched into his mind. The variations of its surface, pitted with memory.

His wife turned to him, squeezed his hand one last time that year. She nodded at the moon and smiled. He wondered why, always wondered how it could be, them standing here.

The gentle wind pushed back the veil and he found his hand empty once again. The moment had passed. He appreciated his son’s company with a glance, and turned for a final look up to the sky. He mouthed his thanks.

This is where he’d remember her, his wife. Her laugh, her voice whispering to him. He felt his son’s hand on his shoulder. She had slipped away, but he couldn’t bring himself to let go. This is where they had met, this is where they came each year, and she would always turn up, like tonight, when the light was just right. On the black sand, under the white moon.

 

Falmouth School of Art Guest Speakers announced for spring 2017

The Falmouth School of Art Guest Speaker Programme resumes in February with a series of events featuring acclaimed artists and illustrators…

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Artist Joey Holder starts the season with a talk on 8 February. Working with scientific and technical experts, Holder makes immersive, multi-media installations that explore the limits of the human and how we experience non-human, natural and technological forms. Mixing elements of biology, nanotechnology and natural history against computer programme interfaces, screen savers and measuring devices, she suggests the impermanence and inter-changeability of these apparently contrasting and oppositional worlds: ‘everything is a mutant and a hybrid’. For a recent exhibition – against the backdrop of the emergent field of computational biology and the Google Genomics project – Holder invented ‘Ophiux’, a speculative pharmaceutical company, imagining its use of genetic sequencing equipment and biological machines to collect data from humans and to sample data from other organisms. She explains: ‘It seems as if everything has become a branch of computer science, even our own bodies probed, imaged, modelled and mapped: re-drawn as digital information’.

On 15 February artist Chantal Joffe will be in conversation with Falmouth School of Art’s Director Dr. Ginny Button. Joffe’s figurative paintings usually depict women or girls, from catwalk models, porn actresses and literary heroines to mothers, children and loved ones. Her paintings question expectations of what a feminist art might be, often pointing to how appearances are constructed – whether in a fashion magazine or the family album – and to the choreography of display. Sometimes shown in groups but recently in iconic portraits, her images of women draw loosely on a range of sources such as photographs, magazines and even reflections in the mirror, using distortion to make her subjects seem more real. Her paintings achieve a psychological and emotional force, prompting reflection on ever-changing human relations and the endless complexity of looking.

1 March sees a return to Falmouth of Illustrator, author and Falmouth Honorary Fellow Posy Simmonds. Simmonds’ work includes many books for adults and children, including Literary LifeLulu and the Flying Babies and Fred, the film of which was nominated for an Oscar. Working across a range of formats and contexts, Simmonds is probably best-known for her series of weekly cartoon strips commissioned by the Guardian since 1977. Gemma Bovery, her reworking of Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary into a satirical tale of English expatriates in France appeared first in the Guardian before publication as a graphic novel in 1999. Acclaimed by the critics for its wit and wickedly sharp observation, it was made into a feature film in 2014. Her prize-winning graphic novel Tamara Drewe also became a very successful film, directed by Stephen Frears.

Falmouth School of Art’s new Visiting Professor of Illustration delivers his inaugural lecture on 22 March. Graham Rawle is an internationally admired writer and collage artist whose visual work incorporates illustration, design, photography and installation. He has produced regular series for The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine and The Times and among his published books are The Card, The Wonder Book of Fun, Lying Doggo, and Diary of an Amateur Photographer. His collaged novel Woman’s World, created entirely from fragments of found text clipped from vintage women’s magazines won wide critical acclaim, described by The Times as ‘a work of genius…the most wildly original novel produced in this country in the past decade.’ He is perhaps best known to some for his long running ‘Lost Consonants’ strip, which first appeared in the Guardian in 1990.

We finish the 2016-17 Guest Speaker Programme with a TateTalk at Falmouth by Fine Art alumna (2001) Jessica Warboys. Warboys works across painting, performance, film and sculpture. Her talk is in association with Tate St. Ives, which in March will present a major solo show of Warboys’ work. The show will feature films, sculptures, large scale paintings, and Sea Paintings commissioned for the show and created along the Cornish coast. In her Sea Paintings, Warboys explores the connection between painting and performance, submerging damp, folded canvas scattered with coloured pigments into the sea, and allowing the movement of the waves to ‘paint’ the canvas.  Her work is informed by personal or collective memories – hystorical, mythical or fictional. Warboys currently lives and works in Suffolk and Berlin and has enjoyed wide international exhibition success, including solo exhibitions. Her work was recently included in British Art Show 8.

Registration is required for these events, and is open now: http://falmouthschoolofart.eventbrite.co.uk

See all Falmouth University events on our website: www.falmouth.ac.uk/events