Events and Exhibitions, Personal Work

Plymouth Art Weekender 2017 – Day 3

Today my plan was to visit as many of the Plymouth Art Weekender events as possible before the festival ended.  I wanted to make sure I took part in some of the different art workshops around Plymouth, so finding venues with workshops happening was my highest priority, and I had two boxes left of zines to take with me.  I sat down with my family and we made a plan together.

Our first stop was Ocean Studios.  I dropped off some YEA ’17 zines in the cafe area and had a look at the portrait exhibition U + ME = US by Jojo on the way to the Made In Plymouth Maker’s Table, where we created papier-mache people for a family sculpture.  I haven’t worked with paper-mache much before, and though gluing layers and layers of paper over each other was messy and fiddly, I had a really good time.  While I was there, lots of families and young children came and had a go at making the sculptures, and the atmosphere was friendly and active, but also relaxed.  We left our paper people with there to be arranged later into the bigger sculpture.

20170924_113850-816x612
Making papier-mache people at the Ocean Studios Maker’s Table
20170924_120451-612x816
Me with my papier-mache sculpture

I wanted to see Laura Edmunds’ drawing and sound exhibition A Soft Introduction upstairs, so I left the workshop early to check it out.  I spoke to Laura and learned that the sounds had been recorded on very sensitive microphones placed around her body while she drew and painted her pieces.  There was a circle of speakers and I stood in the centre to listen, the sounds were soothing and mysterious, and reminded me of the sea.  On display were around 69 of Laura’s drawings, and she described drawing them as almost like making musical notation.  I thought they looked like a visual representation of her subconscious train of thoughts, and the overall feeling was serene.

20170924_122413-612x816
A section of nine of Laura’s drawings from A Soft Introduction

I made my way back downstairs to join Sue Lewry’s monoprinting workshop.  I was given a small rectangular plate which I inked with a roller, then I arranged pieces of textured wallpaper, cardboard and other materials on top of it, and each piece I inked with a different colour.  I placed it carefully for registration with a piece of paper on top then it was put through a rolling printing press.  This workshop was more quick paced than the earlier one as lots of people were around the table using the inks and press, but it was still a lot of fun.  I like monoprinting and would like to try incorporating it into my illustration work in the future.

20170924_125049-816x612
My monoprint from Sue Lewry’s printing workshop

I headed off from Ocean to my next destination which was to Plymouth School of Creative Arts (PSCA).  I delivered the last box of YEA ’17 zines here, and went up the stairs to visit the exhibitions.  First I looked at Three In One, an exhibition by Janet Sainsbury, Andy Coldrey, and Charlie O’Sullivan.  Their art worked well together, and I liked Charlie’s sculpture of paper houses and paintings made on a long scroll of old book pages.

20170924_132201-612x816
Sculpture by Charlie O’Sullivan for Three In One at PSCA
20170924_132050-816x612
One of my favourite paintings in Three In One, by Janet Sainsbury
20170924_132409-816x612
My favourite piece of Andy Coldrey’s in Three In One

We then headed up to Janine Rook’s inkblot painting workshop.  Janine was one of my art tutors during my first Saturday Arts Club at Plymouth College of Art, so it was good to see her again and tell her about my new college course.  This workshop was also popular with families, and there was a big display of inkblot paintings from lots of children that had taken part as well as more paintings on all the flat surfaces around.  I used pipettes to carefully place a small number of coloured ink drops on my paper and then folded it down the middle to create patterns.  I learned that inkblot painting is called klecksography and enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere with even the smallest children very quietly concentrating on their pieces.

20170924_135650-816x612
Inkblot paintings by Janine Rook
20170924_133612-816x612
Several families enjoying the klecksography workshop with Janine Rook

On the same floor as the inkblots was one of the highlights of the day, Funny Blind Date, an exhibition of collages sent to Plymouth from around the world that has been collected together by Object Recordings.  Everything in the collection is an analogue collage, meaning it was put together physically using magazines, posters etc, and scissors and glue, rather than being produced digitally.  There was work from eleven different artists and I was surprised how each one had a very different style and mood to their work.  Some of the pieces were very humourous or witty, and others were more serious or political.  I have never been to an exhibition of collages before and Funny Blind Date was inspirational, showing me that collage can be just as visually interesting and meaningful as drawing and painting.

20170924_140012-612x816
This collage from Funny Blind Date made me think about city life and our aspirations
20170924_142347-612x816
This collage from Funny Blind Date is interesting because it is made of one full poster, with the pieces rearranged

I had to move on but I paid a quick visit to the Union Street Party just around the corner.  It was smaller than previous years and the road hadn’t been closed off, but even the rain hadn’t stopped people gathering to play drums and dance.  I was disappointed that I didn’t find any participatory art projects here this year as in previous years I have really enjoyed that element of the Party, but it was good to see that even in the rain Plymothians can have a good time!

20170924_143855-816x612
It was hard to get a non-blurry shot because everyone at the Union Street Party was so energetic and active!

I also stopped to have a look at Bouys and Girls by Mary Trapp in PSCA’s playground.  This installation features wire and foam sculptures of children wearing lifejackets, suspended over water alongside orange buoys.  It made me think of public information films, on first look the figures look like they are having fun, jumping or dancing, but as I spent more time looking at them they looked more like they were struggling against currents or trying to escape.  I thought it was a really interesting piece of art and I would like to see where Mary takes it next, as she suggested that she would change the arrangement when she moves it to new locations.

20170924_145415(0)-816x612
Bouys and Girls by Mary Trapp

My next stop was to the Park Bench Reader by Bram Thomas Arnold, who was going to read from Jurassic Park, but unfortunately my family made a mistake and went to the wrong location so I missed this event.  I was disappointed as it sounded like a fun piece but I am going to look out for Bram’s future projects.  I then went to the Athenaeum to take part in a zine workshop from Make Stuff/Drink Stuff, but unfortunately that had been cancelled!  I think I need to pay more attention to messages on social media next year so I can keep up with the changes that can happen in a big event like the Art Weekender.  Fortunately there were other things to do at the venue so I watched some of Rhys Morgan’s video and sound collage Platform, revisited the Handling Collection, and listened for a while to some poetry on stage (about pants!) for Tears In Rain.  There was a real variety in the building!

Resized pictures - 1(1).jpg
The Travel Wallet by David Shrigley, my favourite piece in the Penryn Handling Collection at the Athenaeum

I was feeling quite tired by now but I really wanted to see some more of the things on my list.  I headed for Studio 102 which had a really interesting sounding exhibition in the PAW programme, I Don’t Believe Birmingham Exists by Adrian BishopI am really glad that I decided to keep going because as soon as I entered I felt energised by Adrian’s paintings.  This is a collection of absurd beliefs illustrated in ink, and the paintings are colourful and energetic and got us all talking and really actively engaged by the work.  Adrian’s exhibition is on until the 8th of October and I would recommend everyone interested in illustration or political and satirical artwork visits the gallery to experience it.  (I only just realised I have seen work by Adrian at Studio 102 before and wrote about it here)

20170924_161137-816x612
Ink painting for I Don’t Believe Birmingham Exists by Adrian Bishop in Studio 102

Our last stop was Plymouth Arts Centre as it was just around the corner and I wanted to have a better look at the Dwell installation upstairs.  There was a peaceful tented area with cushions and books by Niamh Lily Wimperis, and a quiet and contemplative arrangement of a dresser with items on top where everything was painted white, by Megan Kathryn Heywood.  I have a copy of their zine (also called Dwell) which I plan to read later.

20170922_121516-816x612
Niamh Lily Wimperis’s peaceful interactive installation in PAC
Resized pictures - 1(2).jpg
Dwell, the zine

I had another look around PAC which has been repainted for Ciara Phillips’ work which is ongoing and will be added to over the course of the exhibition.  I plan to visit regularly to check on it and see how it grows as she works with local groups of people.

That is the end of my Weekender posts this year!  I didn’t manage to get to all the things I wanted to, but some exhibitions are still available to visit so I will try to get to them.  I wish the Weekender was on for longer, some of the things I missed but really wished I’d had a chance to get to were Rosie King’s G O N E (preserve us) and the Flameworks Open Day.  I also missed Sketch 2017 at PCA but luckily that is on until 6th October so I will make sure I go before then.

I hope everyone else had as good a Weekender as me and I hope to get even more involved in PAW 2018!

Here are my previous posts about PAW 2017:

Day One

Day Two

 

 

Advertisements
College Work, Events and Exhibitions

Young Arts Club at Plymouth College of Art

From 2015-2016 I was a member of the Saturday Young Arts Club at the Plymouth College of Art.  The course was 25 weeks long, split into five chunks with a different subject each time.  My student ambassador was metalsmith Luke Axworthy who has a studio at Flameworks.

The first section was Fashion with Sharon Morgan, fashion tutor and milliner (twitter).  The students made patterned fabric using screen printing ink freehand on cotton, and I chose to do a zig zag design.  I used a sewing machine to create a pencil case and a phone case with my colourful fabric.

20151017_125304-1
Cases made from zig zag fabric by midnakit

Sharon also asked us to come up with fashion label ideas.  I used KitBIT because at the time it was my username for videogames.  I took it further by actually designing items for the label in my sketchbook.

20160921_155008-1
KitBIT designs

The designs I created were videogame influenced because I enjoy gaming but I can rarely find clothing and accessories to express that.

20160921_155020-1
More KitBIT Designs

The next section was Animation with Jamie House.  We watched the shorts Dots by Norman McLaren and Black Dots by Luana Veloso.  We used DSLR cameras on tripods to take photos of our own drawings as we added to them.  Our next project was to draw shapes and objects then cut them out and make an animation by rearranging them on a background.  I chose to use coloured dots and I made them interact and glide around.  Then we moved on to working in teams, and I worked with a few of the other students who I had made friends with.  We made an animation using the same technique as our last project, but instead of on a paper background we were allowed to animate with blue tack on a wall.  In our animation we had Homer Simpson open his mouth and eat doughnuts flying towards him. He then closed his mouth again and because he ate so many he blew up!  Part of our project was to use a person, so we talked about which one of our group would wipe the doughnut remains off the wall, pull a disgusted face and walk away (I was nominated..) After we finished animating we used iMovie to add music.

20160921_164259

Finally, for our last project all of my team starred in the animation.  It was about a girl who travelled through time using a ‘Chairlorean’ (Flux Capacitor included) and had to run away from freaky future people.  She manages to get back to the Chairlorean and ended up getting stuck in the past. For the futuristic people we just wore our clothes oddly and to show the time travelling girl was in the past I drew an old newspaper as a prop.  Again, we edited on titles and music after.  I’m not sure where my films from this part of the course are unfortunately but if I find them I will try and upload them.

20160921_164634-1
Plaster sculpture and wire sculpture

The third section of the course was Experimental Drawing, Printmaking and Sculpture with Janine Rook.  This section was very interesting because I tried out some new techniques for the first time and really enjoyed them.  We drew on pieces of different kinds of paper and stuck them onto a large sheet of thick paper in a collage, made sculptures by twisting long wires, and created odd and slightly creepy sculptures by taking three plaster moulds of parts of our hands then sticking them together with more plaster, using glue and paper to decorate them.

 

The fourth section of the course was Graphic Design with Terry Maughan.  We entered a competition to come up with t-shirt designs for The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth.  The winning designs would be printed and put on sale to raise money for the Community Seagrass Initiative (CSI) which helps preserve seagrass which is the seahorses habitat.  We were advised to research surf fashion and tattoos because they have a popular and contemporary style.  I did that and I also researched seahorses and seagrass.

20160921_180547-1
My hat with a fabric flower and a feather

Finally, for the last section of the Saturday Arts Club course, we did fashion again with Sharon Morgan and this time we made hats. We started by soaking bamboo millinery net in water then moulding it into the shape we wanted on a hatblock.  We had to pin the corners down, and I used glue to bond three layers of net together for strength, then left it to set.  Next I trimmed the sides to create a semi-spherical shape then stitched on a piece of elastic to hold the hat on a head.  I cut out pieces of fabric and layered them to make a flower and sewed them to the hat with beads in the centre.  I arranged a piece of floral lace around the hat edge and glued it on and added a feather.  I used black net and chose different patterned fabrics in shades that matched with the feather.

20160921_180554-1
My little sister looking fabulous in my hat!

Our hats were displayed at the Graduate Show at the College in the Young Arts Club room.  It was the first time I had my work displayed at an exhibition and it felt amazing.  I visited the room twice on different days and I was impressed by all the other young people’s work.  There were some great mural designs on large sheets of paper and I also really liked a section of printed tote bags.  We were all given a Certificate for having attended for the year.

Over the summer I thought a lot about the course and I wanted to join in again this year 2016-2017.  I found out about a scheme called the National Art and Design Saturday Club with only twenty places locally for 14-16 year olds who “demonstrate commitment and passion for art and design”.  I applied and I had to have a reference and fill in a personal statement, which I had never done before and so I was very nervous about it.

I am really pleased to say that I got a place in NA&DSC and I had my first session last week!  First we looked around the new Pre-degree center of the Plymouth College of Art, then we met our tutor and drew self-portraits from pictures and mirrors.  I used a mirror because I felt it was more challenging for me.  I have tried to draw realistic self-portraits in the past but didn’t really like doing it, but this time it was more enjoyable because I had more support and I was working in a room with other artists.  I am really looking forward to next week’s session!

20160921_183909-1
Self-Portrait by midnakit, September 2016