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

Posts tagged ‘Kiss & Bite Letterpress’

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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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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