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

Archive for September 22, 2017

Plymouth Art Weekender 2017 – Day 1

Last year I documented what I saw of the Plymouth Art Weekender, an annual city-wide art event where different galleries and venues open up to the public with temporary art installations made by artists based in Plymouth and abroad. It takes place over three days, and there are lots of exhibitions and events to enjoy.  This year, as an official blogger for PAW, I will try to cover as many of this year’s art installations as I can!

Today, I was part of an art tour surrounding We The People Are The Work, a project that “will explore ideas of power, protest and the public” and involves exhibitions by five sets of international artists in five different venues.  Each project involves working with the public in some way.

People who want to view the exhibitions can visit them individually but the curator Simon Morrissey suggested it is best enjoyed as a tour, starting at Peninsula Arts, then Plymouth College of Art, on to Plymouth Arts Centre, then the Council House, and finally to KARST gallery.

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Image depicting brainstorming for We The People Are The Work (PenArts)

We did our tour in a slightly different order, but still began in Plymouth University’s Peninsula Arts (PenArts) gallery, with a video installation by artists Antonio Vega Macotela and Eduardo Thomas called Advice From a Caterpillar.  The artists are from Mexico City and when they were approached to create a piece for WTPATW they researched Plymouth and decided to do a piece collaborating with extras who had been in the Tim Burton film Alice in Wonderland.  The piece features locations which appeared in the movie or that the actors wanted to talk about.

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Advice From A Caterpillar (PenArts)

Peninsula Arts also has the first of two big black walls called We The People Are The Words which the public are encouraged to write words or doodle on using the provided chalk.

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Cat doodle I drew with chalk in PenArts

We moved on to the second part of our tour, an exhibition in Plymouth Arts Centre (PAC) by Ciara Phillips.  The space has been transformed with new colours, shapes and patterns on the walls and large prints everywhere.

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View of the cafe area in PAC from the ground floor

 

Parts of the gallery have been turned into workspaces with a darkroom, screen printing area, and a relaxing space for reading.  Every week new work will be created here by different groups of people working with Ciara, and that work will be added to the display changing the space over time, until the show ends in November.

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A higher view, this time of the same two prints and a small printing workshop (PAC)

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Screenprinted artwork (PAC)

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A small tent, as part of an art piece about anxieties and peace (PAC)

The second big black wall and chalk set is at Plymouth Arts Centre, and I drew another cat.

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My cat in PAC

We moved on to the Council House which is not usually open to the public because it is still a working building, but the city museum have been negotiating with the council to be able to use it while the museum is being remodelled.  The piece here has been planned by artist Peter Liversidge.  Peter started with doing text generating projects with different members of the public, and the pieces of text were reviewed by the council (to check for anything “problematic”) then compiled into a large book.

The gallery space is taken up with a large white stage where every day two or three sign painters will take requests from visitors, who can choose any piece of text from the book, and create big cardboard signs from them.

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Sign painters painting and assembling signs (Council House)

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Signs painted with the word “nothingness” on top of a cabinet (Council House)

On the way to the next exhibition, we stopped to look at the billboards outside the Council House for the #AtlanticProject.  These bring up questions about what it means to be a good neighbour.

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My favourite of the “Good Neighbour” billboard series

We moved on to KARST for the next WTPATW exhibition.  The artists here are a feminist collective called Claire Fontaine.  As soon as the door opened we smelled burning and smoke.  The first piece here is a huge arrangement of thousands of matches set in the shape of the United Kingdom.  Students from Plymouth College of Art took five days to place the 58500+ matches, and they were set alight on Thursday evening.  The whole place filled up with smoke and parts of the gallery have actually been burned and melted by the process, which was documented.

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View of Claire Fontaine’s piece from a small hole cut out of a doorway (KARST)

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Burned matches in Claire Fontaine’s piece (KARST)

The second room is completely filled with red light and here there are neon signs, some of which are animated and seem to respond to each other.

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A scary message in the second room of Claire Fontaine’s exhibition (KARST)

On the way to the last exhibition we passed by another PAW art piece, The Truth Wall.  This features political letterpress prints by Kiss & Bite Letterpress Studio.

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The Truth Wall

The last stop on our tour was Plymouth College of Art (PCA).  In the gallery here is a film and sound installation by Matt Stokes.  This piece looks at DIY culture and how live music venues are disappearing locally.  Four local independent bands are filmed playing their music live at the locations of once iconic, but now closed, music venues.

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The Bus Station Loonies performing at Plymouth’s recently closed bus station (PCA)

 

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Suck My Culture performing in a flat on the site of the old Van Dike Club

Tomorrow I will be going to The Plymouth Athenaeum to take part in PAW myself at the YEA Plymouth table.  We will be giving away free copies of our collaborative zine YEA ’17 which features work by ten young artists aged 11-16.  This is a Plymouth Art Weekender project and our first big project together.  We will also be selling zines by YEA Plymouth members and badges to raise money for future projects together.

You can find out more about these events and exhibitions online on the Plymouth Art Weekender website.

These are my posts from last year’s PAW event:

Plymouth Art Weekender 2016 – Day 1

Plymouth Art Weekender 2016 – Day 2 – Part 1

Plymouth Art Weekender 2016 – Day 2 – Part 2

Plymouth Art Weekender 2016 – Day 2 – Part 3

Plymouth Art Weekender 2016 – Day 3

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