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

Posts tagged ‘Fi Smart’

Here and Now Exhibition

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.

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Kieran Walsh – Things On The Coffee Table

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.

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Fi Smart – Work In Progress: Children’s Book page

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.

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Fi Smart – Work In Progress: Collage

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.

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Kieran Walsh – Life Drawing 1

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.

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Close up of Joe Allen’s Baby

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.

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Joe Allen – Baby

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!)

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Fi Smart – Reclamation

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.

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Paige Barnard – Momento

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.

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Paige Barnard – Momento

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.

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Carly Seller – Ensos drawings

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.

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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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