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

Posts tagged ‘Peninsula Arts Gallery’

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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Plymouth Art Weekender 2016 Day 2, Part 1

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Chrissy Vale’s character designs at Masters 2016 (Plymouth College Of Art) – chrissyvale.co.uk

This morning I went to my second week of NA&DSC and we went on a trip to see the exhibitions at the Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth University.

First we visited the Masters 2016 room and it was full of intriguing work.  The highlights for me as a young artist interested in illustration were Chrissy Vale’s colourful comic characters which have a clean and simple style and Ashley Turner’s Onnen Design prints of animals and plants in pen, pencil, watercolour and gouache.  I also liked Tim Gundry’s drone photography photos, which give an unusual view on ordinary buildings so that they look like they came out of a videogame.

Before we went to Plymouth University, we stopped by PCA’s This Is Now exhibition which had retro TVs showing videos from the 1980’s.  Some of them were catchy music videos which I really enjoyed.

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Clare Thornton’s sculptures at Edge Of Collapse (Plymouth University) – clarethornton.com

Our group then headed to the University’s Peninsula Gallery which had an exhibit called Searching for Genius by Douglas Gordon.  Most of the art was quite creepy, especially the photographs of people with the eyes and mouths burnt away.  Upstairs there was another exhibit called Edge of Collapse which featured art by Clare Thornton, Victoria Walters (her page was unfortunately offline when I checked) and Jamie House, who was my film tutor for my art group last year.  Victoria was there when we visited so she talked to us about the different pieces and explained how her sculpture was inspired by ground swells in the ocean.  Clare’s work only used only a few different colours in clay and leather but they looked beautiful.  My favourite piece of hers was made using jelly moulds!  Jamie’s piece was made using an electrical drawing machine, and the result was a unique pattern scorched into paper.

We went back to the pre-degree centre where I met up with my mum and the two of us headed straight back out to more Weekender events, which I will cover in my next post as I have seen so much today I can’t fit it all in here!

If you haven’t read it yet, here is my post on Plymouth Art Weekender 2016 Day 1.

Plymouth Young Contemporary Open

'GrowClan Cats Animation' by Antonia Parkyn for the Plymouth Young Contemporary Open 2016

‘GrowClan Cats Animation’ by Antonia Parkyn for the Plymouth Young Contemporary Open 2016

On the 8th of July I went to the Plymouth Young Contemporary Open (PYCO) at the Peninsula Arts Gallery and the Radiant Gallery.  The PYCO is a bi-annual event for young people aged between 4 to 30 and this year’s theme was GROW.

I started at the Roland Levinsky Building with my brother where we met with friends who were also interested in the art which the local young people had made.  We headed straight into the exhibition at Peninsula Arts.  The gallery was full of works in different styles and media, including animation, film, painting, sculpture and drawings.  I had seen a couple of pieces before in the Graduate Show at PCA.

One of my favourite pieces here was an ink drawing, ‘Origin’ by Rachel Card (in the 19-23 age category), which showed a woman reading from a book The Origins Of Life and her hair above her was filled with flowers and life under a night sky.  Close by was a photography project ‘Growth Of Us’ by Ben Churchill (16-18) a collection of four portraits representing four decades of cultural history.  In each portrait the model (I assume it was Ben himself?) is holding a camera from that era and across his t-shirt are photographs of human rights activists of that decade.  I also liked the photograph ‘Cranes’ by Ryan Trower of a city skyline filled with cranes, showing how the city is growing upwards to the clouds.

Another ink drawing which I was captivated by was ‘Metropolis’ by George Davies (Winner of the 12-15 category), an extremely intricate illustration of a city.  Finally, we all loved ‘Groa’ by Amelia Goodman (12-15), who combined pen, pencil, watercolour, ink and gouache to portray a dragon from a story she wrote herself.

We left the gallery and had our lunch by the Kilkenny limestone sculptures which have been loaned to Plymouth University by Peter Randall-Page.  The sculptures are huge and when you touch them they are completely smooth.  They made me think about how each block must have started out looking the same but the artist has made them all look unique.

Sculptures by Peter Randall-Page on Plymouth University campus

Sculptures by Peter Randall-Page on Plymouth University campus

After lunch we made our way across town to the Radiant Gallery.  It was my first time visiting and the gallery is attached to the pretty Rumpus Cosy cafe which I would like to visit again for cake sometime!  Radiant is a smaller gallery than Peninsula and feels more intimate.  I thought that ‘Box 1-3’ by Jessica Owen (16-18) was the most meaningful and emotive piece in the exhibition.  It was a mixed media piece of three glass cubes which each contained a different subject.  In the first was a curled up baby, the second contained warped Dali-esque clocks, and the third was overflowing with flowers.  The label read that the piece was “a personal response to my father leaving the family, my sadness and depression that resulted.”

One of my brother’s favourite pieces was ‘GrowClan Cats Animation’ by Antonia Parkyn (8-11).  This was an animation made using Scratch and inspired by the Warrior Cats books by Erin Hunter.  I am a fan of the books myself and enjoy making in Scratch so this piece reminded me how young people in 2016 are constantly expressing themselves in creative and unexpected ways using modern technology.

I didn’t enter the PYCO this year but I really enjoyed the exhibition and seeing what other young people in Plymouth are creating, so I’m hoping to take part next time in 2018.

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