Art, reviews and thoughts from a young artist in Plymouth, UK.

Archive for April, 2017

Emerging Natural Beauty exhibition at Ocean Studios

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Today I went to the Ocean Studios gallery to see the exhibition Emerging Natural Beauty which is part of the Home Grown series of pop up exhibitions by local artists.

Alice and Bethany Antliff are sisters who are studying 3D Design Craft, specialising in ceramics and glass, at Plymouth College of Art. Both artists’ work takes inspiration from nature. From a distance Bethany’s piece Symbiotic Beauty looked like real twigs covered in blossoms and moss, but up close I could see her detailed work with porcelain and glazes wrapped around wire. It is pretty and fragile and stepping back again I thought that each branch looked like a dancing figure.

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Bethany’s Charred Bark vases are incredibly realistic and it’s hard to believe they were created and not grown. She has created ceramic bowls using the same colours and shades that seem as if they are ancient finds.

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Several of Bethany’s pieces feature mushroom shaped glass which appear to be growing out of them. I really like Bethany’s work which made me feel very calm.

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Alice’s pieces are incredibly fragile and delicate. Her Daisies Daisies Daisies collection are porcelain vases, bowls, and decorative pieces which have been ‘wallpapered’ with tiny porcelain daisies. She creates the daisies from a mould made using real flowers, then hand applies them individually so the entire piece is covered in overlapping flowers.

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Alice’s piece Destruction is inspired by deforestation. This piece made me feel sad and is a really effective statement about this issue.

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Alice has also created delicate flower-shaped jewellery and I really liked her intricate earrings and how she has displayed them.

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Renovat Moody is an African born artist also studying 3D Design Crafts, specialising in glass blowing, at PCA and is influenced by nature and their African heritage. Renovat’s The Essence of Africa vase collection have strong and bright colours and shapes and made me think of fruit and seeds.

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Renovat also has some framed pieces on display, including a copper wire piece that has been twined and threaded with beads. This piece looks like a tree covered in colourful birds.

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One of my favourite pieces on display was Renovat’s framed picture of the world where all the land is made of computer chips and circuitboard. The piece is put together so carefully and accurately, and even tiny islands are marked out. I could look at this and follow the coastlines for hours with my eyes and i’d love to see a bigger piece made the same way.

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The three artists completely filled every corner of the exhibition space and it’s amazing to consider how much work these students have created already! On display was also projected footage Behind the Scenes of their work in progress by Emma Pontin, and a film called Ink Flows by Jake Davey, Matthew Howard, Nat Goddard, Kristin Dodge, and Terry Lee Thurlow. Their films provided a relaxing soundtrack to the whole exhibition.

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Finally there were some pieces on display and up for auction to raise money for the Devon Wildlife Trust. I really liked Jane McEwen’s bowls with endearing messages stamped into them.

The new exhibition at Ocean Studios Gallery will open on Wednesday.

The Art of Truth In The Digital Age

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Ocean Studios Opening Hours!

Today I went to see a pop-up exhibition at Ocean Studios in the Royal William Yard.  The exhibition is The Art of Truth in the Digital Age and the artists are Oona Wagstaff and Alan Qualtrough.  The work on display “explores the cosequences of digital communications technology on our society such as the spectacle and the changing nature of truth and reality.”

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Prints by Alan Qualtrough

Alan leads workshops on letterpress printing and explained to us how it was done.  It sounded similar to using stamps but instead using big wooden blocks with letters carved into them.  I’ve seen one of the prints in the PCA Pre-degree Centre, and Alan said that he has been working with a group of students there.  This installation of his letterpress prints  seems like a protest against misuse of social “meedia” and lies that are spread digitally.  It is a striking and colourful display and the simple slogans made me really think about the messages I see and hear every day.  Interestingly, one of the most interesting prints seemed completely blank until I took a very close look, but you’ll have to visit to see it for yourself! 

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Letterpress print by Alan Qualtrough

This print feels louder then the others because of it’s huge, blocky typeface and dark colour.  I liked the way that the print isn’t completely finished in places and Alan explained that this technique is called a ‘kiss’, whereas a strong complete print is called a ‘bite’.  I’ve never done any letterpress printing but seeing this exhibition and meeting Alan has gotten me really interested in trying it out for myself!

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Oil on board by Oona Wagstaff

This abstract piece by Oona Wagstaff is a painting, but her paintings felt more like sculptures when I viewed them up close.  She layers oil paint on board and there are sections cut out of the boards which made me want to stroke them and feel the edges. 

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"Information Bomb" by Oona Wagstaff

Information Bomb is a silkscreen of a graphite drawing by Oona.  It is dark and scary but still beautiful, and so are her black and white monotype prints. Both Oona and Alan will be in the gallery at different times throughout the exhibition if you want to talk to them or have any questions.

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A story box by Fi Smart

The shop at the front of the gallery has several pieces by artists from Ocean Studios including this story box by Fi Smart.  Her story boxes are cute and inspiring.  We have been making houses with story box rooms at my Saturday Arts Club and these have given me some ideas.

The Art of Truth in the Digital Age exhibition is part of Home Grown, a month of pop-up exhibitions at Ocean Studios by various Plymouth Artists.  I hope I can go to and report on all of them!

Links for more information:

Ocean Studios

Alan Qualtrough and his
Kiss & Bite Letterpress Workshops

Oona Wagstaff

Fi Smart

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