The beautiful man

The beautiful man

Friday, 21 October 2011

MA Show 2

I was in the strange position of my MA work featuring in both MA Shows, which seemed a little greedy but was also a great opportunity to observe very different curatorial processes and approaches within the many strata of Art, Design & Craft. The biggest difference was that names and details of the work and its sources were allowed to be included which having just looked at 'Artspeak' in my written work was quite amusing. So here is a selection of the second show's work.

Polly Standeven

Jane Clowes

Sioned Phillips
So now off into the wide world, all done and dusted and ready for that next step, I better get creating some pathways.

Harley Gallery talk Part Two

The second speaker of the evening was Sarah Coulson, Assistant Curator at YSP, like Susie Macmurray there to talk about 'Art in the Elsewhere'. Having visited the Yorkshire Sculpture Park many times and enjoying the special nature of the place it was inspiring to hear of its beginnings in 1977, founded by Peter Murray who was a lecturer at Bretton Hall and passionate about the idea of putting sculpture in grounds of the park, a mission to show sculpture in the open air, but with no purchasing budget; a continuing changing sculptural landscape, changing with the seasons and changing with the movement of sculptural works. His aim never to patronise the audience and yet open their eyes to many new experiences, certainly is still very true.

The present exhibition is Jaume Plensa as shown in an earlier blog post, what was interesting to discover that Jaume usually sites his work within the urban landscape so the Capability Brown nature of the YSP was a revelation to him.

Jaume Plensa YSP

Sarah also discussed the support of the Park for up and coming artists showing an image of Andy Goldsworthy working on sycamore stems in the 1980's and explained why his work was chosen for the galleries 30th anniversary. Her latest on site artist being who has worked within the Bretton Hall student residences and the follies in the park.
Emily Speed (from artist's web site)

Definitely tempted me to go back again soon not that it takes much as it is a wonderfully calming place when the rest of the world feels quite mad.

Though from my twilight trip to The Harley Gallery I must venture back there they are having an Open Studio weekend on the 26th and 27th November, a very stunning venue to practice ones art. Also the wonderful artist Fiona Wilson has her work featured there for sale.

The Harley Gallery

A mixture of Frailties-Susie Macmurray 2004 (image from
Thanks to Sarah Burgess from the MA I had heard of a talk occurring at The Harley Gallery Worksop, featuring one of my favourite artists Susie Macmurray and the Curator from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park Sarah Coulson. I wasn't sure if I could make it but the opportunity was too great and to listen to Susie talk of the development of her artist practice was well worth the many lost twists and turns getting there and back!

Widow - Susie Macmurray

Whenever you listen to someone one has admired it is interesting how one conjures up an image of what they will be like, Susie Macmurray was an unassuming individual yet she had a presence and was very open in discussing her work and its origins. 'Temporary versus Permanent' is the link that goes through her work, I found her comments on not finding her sense of place at Art College pertinent, that it was only on leaving and getting the opportunity to site her work in specific locations that a sense of context was found. the first work was filling the loft of a mill with white feathers - Stratum

Stratum (Image from
 The serendipity of curators seeing this piece and then commissioning other works from Susie highlighted the need to keep trying and have work in a range of places and persevere. When talking about the project at Pallant House Museum - Shell, the sourcing of mussel shells, cleaning and preparing them, the lining of walls to glue gun them in place, the sheer physicality of the work and the collaborative process, yet a purity in the work. When a designer asked to purchase the work as a whole to be put in their house Macmurray refused, as she disliked the idea of possessing the whole and the work would be wrong out of its place and out of context. Yet the idea of sharing the work with a wider audience by offering small parts in box frames once the work was taken down had more provenance.

If this has been inspiring I would highly recommend further exploration, the next project Susie is looking to explore is  videoing the dropping of the glass piece 'Here come the girls' which was exhibited at Manchester Art Gallery in 2010 and showing the results as a slow motion film.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

20:20 Print

As you may have seen in earlier blogs I attended a collographic print workshop at The Art House Wakefield, I am new to printing, so when invited to take part in the annual Hot Bed Press  20:20 print exchange I was a little worried. But fellow MA colleague and print expert Fiona Wilson suggested that we could do it.... Thankfully the initial deadline which coincided with MA hand ins was changed but true to form the deadline fast approaching meant a morning printing at Fiona's workshop using her mum's flower press (sometimes you need to be inventive). As we hadn't printed for a while it took a little time to get sorted - plates to decide on, paper to soak, ink to prepare,  add felt to press..... Hence we were printing until 2.00pm and we still had to number them, so a quick lunch break and feeling like proper print artists we did the limited edition writing!

a few of the 50 prints we did

Fiona numbering her prints

one of my 25

So the prints will go to The Art House and then to Hot Bed Press to be distributed, a selection to all the not for profit print groups involved in the event and to all who have printed. Very exciting I hope me the amateur printer has met the necessary grade. I enjoy printing and can see the potential so would like to perfect it further.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Grim up North? Not in the slightest

Just loved the pigeons congregating on the roofs near The Hepworth

Bit more from the MA..........

So I showed the textile work so only fair to show a few images from the Fine Art students....

The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield

Though opened in May, I hadn't made the trip into Wakefield to visit the much lauded The Hepworth, in many ways wanting to avoid the crowds, though my visit on a rainy Saturday morning illustrated that the visitors are still in abundance, though plenty of space for quiet contemplation.

The Hepworth Wakefield entrance
the juxtaposition of the stark museum, the sculpture and the industrial landscape is stunning  
In many ways this was coming full circle for me as my final collection for my HNC Millinery was based on Barbara Hepworth and Naom Gabo sculptures, and I had seen the major retrospective at YSP in 2003 so I have always found her work and her inspirational. I was not disappointed.
Image of gallery 1 from The Guardian on line.
Well worth a trip to Wakefield and if you are from out of Yorkshire then a weekend away to enjoy several of our wonderful cultural spaces in West Yorkshire is highly recommended......

Photography is only allowed in the plaster gallery, which makes you look and take in the pieces far more. other highlights for me were some stunning pieces from Ben Nicholson.

the plaster room

Friday, 7 October 2011

MA Show Images

MA Textiles work

the beautiful work of  Fiona Wilson

The equally stunning work of Sarah Burgess

MA Show 1

Long time no post.....Work and setting up the show for the MA seems to have taken over. Good news is that I passed my MA hurray. So thought I should show how the show looked at the Holden Gallery, MMU. It has been a strange experience, as in many ways such a show isn't your standard end of year student show more a PR exercise for the University, so items were selected for the show. Initially I was to be in show 2 but the Fine Art tutor selected two of my pieces for inclusion into the first show which had a fine art slant.

Day 1 set up - thought it would be straightforward dress on mannequin, then on Thursday glove on plinth, how wrong can you get.....

'we don't think the mannequin is right, have you tried a dress makers dummy?' I had on Monday and that looked awful, what was interesting was that they were not interested that it was on a mannequin on purpose to represent fast fashion consumption, also fascinating to see my essays comments on the hierarchies within art disciplines so aptly presented. I was quite philosophical about it all so ended up talking to the Fine Art Course Leader who was happy with this selection.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Needle Tally - Virtual Factory Standard

The other piece I worked on in the final days was the needle tally, trying to recreate the 15 hour shift of a garment worker and the tight time scales they are set to conclude an order - 15 minutes a pair of jeans, 1 minute a T-Shirt. So 900 needles later and a seriously bruised finger and a few spots of blood, i had a two metre length filled with long needles.

This has space for development which I will do before the MA show, so who knows what may happen.

Pin Pocket

One of the pieces I had designed for the MA work was to explore how to change the white dress to express issues around global fashion manufacture. In the light of the fact that a third of the world's cotton comes fro Uzbekistan where much of the cotton is picked by children taken out of school and they pick in extreme heat and cold with little rest and food the pain was something to address. The childlike purity of the white dress was the perfect vehicle and I wished to insert a pocket filled with pins. Initially it was to be a Japanese pocket, but this proved too difficult on the style of garment, so I finalised with an oval pocket, i was pleased with the result which has since thrown up a variety of other ideas.

Final MA presentation

Sorry that there have been few posts its been a chaotic two weeks, with the final push of work for the MA and Freshers beginning at work, so a week of Sunday night sick feeling!! mmh

Arriving at MMU at 7.30am to set our work up to find the whole corridor full of plan chests! We stayed calm.......
So a slightly manic morning deciding where things should go and then the 15 minutes presentation, after lunch, nerves were running high. So here are some images not the greatest quality and still not sure if it was all ok but too late now.

So two years all completed and not a hat in sight.