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Pic of the Week: Nicola Colclough, Staffordshire University (plus 'Tip of the Week' and other news)

February 20, 2015 by AA2A Info   Comments (0)

Pic of the Week: Staffordshire University's AA2A artist Nicola Colclough's work in progress from her Dotbiz album 'Tropic Cool: Print Development'

You can see more of Nicola's work on her Dotbiz page

Tip of the Week from AA2A artists to students (as featured in our self-employment talks): 'Be friendly to everyone - you never know who may give you a job in the arts or funding one day!' Leila Houston, winner of the AA2A Artist of the Year Public Vote, De Montfort Uni (2013-14)

Other news: We're excited to be launching the first few of our 2015 presentations promoting self-employment as both a career and lifestyle option next week. Wendy Mason, AA2A's National Director, will be travelling the country presenting to Fine Art and Design students going through the 'nuts and bolts' of self-employment and busting the myth that only the most self-motivated graduates go self-employed. Contact your AA2A administrator to find out if your institution is taking part.

Best wishes,

The AA2A Team (Wendy, Georgia & Jo)

KARSTPUB//A two part workshop with Plymouth University BA Fine Art Students

February 20, 2015 by Joanna Brinton   Comments (0)

I wanted to share some of my skills and work together with students from Plymouth University so I arranged a one day workshop and visit to local contemporary art gallery, KARST. Here are some images of the work in progress and an outline of the workshop:





Visit to Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do, the latest exhibition at KARST featuring work by:


Clare Shortcook from KARST will give a short introduction to the show and be available for conversation. There will be also be a studio visit with Keith Harrison.


Working with artist Joanna Brinton to produce responses to the exhibition for inclusion in a publication which will be available in print and online.

Making to keep sane

February 16, 2015 by Mo Coade   Comments (0)

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The last few weeks have been very difficult and family bereavement and illness are taking s lot of my time. Reaching for my camera phone has been the automatic reaction. The results might not be of the best quality but they are raw and more closely linked to how I am feeling than my more measured and considered work with the formal cameras. 

The memories embedded in these images might not be the most pleasant, but they are vital. Images around the edges of something too difficult to touch.

Some images will follow. 

Pic of the Week: Bridgette Ashton, Plymouth University (plus 'Tip of the Week' and other news)

February 13, 2015 by AA2A Info   Comments (0)

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Pic of the Week: Plymouth University's AA2A artist Bridgette Ashton's image from her album 'Caves Follies Grottos & Hermitages'

You can see more of Bridgette's work on her Dotbiz page

Tip of the Week from AA2A artists to students (as featured in our self-employment talks): 'Make new art connections with other artists and just keep making!' AA2A artist, Coventry University (2013-14)

Other news: watch this space for further announcements about our upcoming self-employment talks for students...

Best wishes,

The AA2A Team (Wendy, Georgia & Jo)

Thoughts on Form and also Sourcing Materials

February 12, 2015 by Kirsty E Smith   Comments (0)

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Accompanying images for this blog post can be seen here. http://aa2a.biz/pg/photos/album/24481/form-and-materials-for-rose-watering-can-head-piece

My work commitments have been very variable so I have had to get into the studios any time that I can. Fortunately the staff at Sheffield College have been really flexible too and actually being in the workshops on busy days with lots of students around and also quiet days with only a handful of people in has actually been really nice. There is always a good vibe in the studios.

I have also been really pleased that very often it is a student who starts a conversation with me rather than me having to initiate conversations. I like these informal chats; it gives me a chance to explain a bit about what I am doing and is also a chance for me to ask about their own work. As I have usually been in the 3D workshop there is always something physical to talk about; recently the Foundation students have been making prototypes of their own chair and seating designs. 

Over the past few weeks I have made another two part silicone mould and also cast using crystal clear resin (again sourced from www.mouldcraft.co.uk in Sheffield.)

More details of this in the next blog post. 

I sketched some ideas for a small sculpture which would incorporate the cast acrylic watering can rose head. At first I wanted to cut the base from sponge and coat it in wax. I have used this technique before and really like the very strange and slightly sinister feel that wax coated sponge gives. But I knew that I really wanted a large piece of sponge (45cm) diameter 10cm thick and one with an open texture and largish holes. After a couple of weeks of searching without success I decided to revise my design.

The form will still be the same but this time the sloped base will be covered in an unusual knitted metallic fabric. It was sourced from a stall in the Birmingham Rag Market but is virtually the same as the fabric which is used to cover pan scourers. 

I love visiting factories and sourcing materials that I use is really important to me. Stories are important and the story of sourcing materials adds a very personal additional layer to the finished sculpture (being). For me I suppose it is part of their own personal DNA. 

A couple of years ago I visited the Neotrims factory in Leicester and was wowed by the use of really very old sock knitting machines which had been adapted to enable them to knit modern day jacket and jumper cuffs, day-glo shoe laces, tubes of surgical bandage and scratchy pan scouring fabrics.

British manufacturing heritage is something which I am fairly obsessed with and so using a fabric which is not only made primarily for a very non glamorous purpose (pan scrubbing) and has been made using antiquated machinery from the Victorian age really really appeals to me.

The following blog post will show more of the resin casting process. 

AA2A Lecture Series

February 9, 2015 by Emily Hale   Comments (0)

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I've really enjoyed the series of lectures from the AA2A artists here at the university. It has given other students and myself a look at their work and what they are making now on the scheme. It is interesting that we have such a diverse range of artists here - video, artist/designer/architect, printer/2d and moving image... As students we can take a lot from seeing such diverse practices and be influenced by this in our own work. I also think it would be interesting to do another series of lectures of exhibition later in the year to see how the artists work has progressed over their year at the university.

I think it's also been refreshing how honest the artists have been about trying to get work or exhibitions after graduating/coming out of education. They have told us how they have resolved these issues and I think this will be very useful for when we come to graduate.

Pic of the Week: Judith Davies, Northumbria University (plus 'Tip of the Week' and other news)

February 6, 2015 by AA2A Info   Comments (0)

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Pic of the Week: Northumbria University's AA2A artist Judith Davies' image from her Dotbiz album 'Ceramic work 2015'

You can see more of Judith's work on her Dotbiz page

Tip of the Week from AA2A artists to students (as featured in our self-employment talks): 'It's very useful to get work experience in various cities/countries to broaden your view.' Liucija Dervinyte, AA2A artist at Liverpool Hope University (2013-14).

Other news: Have you met your AA2A student reps yet? 

Not every AA2A institution has them but there are 21 taking part this year (if you're not sure have a look on your college/uni Dotbiz page). We've been giving them monthly challenges aimed at helping them spread the word about schemes and artists. For example, for this month's challenge we're asking them to encourage other students to join the AA2A student mailing list.  By signing up they'll receive a couple of AA2A student newsletters per year (we're not going to spam them!) and when they graduate we'll keep them in touch with opportunities through our artists mailing list.  AA2A will never pass on email addresses for any other purpose and they can unsubscribe at any time.

You could help the reps with their challenge this month - if you meet interested students, ask them if they're on the AA2A student mailing list. If not all they need to do is send us an email with 'STUDENT MAILING LIST' and the name of your college/uni as the subject to info@aa2a.biz

Best wishes,

The AA2A Team (Wendy Georgia & Jo)

Presentation of my work to First year fine art students

February 5, 2015 by Lee McDonald   Comments (0)

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Had an Interesting time talking about my practice and showing a few vidios of my work and talking about some of the artist That influenced my practice. 

here are a couple of links to some of the stuff I talked about.





screen print

February 4, 2015 by Susan Leask   Comments (0)

So Ive got 2 images printed onto acetate, both have a solitary shadowy figure in the centre of each image and now they are on the screen and ready for printing. And my first attempt is pretty rubbish.... but never mind thats what I'm here for to get assistance and share experiences.

Reckon Peach/Becky will need to dig deep for patience with me but I think she's got that skill. Another lovely technician.

Also met a fellow AA2A resident, Rhyannon and things are looking up.