On the 30th April I visited the final part of the four Home Grown exhibitions held at Ocean Studios which was called Here And Now. The artists who took part in this exhibition are graduates from Plymouth University and hold studio residencies in Ocean Studios.
I really like the ink splatters in this piece by Kieran Walsh, they help make the piece seem alive. I think we could all see different things in this painting, as the shapes of the objects are ambiguous. I see a jug, coffee stains, a toy train track.. Because I might be the only person to see exactly these objects the piece seems really personal and as if it is telling me a secret.
This is a page from an unfinished children’s book that Fi Smart has been working on. The way the dog’s silhouette passes over the drawing of a house works really well and makes the page seem three-dimensional.
These are some of the pieces of art Fi has made for a children’s book. Fi’s paper dogs look delicate compared to her illustrations on slabs of cooked clay. I recognised some of the places on the clay because they are inspired by locations around Royal William Yard.
This charcoal drawing by Kieran Walsh is huge. In some places it has been shaded and drawn carefully but in others the lines are jagged and free. The drawing looks misty and has a mysterious feel to it.
This is a close up of Joe Allen’s painting Baby where the artist has applied paint thickly without mixing it, giving the painting a cool marbled and 3D effect.
This is the full version of Joe Allen’s painting. I could make out different objects and living beings as I studied this painting, it looks like a familiar family setting. There is something messy and chaotic I like about the painting because it makes it very real and relatable (I have a toddler sister at home!)
I really love this piece by Fi Smart. The huge fracture down the middle makes the clay illustration feel aged and broken but the vines “growing” through it are filling the gaps and binding it back together. I noticed that in several of Fi’s pieces parts of the artwork (like the vines and the paper dogs) seem to be escaping or outside of the boundaries of her background illustrations and I might try to experiment with this myself.
This glazed clay bowl by Paige Barnard reminded me of sweet sauce running over a cake. It looks like a puddle of rain or glossy icing or the top of a jellyfish.
I like the colours and shapes that Paige Barnard used for her Momento set. The pastel blues and greens felt friendly, and the splatters and uneven glazes feel alive. On the bottom right is a tall and thin vase that looks as if parts had been poked, pushed, or squeezed. The pieces feel playful.
Carly Seller’s work during her residency at Ocean Studies has led her to “an investigation of circular forms”. Her pieces on display include photographs, still images from an unfinished film, and drawings. These Ensos drawings are interesting because they are circles of so many different sizes and patterns and no two are exactly the same.
The Home Grown month of exhibitions was really interesting and introduced me to art forms that I hadn’t really seen or thought about before. I have been inspired especially by Fi Smart’s work as an illustrator (and I got to meet and talk to her at this event) and I am going to try making my own illustrations that move outside of the page or frame, and also I want to try making my own storyboxes (she has some on display in the Ocean Studios Gallery shop and I wrote about them here). I also found Alan Qualtrough’s letterpress prints really striking and inspiring and would like to try that form of art myself too.
The current exhibition at Ocean Studios is BAFA17 which is a display of work by second year Fine Art Students at Plymouth University, on until the 15th of May.