Today in Plymouth! Nowhere Illustration Fair, open from 12 till 6, in The Clipper on Union Street. I’ll be selling work alongside a bunch of local illustrators, makers, and more, so make sure to come and check it out!
Open to all, but under 16’s should come with an adult. Learn to make a minizine or work on a more substantial project (Halloween themes encouraged!). I’ll be bringing useful DIY zinemaking equipment like pens, old magazines, glue, scissors, paper, a large paper cutter/guillotine and a booklet stapler. I’ll also be bringing the Plymouth Zine Library collection, and books on making zines and comics.
Anyone can have a go at making a zine, you don’t need to be the world’s best artist, or photographer, or writer. If you have something you want to say or ideas you want to work through, zinemaking is an ideal way of doing it. You can make a random collage zine, a humour zine, a comic, a culture/music/film fanzine, a personal zine, a political zine, an art zine..
Come along and if you’re new to this I’ll get you started. If you’re not new, bring a project or start a new one with company and free tea and coffee!
When: Sunday 28th October 1-5pm
Cost: £2 per person towards rent and materials
Where: Union Corner, Union Street, Stonehouse, PL1 3EZ
Studio 102 is an independent studio and gallery space near The Barbican at 102 Vauxhall Street, primarily focusing on creating a space for student, graduate, and emerging artists. The artists featured in Studio 102 display exciting and innovative work, and the shows I’ve seen at the gallery usually encourages the artists to work with new media and push themselves to experiment.
This year for the Plymouth Art Weekender, Studio 102 hosted a live Paint Jam. Over the whole weekend, visitors could come in and watch different artists painting large square canvasses based on spontaneous concepts they had for the event.
Outside the studio was a temporary wall where graffiti artist Yannis Nicolaou was leading drop-in workshops for visitors to try spray painting for themselves. The wall had been painted over throughout the weekend, layer upon layer, so it was colourful and fun yet chaotic!
I’ve seen work by Yannis at a previous exhibition in Studio 102, and really enjoyed his work, which was inspired by science fiction and horror films. He handed me a can of paint and told how to do a few basic strokes, then let me experiment for myself. Spray painting is more difficult than I expected, as you need quite a lot of control, it’s so easy to put too much paint on and make it drip. Though it was hard, I still found it to be really fun, and plan to try again with some paints I was given some time ago. Yannis also sprayed up my little sister’s name, which made her happy!
I visited Studio 102 several times over the weekend, and so I managed to see how some of the paintings progressed.
Farrah Seyedi is a textile designer/maker who worked in a different paint each day, layering ready mixed paint with acrylic and finally oils. She was still working on her painting when I took the photo below on Sunday afternoon, creating a bright playful pattern with a lot of texture that I can imagine printed on fabric.
Steve Pinchess completed two seperate pieces in the span of two days. I watched him brush on his first layer of oil paint in the painting below and then came back and saw the finished painting a few hours later. It was amazing how he could complete this piece so quickly, it is definitely inspiring to see what can be achieved in such a short time. The final artwork looks alive and I can imagine it animated for a movie.
John Chan (Swolf) also did his entire painting on Sunday. He usually works in acrylics but this time he did his work in oils. He said he was in “a Bill Murray mood” so chose to do this portrait based on an image from Lost In Translation. I watched him creating Bill Murray’s face from a blank oval as he added highlights and shadows, and as he built on the canvas it was almost like watching magic happen.
Nona Finne was also experimenting with oils in her painting of a woman rising from a mountain range. Between Friday and Sunday she added lots of layers and texture, and the sharpness on the woman’s face and mountain peaks contrasted with the blur of blue and orange surrounding them to create this dreamlike painting.
I was lucky to be able to be able to speak with Tomhas Rayment as he worked on his piece with Tombow brush pens and water. His work was expressive and open, and he knew exactly where to put each stroke intuitively and how the colours would blend. He showed me his technique and it was fascinating to watch him work. He talked to me about his career so far as an artist and designer and gave me a lot to think about.
Some of the other paintings I liked but wasn’t able to see in progress included the ones below. Unfortunately I don’t know all of the artists’ names but I am happy to add links if anyone reading does! The first canvas here was covered in glue drips then painted over to give a three dimensional effect that looks like rain streaming down a window. I spoke with the artist but unfortunately didn’t get her name, I really like her work here.
The milk piece on the left below is by graffiti and community artist Jon Lilly, but I don’t know who did the work on the right.
Studio 102 is one of my favourite places in Plymouth to visit, as it is always unpretentious and playful. It is just around the corner from all of the Plymouth College of Art campuses and I really recommend that everyone who likes art and illustration visits their exhibitions, you can follow their Facebook page for regular updates.
Plymouth College of Art (or PCA) is a local art college thats spans across three campuses, each with a different set of courses – Tavistock Place (Undergrad and Postgrad), Palace Studios (Foundation Diploma), and Palace Court (Pre-Degree). PCA always has really interesting and innovative projects for Plymouth Art Weekender, and they have almost always featured their own staff and students to show off their artwork.
For PAW ’18, in Palace Studios there was an exhibition of work made by Foundation Art & Design students called It WILL Change!. For this project, all the participating artists had to base their work around the theme for the exhibition – protest and activism. They had an extremely short amount of time to produce this work as a challenge, but were allowed to submit recent artwork that did play into the theme. I was really impressed about how well it came together and the variety of artwork. Here are a few of my favourites:
There was also a long piece of paper (called a “colouring wall”) stretched out on the floor that was filled with black and white doodle drawings to colour in. The project was intended to draw attention to how tools like colouring books are promoted as forms of therapy, but that they can’t be a substitute for professional care, which is difficult to access.
Dr. Antigoni Pasidi is a lecturer in Fine Art at PCA, and is also a visual artist herself. Her piece, Self Made Structures, is a sculptural installation incorporating screenprinting of photography and text on tarpaulin.
YEA ’18 visit from PCA Young Arts Club!
My group YEA Plymouth had our own event on Saturday comprising our exhibition of work by 11-19 year old artists YEA ’18, and also a workshop space with different creative activities. I will be writing all about this later, but for now I want to say how cool it was to have this year’s PCA National Saturday Club visit our event with their tutor Kate Marshall, especially as I am an alumni of NatSatClub myself (2016-17) when Kate was my own tutor.
It was really good to see her new class and to think they might enjoy or be inspired by the work I am doing now with other young artists. I hope some of them consider joining YEA and taking part in our future projects with us.
The Clipper is a new cafe and marketplace with a creative focus, renovated from a notorious pub on Union Street. This was their debut as a Plymouth Art Weekender venue and inside were several spaces holding different artists, including textile artists, printmakers, jewellery makers, a pyrographic artist, and even artisan pizza.
Since The Clipper opened earlier in the summer The Truth Wall by Alan Qualtrough of Kiss & Bite Press has been a feature. Alan regularly updates the Wall with new letterpress posters, influenced by current events and requests from local people.
More pictures of The Truth Wall:
This year Sue Lewry, a highly regarded and friendly local artist, was providing screenprinting workshops with her son Will, who is a young artist himself, using a small portable unit in their shop Colossal. I was able to have a go with Will’s help, and created a greetings card. The design of their shop is beautiful with colourful geometric prints that really stand out.
More photos from Colossal:
Next door were the Two Steves and their Butcher’s Shop (Steve Clement Large and Stephen Beer). I really like their painted and glazed slate fridge magnets and caricature paintings.
More photos from The Butcher’s Shop, including their piece The Crucifiction of Communication:
The portable coal and wood fired pizza oven was right at the back of the building and Just Dough were running a simple make your own pizza workshop. My dad made us a delicious caramelised onion and salami pizza with mozzarella and parmesan.
Nudge Community who run The Clipper have been really supportive of me this summer, giving me space to work and try new things with my art, and also supporting YEA ’18 with a space to meet young artists for work on the project as well as help managing our funding. Laura Kelly from Nudge even made it over to our exhibition despite having a thousand things to manage herself, and I got this picture of us together.
More posts about other venues I visited over the Weekender will follow soon!