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

Posts tagged ‘Events’

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.

20170922_111823-816x612

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.

20170922_114100-816x612

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.

20170922_114456-612x816

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.

20170922_120914(0)-816x612

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.

20170922_121025-816x612

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

20170922_121144-612x816

Screenprinted artwork (PAC)

20170922_121516-816x612

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.

Resized pictures - 1.jpg

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.

20170922_124708-816x612

Sign painters painting and assembling signs (Council House)

20170922_124829(0)-612x816

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.

20170922_144348-816x612

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.

20170922_152713-612x816

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

20170922_152701-612x816

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.

20170922_151525-816x612

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.

20170922_154536-612x816

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.

20170922_160841-1305x979

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

 

Screenshot_2017-09-22-16-20-23.png

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

Advertisements

NatSatClub Summer Show 2017

20170617_124748-612x816.jpg

Last year I was a member of the National Saturday Art and Design Club at Plymouth College of Art.  We got to experiment with different media and artforms throughout the year, and take trips to local exhibitions as well as two trips to London for bigger NatSatClub shows featuring our work alongside work made by other groups.

20170617_091531-612x816.jpg

It was really early so at the services I grabbed an iced coffee..

Our final trip to London was on the 17th of June.  We met up really early to catch our coach just after 6am so we could get to the exhibition at Somerset House around 11am.  It was really busy as hundreds of young people from NatSatClubs around the country had come to see their work on display.  We were greeted and each given goody bags of art supplies, water, and snacks, and shown in to the first area where all the Masterclass work was on display.  Our Masterclass was in making word drawings with Barnaby Barford.

20170617_125734-816x612.jpg

Plymouth College of Art’s NatSatClub word drawings done in a Masterclass with Barnaby Barford

20170617_140743-816x612.jpg

Next we went upstairs and had a look around the different clubs’ work.  Plymouth sent in a lot of our work, and the pieces that were chosen for display were our beach glass jewellery, and our glass houses which we made in a class led by our Student Ambassador Ben Lintell.

20170617_135430-816x612.jpg

Some of the members from Plymouth College of Art National Art & Design Saturday Club 2016-17 stood next to our display at Somerset House.

This video shows our glass houses lit from below with a torch to cast shadows on the white wall.

20170617_135649-612x816.jpg

My glass house – the design is based on my home and it was etched by sandblasting

 

20170617_135220-816x612.jpg

Our beach glass jewellery on display

20170617_140014-816x612

My piece of jewellery is the one in the centre.  I found a piece of glass and transferred an image  lighthouse onto the back of it, then encased it in silver.

We were all called into a large room filled with benches for a speech by the National Saturday Club founders, Lord and Lady Sorrell.  Then we were called up one by one and received our Certificates and Yearbooks.

20170617_133446(0)-816x612.jpg

The Plymouth NatSatClub group holding our Certificates

20170617_144039-816x612.jpg

A sneaky picture at the podium when noone was looking..

After the ceremony some of our group went to the National Portrait Gallery, but I stayed to look around the exhibition for a while longer.  There was a huge amount of different types of work on display by young people from the many clubs, including zines, puppets, film, fashion and ceramics.

20170617_142120-816x612.jpg

The first projects of our year were self portraits.  We saw these on display on our previous visit to London but smaller versions had been put together into these huge wall displays.

20170617_142252-816x612.jpg

Self portraits from NatSatClub members

At the end of the day, we met up with the rest of the group to get back to the coach.  Unfortunately, the coach had overheated (it was a really hot day!) and was broken down, leaving us stranded in London!  Our group leaders brought us all water to drink and we took a walk around Covent Garden watching a clown and looking in the Moomin shop.  The coach was fixed in an hour or so, and we headed back on the five hour journey home.

20170617_151843-612x816.jpg

Me at Somerset House

I was sad that some of the work I was most proud of from our many projects wasn’t put on display, but I hope to be able to put photos up of those pieces here soon, and I did have a really good day.   It was really amazing seeing so much work from young artists all in one place and I was really inspired by all that I saw.  I would recommend joining the group to anyone aged from 14 to 16 who likes art and really wants to try different things.

Below are some photos of work from National Saturday Clubs all around the country.  I have included lots here so that people who didn’t get to go on the trip can still enjoy some of the work we saw.

20170617_143940-816x612.jpg

There was a “We Want To Be Heard” banner above the exhibition

20170617_130147-612x816.jpg

Work from Cornwall College

20170617_144917-612x816

Work from Cornwall College

20170617_144945-612x816

Work from Cornwall College

20170617_144953-612x816

Work from Cornwall College

20170617_145016-612x816

Work from Cornwall College

20170617_135128-816x612.jpg

Zines from Kingston University, London

20170617_141013-816x612.jpg

Work from Cleveland College of Art and Design

20170617_141039-816x612.jpg

Work from Cleveland College of Art and Design

20170617_141055-816x612.jpg

Work from Cleveland College of Art and Design

20170617_141154-816x612.jpg

Work from University of West London

20170617_141215-612x816.jpg

Work from University of West London

20170617_141236-612x816.jpg

Work from University of West London

20170617_141256-612x816.jpg

Work from University of West London

20170617_125451-612x816.jpg

Work from Standpoint (a collaborative Masterclass between Ravensbourne and Greater Brighton Metropolitan College)

20170617_141500-816x612.jpg

Work from Cove Park

20170617_141553-612x816.jpg

Work from Ravensbourne

20170617_141626-816x612.jpg

Work from Ravensbourne

20170617_141644-612x816.jpg

Work from Ravensbourne

20170617_141711-612x816.jpg

Work from Ravensbourne

20170617_141736-816x612.jpg

Work from Bradford School of Art

20170617_125935-816x612.jpg

Work from Nottingham Trent University

20170617_142555-816x612.jpg

Work from Highbury College

20170617_142610-612x816.jpg

Work from Highbury College

 

20170617_142701-816x612.jpg

Work from Havering College of Further & Higher Education

 

20170617_130058(0)-612x816.jpg

Work from University of Huddersfield

20170617_130306-816x612.jpg

Work from Coleg Sir Gâr

20170617_145057-816x612

Work from Bolton School of the Arts

20170617_145204-816x612

Work from Bolton School of the Arts

20170617_142747-816x612.jpg

Work from Banbury and Bicester College

20170617_142804-612x816

Work from Banbury and Bicester College

20170617_142840-816x612.jpg

Work from Banbury and Bicester College

20170617_142922-612x816.jpg

Work from Greater Brighton Metropolitan College

20170617_143043-816x612.jpg

Work from Cambridge School of Art

 

 

 

20170617_143059-816x612

Work from Cambridge School of Art

20170617_143139-612x816

Work from Cambridge School of Art

20170617_143219-816x612

Work from East Coast College and Time and Tide Museum

20170617_143322-816x612

Work from Goldsmiths

20170617_143634-816x612.jpg

A frame from an animation by University of Westminster NatSatClub

20170617_144134-816x612.jpg

Zines by University of the Arts London

20170617_144551-816x612

Work by University of the Arts London

20170617_144558-816x612

Work by University of the Arts London

20170617_144610-816x612

Work by University of the Arts London

20170617_144141-612x816.jpg

Zines by University of the Arts London

20170617_144318-816x612.jpg

Work by University of the Arts London

20170617_144742-816x612.jpg

Work by Grimsby Institute

20170617_145451-816x612

Work by Victoria and Albert Museum

20170617_145509-612x816

Work by Victoria and Albert Museum

20170617_145540-816x612

Work by Victoria and Albert Museum

20170617_145609-816x612

Work by University of the Arts London

20170617_145715-612x816.jpg

Work by Cleveland College of Art & Design

20170617_145659-816x612

Work by Cleveland College of Art & Design

20170617_145701-816x612

Work by Cleveland College of Art & Design

20170617_150132-816x612

Work by Cranford Community College

20170617_150204-816x612

Work by Cranford Community College

20170617_150240-612x816

Work by Hull School of Art and Design

20170617_150256-612x816

Work by Hull School of Art and Design

20170617_150306-816x612

Work by Hull School of Art and Design

20170617_150322-816x612

Work by Hull School of Art and Design

20170617_150409-612x816

Work by University for the Creative Arts Rochester

20170617_150424-816x612

Work by University for the Creative Arts Rochester

20170617_150507-816x612

Work by University for the Creative Arts Farnham

20170617_150658-612x816

Robots made by University of Westminster National Science & Engineering Club

20170617_150714-816x612

Work by Kingston University London National Science and Engineering Club

20170617_150747-612x816.jpg

Work by Ravensbourne Science & Engineering Club

Here are some links to previous posts I have written about NatSatClub:

National Saturday Club Part 1

NA&DSC London Trip

NatSatClub Devon Dialect Project

 

 

July Zine Workshop

zineworkshopflyer-July-a5-RGB.jpg

My flyer for the July Workshop

Next week will be my fourth Zine Workshop!  Here are the details:

ZINE WORKSHOP

Saturday 29th July, 1 to 5 pm, £2 entry

@ THINQTANQ, Central Plymouth

Book online at: tcnv.re/zineworkshop

You can read about previous zine workshops here..

 

Talk from Jack Gill at Central Library

On the 19th of January I attended a Careers talk by Jack Gill from So Good Studios in Plymouth Central Library.  So Good Studios is a games development studio based in Plymouth and Jack is the managing director.  Jack set up the company with two of his friends, technical director Sam Hession and creative director Will Hosgood.  The three of them studied Computing and Games Development at Plymouth University together.

Jack was interested in studying programming from an early age but he didn’t get to learn about it much in school.  Luckily his dad was a programmer and would talk to him about it, and bring home games which they would play together.  At sixteen Jack went to college and studied computing alongside english, chemistry, and maths.  He was also interested in and learning about cryptography and making Android apps, and made his first game, which was a text adventure.

Jack then decided to go to university to study computing and games development. He said that on his course he met many people from different backgrounds and with different skills, which is important when working together on projects.  Jack explained how his course worked at university.  Students would choose a module, study for six weeks, then be evaluated on their work.  He met Will and Sam on his course and they became best friends, and realised that their different skills worked well together, so they formed So Good Studios and made their first project, Bath Tubb Pirates.

Three days after their final exam, So Good Studios set up their business in the Formation Zone, which is an “incubator” for start-up buisinesses.  They made their first commercial product, a multiplayer game called Tap Tournament.  Jack said that there are many business and tech networking opportunities in Plymouth, including SOUP crowdfunding events.

Next, Jack talked about the Plymouth Game Devs which he described as a community to foster collaboration and cooperation and involves lots of local developers including So Good Studios, Brainy Beard, Sizeable Games and others.  Plymouth Game Devs organize game jams, and I have been able to take part in three so far; Ludum Dare 36, Games for Better, and the Global Game Jam last weekend.

Finally, Jack gave us “Jack’s Super Cool Advice for Aspiring Game Developers”:

1. Education!

  • Work hard on your studies while you are under 18
  • Studying at university or college is not a necessary route to get into games development but it can be extremely helpful!
  • Learning to find information and teach yourself new things is a vital skill for games developers.  You also need to enjoy learning new things.

2. Community!

  • Joining and building a community with other game developers allows you to show off your games and get support.
  • A community will also help you find people to collaborate with.  This is important because different people bring different skills to a project and splitting work makes it easier and faster to complete a project.
  • Being part of a community can help you to promote your work.

3. Portfolio!

  • Create a portfolio of your projects as you make them so that you can share your games, art, code etc.
  • A portfolio is crucial to your CV to show employers, colleges and clients what you can do!
  • It’s easy to make a portfolio online, for example you could share your work using WordPress, Patreon, YouTube, Tumblr, ArtStation and Scratch.

At the end of the talk Jack answered some questions from the audience.  The room was almost full and I think that the talk was really good!  I’m going to check out ArtStation and I want to get more involved with the Plymouth Game Devs and meet and work with more young games developers.

The Science and Technology Showcase at Plymouth University

20170125_145656-979x1305.jpg

Freebies! My Explore Discover Achieve lanyard, my Event pass, a Plymouth University notepad, and our 3D printed tags from the Electronics stand

Yesterday I went with my brother to a Science and Technology Showcase for secondary school students which was held at Plymouth University.  When we arrived we were given our Event Passes and after a short wait we were shown to a lecture theatre for careers talks from four different speakers.

First was a talk from Grant Cole (Twitter) to talk about the work of being a Geologist.  His work involves studying rocks and fossils, and he has been all over the world, including Iceland, Death Valley, and a salt mine in Sicily.  Grant said that he does lots of field work on his own and he has done his research from the air and off-road.  Parts of his job sounded really exciting – lots of travelling, glacial walking and making new discoveries.

Next was Kathy Redfern (Twitter), who is a nutritionist.  Her work is researching the “impacts of food and nutrition on the health and wellbeing of humans (or animals)” to give advice for the prevention of illness.  She specifically works with pregnant women, and she says some of the benefits of her job is that no two days are the same and she gets to travel around the UK and to Portugal.

The third speaker was Jon Waters who is studying Mathematics and is part of the Theoretical Physics Group.  His current research is in lasers and he explained that normal torches contain a wide band from the visible light spectrum but lasers only contain a narrow band and can concentrate energy to a fine point.  Jon said that his work involves getting used to not knowing the answer.  His work involves coming up with mathematical models and performing theoretical tests and he learns new things every day.

The last talk was from a psychologist called Leonie Cooper.  She has worked at the National Marine Aquarium and now is working with an intelligent robot called Snap.  Her research is in using mental imagery to train people to have healthier behaviours.  She says that people seem to find that robots are less judgemental to talk to than other people.  Leonie is also interested in how games and apps could be used to reach thousands.

20170125_145341-979x1305.jpg

The Basic code I tried out on the BBC Microcomputer

After the talks were finished we went to a big marquee filled with stands from different university departments.  It was split into three sections, and we were given thirty minutes in each section.  First I went to a stand where I took my thumbprint and compared it to one from an imaginary suspect that I lifted with powder and tape.  There was a psychology stand where I did a lie detector test.  I had wires attached to the finger on my left hand and my left ear, and I had to pick a card out of five.  They were shuffled and I had to lie about which card I had as they were turned over one by one. The wires measured skin response (sweat increases conductivity) and heart rate.  The lie detector didn’t pick up my lie I think because I was nervous throughout the whole test!  I also had a quick look at other chemistry and biology stands.

In the next section was a stand for the South West Retro Computing Archive, where I did some coding in Basic on a BBC Microcomputer from the 80’s, and J got the hi-score on Pac-man.  I have been to one of their events before and they have a huge range of retro consoles to play and learn about.  On the BBC computer there is a “return” key instead of an enter key, a “break” key to reset the whole computer, and you have to write your code in numbered lines for the system to read in order.

We then went to the Computing and Games Development stand where me and my brother played Pirate Panic, a game written by some of the students at the stand.  Pirate Panic is a multiplayer game where the players have to work together to keep a ship afloat and moving until it reaches land.  It’s a really fast paced game which encourages you to panic, just like the pirates!  I thought it was exciting and good for teamwork.  I also tried a VR game using a headset and I had to shoot lasers at robots.  It was a lot of fun to play but my arm was aching after a few minutes because the shoot button was on the headset.  We also met and spoke to Nicholas Wade who is in his final year and is working to launch his own games studio called Nikomus Games.

Next I went to the Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Robotics stand.  I watched people play with some of the university’s robots and J used a red ball and a sensor to control LED lights that were on the stand.  There was a challenge to find the right frequency on one machine by turning a knob and getting a turning circle on a small screen to stay still. We were told that the shape the green light was making was a visual representation of the frequency it was on.  J was able to do it but I ran out of time, and we were both given 3D printed tags for taking part.

20170125_145300-979x1305

Some flyers I picked up to learn more about the courses and events at Plymouth University

In the last section there was a Geography stand where I got to try an HTC Vive VR Headset to explore London using Google Earth.  It was brilliant and I loved using the handheld controller and that you could still see it in the virtual space!  We then went to the i-DAT stand where they had a small black dome which we entered.  Inside there was a film projected onto the dome ceiling about being an astronaut. A voiceover explained that there were different levels of G-Force as we watched a CGI representation of a G-Force training machine.  We heard how astronauts need to keep exercising while they are in space so they aren’t too weak when they get back to Earth and we saw an astronaut using an exercise bike.  We also met Luke Christison who works in the Immersive Vision Theatre (in the Planetarium) which we have tickets to visit in a couple of weeks.

The last stand we visited was about meteorites and the Solar System.  I looked at a rock from Mars and compared it to a rock from Earth under a microscope.  A woman working on the stand explained to me that the Earth rock had formed in a volcano, and I could observe that both rocks had been made the same way, so at some point there must have been volcanoes on Mars as well!  There were some pieces of meteorite on the table and a few of them looked alien.  A man from the stand talked to us about the scale of the solar system.  He said if we used a scale of 1 metre to 1 Astronomical Unit (AU), and imagined the Sun was right in front of us, the edge of our Solar System would be in Taunton and our nearest star would be in London!

I really enjoyed going around the marquee and the talks in the beginning were interesting.  My favourite parts were the Retro Games area and the Games Development area, and I really want to try out more VR gaming and exploration technology and learn more about how it works.  I would also like to do more study in electronics and robotics, geology and geography, and psychology, and find out more about Leonie Cooper’s research.

 

NA&DSC London Trip

On the 19th of November I went with my National Art and Design Saturday Club on a coach trip to a Welcome Day for all our groups at Central Saint Martins college and the Tate Britain gallery.

At 6am our coach was in front of the old Plymouth museum.  I found a seat next to a friend and chatted while we waited for the rest of the group.  It was my first time on a coach and it had soft seats with buttons to make them recline and red curtains in the windows.  We set off at 6:20 and me and my friends were excited but tired from being awake so early.  A lot of my group slept for the first part of the journey but after we stopped at Exeter services to stretch our legs and get some snacks almost everyone stayed awake.  We had another five hours or so of travel ahead so we talked about visits that each of us had made to London in the past and told each other funny anecdotes from our lives.  I did some sketching trying out different character faces but my lines were a bit wobbly from the movement of the coach, and I kept dropping my rubber down the side of the seat.

20161206_121814_crop_392x775

Character sketches I made on the coach

20161206_121905-768x1280

I did these sketches of Marvel characters in pencil on the coach and added the ink and watercolour later.

20161121_001318-612x816

This is what my pencil sketch of Quicksilver looked like before inking.  I did this one for my brother and Skyped it to him back at home.

As we travelled through London we took pictures out of the coach windows and pointed out buildings we recognized, like the Gherkin, MI6 and Big Ben.  Our coach dropped us off close to Central Saint Martins and we walked the rest of the way.  Central Saint Martins is a huge building and we noticed that the inside room was so vast that it was almost as cold as it was outside.  We were given stickers to wear to show we were from Plymouth College of Art and ‘perylene maroon’ goodie bags from Cass Art.  In my bag I had an A4 sketchbook, some pencils, a bottle of water and some snacks.  We sat down to have some lunch while our student ambassador Ben played on a piano and we waited for some of the other groups from around the country to arrive.

After lunch we looked at all the other self-portraits from the different groups and a photographer took a picture of us in front of our own portraits.  It felt amazing to have my self-portrait up in a gallery with other young artists’ work.  There was a lot of variety in the style and techniques used in the portraits I saw.  One group, from the Victoria and Albert museum, had used concertinaed paper with two portraits drawn on it so the one that you could see depended on the angle you viewed it from.  Some of these were quite creepy to look at because one side would be a regular portrait and the other side looked strange or demonic.  Other groups had worked with print, photography, pencils or collage.  My group used acrylic paint on pieces of wood and I wrote about that process in a previous blog post.

20161207_133655_crop_597x681

My PCA sticker (stuck to my usual sketchbook), and my new grey sketchbook and perylene maroon bag from Cass Art

cxoept5xcae5ypq

The Plymouth group photo with our self-portraits and goodie bags, posted by @natsatclub on Twitter.  I am on the left in the front row.

img_20161120_143401-1836x2295-1377x1721-1032x1290-619x774

My photo of our self-portraits hung in Central Saint Martins.  Mine is the third from the left on the bottom row.

After looking around the portraits all the groups were shown into a large room for a series of talks.  We learned that even though there were hundreds of us there that day we only represented a third of the total members nationally!  Some groups were so far away they couldn’t make it together and so one family had come alone.  Those of us from Plymouth spent at least 12 hours travelling to London and back that day!  We heard from Cecilia Weckstrom who told us that when she was younger she didn’t know what she wanted to study, and got an apprenticeship with a children’s book company and learned about graphic design, and now she works for Lego and is a Trustee for the NA&DSC.  The director of the Saturday Club Trust, Sorrel Hershberg, and Jeremy Till, the Head of Central Saint Martins, both gave us information about the Saturday Arts Club and thanked the founders Sir John Sorrell and Lady Frances Sorrell.

When we came out of the room, ginormous pieces of paper were rolled out for us all to draw on and there were people holding big buckets with tons of crayons, pens and pencils for us to use.  My group didn’t have a lot of time before we got back on the coach but we sat on the floor for a short while and I drew my friend and myself.  There were a lot of cool doodles and there were tons of kids drawing each other.  After that I bought myself a big red NatSatClub hoodie and we got back on the coach for the next part of our trip.

All the groups headed to different venues around London and mine headed to the Tate Britain gallery.  We got a short tour around a few of the pieces of art on display and our tour guide and our tutor Kate encouraged us to talk about and critique what we saw.  We studied each piece for a few minutes and tried to think of single words that described how we felt or the impression we got from the artworks.  One piece that I found intriguing was Fiona Banner’s Break Point which is a huge canvas painted white with red marker pen text describing a chase scene from the movie Point Break.  The shade of red that she used and the way the text got closer together towards the bottom of the piece made me tense and it seemed very aggressive.  I haven’t seen the film, but I hope to soon so I can see what happens next!

We moved on to the Turner Prize 2016 Exhibition.  The Turner Prize is a contemporary art award given every year to a British artist chosen from four nominees.  My favourite piece on display was an installation by Michael Dean which was a pile of pennies equal to one penny less than its title, United Kingdom poverty line for two adults and two children: twenty thousand four hundred and thirty six pounds sterling as published on 1st September 2016.   Me and my friends thought it would be fun to roll around in it all.  It sounds like a lot of money but it didn’t feel like it when I saw it as a pile of pennies.  There was an enourmous gold sculpture of a butt by Anthea Hamilton called ‘Project For Door (After Gaetano Pesce)’ and people were laughing and taking silly photos near it.  I thought it was absurd in a funny way.  Visitors were invited to write their thoughts about the exhibition and pin them up outside the gallery, so we did that and then left to make the long trip home.

img_20161120_145051-786x612

My sketches of my friend on the left and myself on the right surrounded by other young artists’ contributions to the big drawing papers

20161205_185508-612x816

Me at home in my hoodie

20161119_164522-816x612

Michael Dean’s installation

On the journey home I took some more pictures of London lit up at night, and everyone was wide awake and in the back someone was playing music.  It was such an exciting day, me and my friends ended up having laughing fits for ages for no real reason.  We stopped at services to get dinner, but we panicked because we thought we had taken too long but it turned out we were back before most of the group.  We settled down eventually and it got quieter and some people fell asleep, and I carried on working in my sketchbook.  We got back to Plymouth at around 11 and I was exhausted.  The whole day was absolutely amazing and I’m really thankful to have had the opportunity to be part of it.

Plymouth Art Weekender Day 3

The 25th of September was Day 3 of the Plymouth Art Weekender.  Here are links to my earlier posts about the event: Day 1 and Day 2 (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

20160925_134834-01-1

My little sister on the merry-go-round at Union Street Party 2016

Day 3 was a Sunday so we relaxed in the morning then headed to the Union Street Party, where last year I took part in my first public participation art project “Painter Pitcher” (organised by Amy Whittingham), with my brother and my dad.  That was a lot of fun and I was looking forward to seeing what was happening at the party this year.  The flyer for the Weekender said there would be a print workshop from Double Elephant and I really wanted to give that a try as I have seen their workshop leaflets at PCA in the past and they look really interesting.

We arrived as a band was setting up on the main stage and a woman from the We Are Plymouth booth asked if we wanted to take part in their photo project to celebrate Plymouth’s people and communities.  Me and my brother were given a small whiteboard to write “We are Plymouth” on (I added a doodle of my own!) and a badge each to wear for our photo.  Unfortunately we didn’t take a photo of our own because we thought they would be posted online but their Instagram account is empty!

20161012_134511-1

Instructions and ticket for Marcella Finazzi’s installation at Sloggett and Son, and my We Are Plymouth badge

We carried on walking around and had fun messing about on a bouncy castle and a rodeo bull.  Next to the bouncy castle were two men playing music with a guitar and drums and they were encouraging members of the public to join in. We watched a woman singing an Elvis song and a few young boys taking turns on the mic and drums, and there was a really great atmosphere around this part of the Party.  Right next door was Sloggett and Son, a shop that sells vintage furniture and they were hosting an installation of instant photos and sound recordings called “What we talk about when we talk about love” by Marcella Finazzi.  We got into line to participate and Marcella gave us a ticket and instructions on what to do.  We wrote about what love means to us on slips of paper and she took our photo for her album.  Being around all the vintage furniture while listening to to the conversations through the headphones made me feel like I was inside someone’s house and part of their family.  When we left we were given another slip of paper each with a ‘love thought’ printed on it.   Mine read “You look good today” and my brother’s read “I believe in you”.

20160925_132919-1

Instant photo of my family by Marcella Finazzi

We heard music and saw people dancing and went to watch for a few minutes then went into the Camper Obscura.  This is a camper van that has been converted into a Camera Obscura that you can sit inside!  We all went in and the man running the van closed the door to shut out the light.  We sat opposite each other on benches and he gave us a big whiteboard to hold flat on our laps.  He opened a hole in the roof with mirrors inside and the reflections of outside the van came in and were shown on the whiteboard.  We had to raise and lower it to get the picture in focus.  I loved this, it was a great experiment and I want to build my own camera obscura at home to better understand how they work.  After we came out the man took a polaroid of us to put on the door alongside pictures of all the other people who had visited that day.  I have my own Instant 1000 Polaroid Land Camera which I used last year for my Max Caulfield cosplay, I don’t know if it works but I am going to save up and get some film (there is a shop on the Barbican called So Perfect Images that sells it) to try out because I really like the way they work and the photos they make, and I’ve been really inspired by the different artists using instant film throughout the Weekender.

20160925_134321

Polaroid in development of my family by the man with the Camper Obscura

 

We looked up and down Union Street again and ate some delicious apples which we hand-turned into long spirals with a little machine, but we couldn’t find the Double Elephant workshop.  We were a little disappointed about that but otherwise we did have a really good time at this years Union Street Party, and I really liked all the different ways there were to get involved in the artworks happening there, however it was time to move on to our next destination.

We drove over to Devonport Guildhall for the Chrysalis exhibition of work by the artists from Flameworks.  All of the artists are making different things, from illustrations to metalwork and jewellery.  One of my favourite displays was “Teapotty” by Peter Heywood which was a selection of teapots made from different materials, including tea leaves, cubes of beech wood, lead, cocktail sticks, and chocolate.  The teapot made of cubes of wood made me think of 3D pixel art brought to life and there was something quite humorous about the collection.  I also liked “Resurrection” by Ati Charlesworth, a mixed media drawing of an old tree trunk with fresh branches and leaves growing from it.  The trunk was drawn with ink dots but Ati used watercolour and gold paint on the leaves and the new wood to bring it to life.  Another drawing I liked was “Shadow of a Previous Life” by Louise Rabey.  This was quite a sad picture based on a memory Louise had of a beloved pet who passed away when she was young.  There were lots more pieces of art on display here, my brother and sister’s favourite was “Salix II” by Piers Edsall which is a big steel musical sculpture with rods that the two of them made a lot of noise with!

Before we left the Guildhall we went downstairs to the cafe and I had a piece of treacle tart that had a layer of jam in it, and looked around Lynsey Johnstone’s exhibition “Floral Abundance”.  Lynsey works with acrylic paints, metallic paints, and glitter to make vibrant and colourful paintings which are full of life.

20160925_145832

Close up on “Summertime Magic” by Lynsey Johnstone

Our next stop was Devonport Live at 56 George Street but unfortunately it was closed, so we carried on to the Royal William Yard and the “Being Human” exhibition.  As soon as we entered we saw the “Participate” installation by Alain Pezard.  This was a collection of porcelain figurines which were quite unsettling, and some of them had been broken and stuck back together in creepy ways.  This has given me some ideas for things I would like to (un)make and it reminded me of Sid’s experiments from Toy Story!  I wish we had known about this piece beforehand because Alain had invited members of the public to bring in their own figurine and I would have liked to do that.

20160925_155757

“Participate” by Alain Pezard

20160925_155731

Creepy figurine holding her own head in Alain Pezard’s “Participate”

I found a lot of this exhibition quite alien to me because I haven’t experienced much fine art before.  Every piece of artwork was different to the other works on display, and there was photography, video, installations, collections, oil paintings, even performance works. I enjoyed another of Alain Pezard’s installations called “Water of the World”, which is a range of bottles of water collected and sent to him over 32 years by participants from all over the world.

20160925_155923

“Water of the World” by Alain Pezard

Another one of my favourites was “Devon Words” by Caitlin Hennessy.  Caitlin is interested in old words that are disappearing from our language as it evolves.  Caitlin talked to us about her research and the meanings of the words she had chosen were sometimes quite funny but sometimes there wasn’t a better word for what was being described, for example we found out that a ‘griggle’ is a small apple left on it’s tree!  I liked this piece so much I bought a small book of words hand-printed (and signed for me!) by Caitlin.

 

20160925_162907

“Devon Words” collected by Caitlin Hennessy

20160925_163134

A page from one of Caitlin Hennessy’s printed books of old words

Before we left RWY we popped into Martin Bush’s gallery of oil paintings.  Martin creates huge bright and warmly coloured abstract art inspired by jazz music and landscapes, and influenced by Matisse and Jackson Pollock.  Martin’s paintings are really beautiful and full of energy and we all really enjoyed our visit to his gallery.

And that was the end of my Art Weekender! I got to see such a wide variety of art but there were still exhibitions I couldn’t fit in, in particular I was sad that I didn’t make it to the Plymouth Arts Centre or the Karst Gallery.  I’m really looking forward to seeing more exhibitions by local artists at the next Plymouth Art Weekender in 2017 and especially finding out what opportunities there are for members of the public and young artists like me to experience being part of the creation of different artworks for the festival.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: