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It's coming together!

March 26, 2015 by Kirsty E Smith   Comments (0)


Accompanying photos for this blog post can be found here http://aa2a.biz/pg/photos/album/25038/its-coming-together

Back in the studio at Sheffield College (Hillsborough Campus) and this time I had a sheet of Polypropylene to cut my truncated cone form from. 

Once cut I covered it in some industrial felt; this is simply because I like to avoid hard edges. I then applied the metallic fabric to the sheet and used staples to hold the cone shape while I checked how it looked. 

I had already decided on the desired angle of the resin rose head (see the linked photo album for my Heath Robinson approach of propping the rose head up on sellotape and Copydex bottle to get the desired angle). Then I bent the copper support pipe and drilled a hole in the base layer of MDF and acrylic mirror and set the support pipe into the hole. The rose head stalk simply slipped over the support pipe and then I had a play with the metallic covered truncated cone piece and looked at it from lots of angles. I had already decided that the base needed to be elevated and I had come to the conclusion that spheres would be right. I work fairly slowly and thinking about form often happens when I am driving. I had been thinking about this for a week or so and had already sourced some polystyrene balls from a Poundshop. In the photo they are just temporarily in position as I was still just playing and getting the feel of the being.

By the end of the day in the studio I was fairly sure that I would like to see these balls covered in some sort of flocked surface. I think that this may be green fake grass form a modelling shop. 

It is a bit of a pity that my job is taking up so much of my time so I have not been able to get into the studio as much as I would have liked and it does seem especially sad as I am now really quite excited about this piece. Ahh the pain and the pleasure of the creative process….

Taking a playful approach

March 25, 2015 by Kirsty E Smith   Comments (0)

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Accompanying images for this blog post are here http://aa2a.biz/pg/photos/album/24687/thinking-about-form-ii

Having been to the Rag Market in Birmingham and sourced my metallic pan scrubber fabric and also having cast the watering can rose head in clear acrylic resin I finally got to the stage of testing out my ideas of how the form of my small sculpture (www.frillipmoolog.co.uk 'being') would would work. 

I often work with fairy roughly sketched ideas and then like to test out proportions and composition simply by physically handling and playing with the elements (This is obviously only possible with smaller pieces though!) 

I enjoyed observing the optical effects while moving the ridged resin cast over the mirror which was reflecting the metallic fabric. I definitely take a playful approach to my work. 

Reminding myself of schooldays maths I calculated the size of circle that I would need to cut out in order to make the truncated come form. I first cut it in newspaper and tested it and was pleased that my maths seemed to have resulted in a circle which would wrap around to form a cone the size that I had planned on. Next I used the newspaper template to cut the shape from greyboard but I quickly discovered that Greyboard was too stiff to work with as when I formed it into the truncated cone form it quickly distorted and cracked. I suddenly realised that I needed to use Polypropylene sheet instead. Joe, the technician, told me about a local supplier www.hindleys.com 

I then went on to wrap the cone form in the gold fabric; to the outside observer this would appear to be a very rough and ready approach but it works for me. I like to spend time seeing how the arrangement makes me feel and I quickly decided that I really didn’t like the placement of the rose head in the centre of the cone so I tried offsetting it; I tried this keeping the stalk still ‘growing’ vertically  and I also tried it at an angle. It was definite in my mind that the angled version was best; is seems more animated and has more life to it.

So a day of realisation about inappropriateness of a material (the greyboard) but also a day of good decision making. 

Speeding Up

March 25, 2015 by Silvia Champion   Comments (0)

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I am now glad when I have finished my moulds and I am in the middle of modrocking them all and then ta, ta, ta, ta they will all come out beautifully. That's what I'm hoping. I've made a list of people who might read three of the thoughts about 'What does 'home' mean to you' that people left me in my OSB board 'home'. I've got sixty notes and will ask each person to read three. The recorded lines will form a sound composition that will be part of my solo exhibition in Hull in May/June this year together with the soap casts and four more OSB homes inviting people to share their thoughts on 'home'.

My Student rep journey so far...

March 23, 2015 by Katy Curran   Comments (0)

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It has been great to get involved with the scheme, i have met some lovely AA2A artists from Teesside University and seen work which i may have otherwise missed out on...

Nice to visit the Gilkes street artist studios a few weeks ago with Emma Bennett and John Wheeler to see their work which was excellent, thanks for the tour!!

Popped over to Saltburn to see Sophie McIntosh's studio and her work which was great, also seeing Jean Baynham's work while there as well as a lovely tutorial.

An exciting opportunity which has come about because of this scheme for myself is being able to become a printing technician with Sophie McIntosh and her studio in Saltburn, a venture which i am looking forward to starting after my degree.

Thank you for this opportunity AA2A!

Discovering new materials...

March 23, 2015 by Karen Thompson   Comments (0)

I've just come across a new material which I've never used before. Terracotta cast with iron is a modelling material akin to plaster. It sets in an hour or so and resembles a bisque fired terracotta. I cast my ' sculptors fingers' in the material as a test, apparently the iron content in the terracotta will go rusty with regular watering. I'm watering one of the digits to see what the result is like...




Pic of the Week: Graham Seaton, Plymouth University (plus 'Tip of the Week' and other news..)

March 20, 2015 by AA2A Info   Comments (0)

Pic of the Week: Plymouth University's AA2A artist Graham Seaton's image from his Dotbiz album 'Digital Objects'.

You can see more of Graham's work on his Dotbiz page

Tip of the Week from AA2A artists to students (as featured in our self-employment talks): 'Find opportunities through a-n & other arts listings... and if you don't succeed make your own!' Helen Stratford, AA2A 2013, Sheffield Hallam University.

Other news:  a quick heads up - we'll shortly be emailing you our evaluation questionnaires and they'll also available online. They're quite detailed, but it's crucial that we get them all back as your college's evaluation 'score' and feedback allows fine tuning of schemes and has a bearing on whether Colleges can continue. Please can you let us know if your email address etc. has changed since you started the scheme?

Best wishes,

The AA2A Team (Wendy, Georgia & Jo)

Coventry University Drawing Prize 2015: preview at the Lewis Gallery in Rugby

March 20, 2015 by Chidera Ugada   Comments (0)

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To co-host the 6th Drawing Prize has been a great opportunity for me to actively get involved in the practicality of the art industry. The main objective of this competition is to encourage and to promote the excellence of drawing within the university. Eligibility to take part was open just to students and staff both past and present. With the most entries this year, the selection is composed of a variety of mediums ranging from sculpture to video and photography, print and large-scale drawings.

After several months of planning the event, we finally had a successful preview with great attendance at the Lewis gallery in Rugby on the 13th of March. Congrats to students Charlotte Pattison and Zivile Steniukynaite, who received the exhibition prize for the opportunity the display work in the gallery and the student cash prize of £500 respectively. Also, congrats to lecturer Mandy Havers who recieved the staff prize for the opportunity to exhibit in the gallery.

The show has proven to be successful as all are invited to the second preview at the Atkins Gallery in Hinckley on the 16th of April. In the show, we would be announcing the Viewers Favourite Prize, which was voted by the public. The show is scheduled to end on the 7th of May. 


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Art & Cake

March 19, 2015 by Adrian Baynes   Comments (0)

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Blimey, you go ages undercover & then 2 exhibitions come along at once !

Currently showing 3 pieces as part of Lanchester Drawing Prize at Lewis Gallery in Rugby & then moving to Hinckley Gallery. Organised by Coventry College of Art & Design. Some v nice work on show.

Then showing work at Allesley, Coventry as part of Anna Douglas`s West Point 55 exhibition. On at the Good Honest Food Co. Cafe, Gardenia Drive, Allesley, Coventry until 23rd April. Do come along they do amazing cakes !

Notes- Current Thoughts (March 2015)

March 18, 2015 by Chloe Ashley   Comments (0)

I’m currently interested in:

Exploring the photograph in relation to object and space and unearthing the tension that arises from this dualityThemes I would like to explore further

The photograph is an object that encapsulates a fragmented space

Finding an otherness within the imagery that is seemingly familiar yet  

Objecthood of the photograph- Michael Fried comparison to abstract painting


Rebecca Ackroyd- use of photography and sculpture- seemingly embraces volume.

Utilize the formal elements within the image and create fragmented space

I want the photograph to convey a sense of otherness, yet reference contradictory elements to create the unfamiliar

Idea of conflicting formal elements to create a tension within the work curve, volume flatness

Photograph is inherently flat

If the photograph embraces sculpture it become object or embraces objecthood

If I want to play with the object/space I will need to create sculptural photographs and flat spaces

non-object-Ferreira Gullar

Utilising colour can evoke space– though monochrome is perhaps the most effective- think Rothko and Yves Klein.

Experimentation is needed of the different formal elements within the image to play on object and space. 

Alludes to architecture

‘Form exists because of space and space exist because of form’ Hans Hoffman, On the Aim of Art

Ben Nicholson- Relief emulating space, sculpture work is very interesting.

Reoccurring within the practice: Repetition, Varying Scale.

Observing work: Tension with the formal elements. Curves contrasted with line.

Geometry within the image is reframing of space

Creating the unfamiliar from the familiar utilising the process of the photography

Objects are a vehicle for the investigation.

Rules in photography-flatness/framing are embraced yet challenged within the work. The sculptural. Questioning scale/the pristine print

Playing with out of focus

Under exposure/overexposure

Revised Artist Statement Draft

My practice explores the restrictions and expectations within photography to further engage with the defamilization of the familiar. The manipulation of the imagery through distortion of scale, sculptural intervention, and multiple exposures, is thus utilized within the work to create an estranged photographic space/object that embraces contradiction, fragmentation and tension.