Plymouth College of Art (or PCA) is a local art college thats spans across three campuses, each with a different set of courses – Tavistock Place (Undergrad and Postgrad), Palace Studios (Foundation Diploma), and Palace Court (Pre-Degree). PCA always has really interesting and innovative projects for Plymouth Art Weekender, and they have almost always featured their own staff and students to show off their artwork.
For PAW ’18, in Palace Studios there was an exhibition of work made by Foundation Art & Design students called It WILL Change!. For this project, all the participating artists had to base their work around the theme for the exhibition – protest and activism. They had an extremely short amount of time to produce this work as a challenge, but were allowed to submit recent artwork that did play into the theme. I was really impressed about how well it came together and the variety of artwork. Here are a few of my favourites:
There was also a long piece of paper (called a “colouring wall”) stretched out on the floor that was filled with black and white doodle drawings to colour in. The project was intended to draw attention to how tools like colouring books are promoted as forms of therapy, but that they can’t be a substitute for professional care, which is difficult to access.
Dr. Antigoni Pasidi is a lecturer in Fine Art at PCA, and is also a visual artist herself. Her piece, Self Made Structures, is a sculptural installation incorporating screenprinting of photography and text on tarpaulin.
YEA ’18 visit from PCA Young Arts Club!
My group YEA Plymouth had our own event on Saturday comprising our exhibition of work by 11-19 year old artists YEA ’18, and also a workshop space with different creative activities. I will be writing all about this later, but for now I want to say how cool it was to have this year’s PCA National Saturday Club visit our event with their tutor Kate Marshall, especially as I am an alumni of NatSatClub myself (2016-17) when Kate was my own tutor.
It was really good to see her new class and to think they might enjoy or be inspired by the work I am doing now with other young artists. I hope some of them consider joining YEA and taking part in our future projects with us.
This weekender is Plymouth Art Weekender 2018 – I will be covering it on this blog but I am off to a bad start as the past two days of PAW have been absolutely insane!
FRIDAY & SATURDAY
I’ll be writing more about the events I visited yesterday, but it’s late so for now here is a satirical piece of work from the It WILL Change! exhibition by Plymouth College of Art’s Foundation students at Palace Studios (open Fri-Sun 11-6pm)
I intended to post a blog in the evening but I went to the Opening Night for the Atlantic Project and watched Ryoji Ikeda’s Supercodex performance which was stupendous!
I couldn’t work late on my blog after that because I was up all night (well, until 3am) working on last minute preparations for YEA ’18, the first exhibition I have ever curated myself.
Tomorrow I’ll be blogging short updates from around the Weekender’s Sunday events, as well as posting up photos on Instagram. And then tomorrow evening I’ll be in here making a start on writing about my experiences over the whole weekend.
If you’re in Plymouth, you have one more day to take in this year’s Weekender!
The Club was formed of a group of 9-16 year olds and they experimented with different materials all week to make several very different pieces.
There was a long roll of paper running along the floor and up to the ceiling covered with doodles and drawings which had been collaborated on by the whole group. There were mini conversations and jokes along the page which felt like a journey through their thoughts. There were jokes about teachers and a friendly argument about Fortnite.
The participants had made block prints which they had used in repeats to make patterns.
One of my favourites was this print of pineapples and cacti.
I also liked this one which had been overprinted with itself to create a cool punky effect.
Another set of projects had been to make cardboard sculptures. In one corner of the room was this large geometric sculpture.
This giant cardboard sculpture looked like a fort and actually there were a couple of small children sitting in the hidey holes at the bottom
The group had also worked on smaller sculptures of buildings and trees.
Around the room were also lots of still life drawings and portraits. Some of them were quite abstract and others were very clear and had a close eye on detail. I liked the difference between the shadowy figure compared to the bright background in this drawing, it made the image really pop.
The artist’s work on these portraits embraced experimenting with different drawing techniques like stippling and continuous line.
I thought this exhibition was really good to see as it is unusual for younger artists to get the opportunity to show work in galleries outside of school projects. We have also had a really great response to YEA Plymouth’s callout for young artists’ independent work which really shows how interested young people are in participating in arts projects and showing their work off. I hope that these sorts of opportunities keep taking place around the city and that I can take part in creating more of them.
This afternoon I went to visit the PCA Graduate Show 2018. I only had a chance to visit the Game Arts and Illustration exhibitions, but I plan to go again tomorrow (the last day!). I’ll try to post about the full exhibition later, but for now, below are some of my favourite pieces that I’ve seen so far.
Today me and my colleagues at Plymouth College of Art Pre-Degree will be putting on a show with our final project work for our first year. It’s open from 4pm to 6pm, and all are welcome. Spread the word, come down to the Palace Court centre and have a look 🙂
Plymouth College of Art – Pre-Degree Campus
Towards the end of 2017, all students at Plymouth College of Art were given the opportunity to submit ideas for projects for a collaboration between PCA and the Tate, called the Tate Exchange 2018. The theme for this exhibition was “Factory Settings“, and we had to come up with ideas based around production. I had an idea to produce collaborative comic strips working with groups of other students, where each participant would give me one frame to draw to build a series of stories. The projects selected to be part of Factory Settings would take place at the same time in London and Plymouth.
My idea was selected as one of the art events to take part, and I requested to have my project based locally, partly because of my age. I’m fifteen, so that places some restrictions on my ability to travel – even with supervision and safeguarding from PCA. I also think it is important to support and create more art projects in Plymouth.
The next stage was for me to plan out my project and what resources I would need for it. Maddy Blythe, the Curriculum Manager at PCA Pre-Degree, suggested that I work across three separate venues, spending one day at each – PCA Tavistock Place, PCA Palace Court, and Plymouth School of Creative Arts, and where in the buildings I should set up. This gave me the chance to work with three different age groups, and see the differences in narrative and content between them.
I decided to carry out my project in an A4 landscape sketchbook (mine was produced by Seawhite of Brighton) and black ink fineliners (I used Sakura Pigma pens) and a brush pen (Pentel), as these are materials I am used to and are good quality, and will keep in good condition for a long time. I supplied myself with the materials (bought at my local specialist art shop The Art Side), but the different venues I went to supplied the chairs and tables!
I visited PCA Palace Court on 31st January, PSCA on the 1st February, and worked in The Warehouse at Tavistock Place campus on the 2nd February. For each comic strip I began by marking out the frames (each strip has four frames, all on one page) For the first frame of each story I asked a participant to give me an idea for the beginning of a story, such as a character doing an action or an event. Then I asked the next two participants what happened next, letting them refer to the previous frames in that story, and then asked the final participant to provide an ending for that story. The next participants would start, continue, and finish the next story/stories.
I didn’t limit people to just giving one idea, as several people had gotten really interested in the project!
In total, I worked with around 38 participants – students, staff, and visitors at the venues from primary age up to adults of between 50-60, and we managed to produce twelve different comic strips. Some of the results were wacky and action-packed, and others were more sweet and thoughtful. The themes ranged from rockets in space, to an elderly couple breaking the fourth wall, and duels between unicorns. Each strip fills an A4 page and consists of images with no description, and so the theme of production is able to continue in the reader as they must interpret the story themselves, so each story can have multiple meanings depending on the interpreter/reader.
My plans for my sketchbook of comic strips is to make it into a new zine, which I hope to release at Counter art book fair in Plymouth on the 17th March. I will also have the original artwork with me for people to look through. After that, I will be making it available for galleries and exhibitions interested in art books, comics, or work from young artists.
If you are interested in viewing the original art for this project, please come along to Counter, or contact me.
UPDATE (11/3/18)! My new TEX Comics zine will be available at Counter! See this post for more info!