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progression, new ways of working and looking forward

February 23, 2016 by Annette Pugh   Comments (0)

I continue to experiment and develop my photographs ready to select for a short film. I have discovered new ways of creating imagery and now use simultaneous projections onto printed images as well as adapting transparencies and original photographic slides. The use of a photographic studio has been and continues to be a real asset, allowing me to become more ambitious with my methods of working and more controlled in terms of lighting.

This week I am working with the print bureau to output one of my images on a much larger scale with the potential to frame for exhibition and have also entered work into the Coventry drawing prize. I am looking forward to seeing the ways in which the AA2A project impacts on my wider practice and am currently considering entering the film work for an open call for an exhibition in the summer.

kendal exhibition

February 23, 2016 by Colin Binns   Comments (0)

My exhibition at Abbot hall has been postponed till the flood damage to the gallery has been sorted --coud be a year off yet !

In the meantime the Signature Gallery in Kendal have seen my townscapes and have put up a solo show of them for the next 2 months, so all my first phase of the aa2a residency is now on show. 

I'm now making townscapes of Manchester and Salford -building towards the exhibition in November.

Exhibiting at Abbot Hall

February 23, 2016 by Colin Binns   Comments (0)

Just completed running a townscape drawing workshop at the Abbot Hall Gallery in Kendal to complement their current exhibition of Canaletto paintings and drawings made during his travels in Britain.

The gallery have now offered me an exhibition in their gallery cafe to show my mixed media townscapes in January to March next year. Please to be exhibiting alongside such company !

Blowing glass...

February 23, 2016 by Chris Dugrenier   Comments (0)

Also next week is the thrid installment of the glass blowing research. 

A couple of weeks ago, I returned to the glass studio to confirm the day and time of our experimentation. It will be the 1st march. I will be filming the creation of 6/7 glass bubbles that will be the bijou pieces of my installation Parallels (currently being developped at New Walk Gallery). The video will also feature in the piece.

See images for first attempts.

I am so looking forward to this.

Enrichment week...

February 23, 2016 by Chris Dugrenier   Comments (0)

Also known as week 22, which means little to non-students. It is rather interesting to learn how people understand/make senses of their year. In my case, it is a rather day to day approach with a few dates to look forward to but since being an artist-in-residence at DMU, I am learning a new way.

So, next week, 22nd week of the 2015/16 academic year, I will be working with students on a collaborative research on perspective/points of views/change of level. 

The experience is for students to work on the same footing as me on discovering and playing with vantage points, exploring how live camera and projection could emphasise proximity or distance combined with live presence, experimenting with micro/macro, birds eye view, worms eye view...

I look forward to it...

Newsletters galore...

February 23, 2016 by AA2A Georgia Rodger   Comments (0)

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Students can now read the latest AA2A newsletter for Students  - please contact us if you'd like to join our student mailing list to receive these regularly. 

If you are one of current AA2A artists, you can read the latest AA2A newsletter for Artists

My experience with AA2A

February 23, 2016 by Oscar Kirkpatrick   Comments (0)

I have beena student rep for AA2A since about November. I am taking part in a work placement to go towards a module of my Fine Art and Art History BA hons at Plymouth university.

I choose AA2A as one of my options because I thought that it would be great to have an insight into what being a practicing artist was really like. I also planned to develop my own artistic skills by observing the artists I work with.

It has been great to get involved with the artists on the scheme and I have learnt a few things from the time I have spent with them. It is evident that they are all very driven in regards to their practice, this shows me that I need to be more committed to my own practice if I want to have any chance of actually making a living from it. 

I am yet to actually see any of the artists working on their art but have organised to do that very soon and i look forward to seeing how they creat their pieces and what skills they use.

We have organised an interveiw with each of the artists which will also be a good way to learn things both in regards to their practice and working as an artist and also interveiwing techniques. 

My experience so far at Cambridge School of Art

February 23, 2016 by Juno Doran   Comments (0)

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I was very happy to be selected for this year's AA2A at Cambridge School of Art. I had a project in mind for sometime which required the use of a photography darkroom and although I did purchase the equipment I soon realised it would be very difficult to print at home. After the safety induction I took sometime to get used to the darkroom. I have a huge amount of printing experience, but it's been years since I've used one and like anything you have to get used to the machinery and the space. My printing is also quite intuitive so it took me a while to get into it comfortably.

Darkroom enlarger

At the beginning of the year I saw many students coming in and out of the darkroom and had the chance to help a couple of them. I had expected the experience to be slightly different, though. Most students seemed keen to come in, do what they had to do then leave again, so with few exceptions I stopped trying to make conversation and let them get on with it.

Wet area

It was amazing to be in the darkroom again, to smell the chemicals and go through the printing process. There's a sort of magic from printing analogue photography that one doesn't get with digital. From the setting up of the negative in the enlargement to seeing the first traces of the image in the developing tray is a fascinating process. 

Liquid emulsion My residency was about working on a personal project using liquid emulsion on paper. I have used liquid emulsion in the past, on paper and on anodised aluminium. It's a difficult process because the emulsion has to be properly spread over the surface which will be printed. The emulsion itself is gelatinous and has to be warmed so it melts enough to be brushed evenly. I had several frustrated attempts to start with, until I more or less got it right. In some of the prints the emulsion had clogged up and since I had to brush it under the red light these were difficult to spot. Then eventually I finally got there.Sounds like fallingNow, February, I am finally comfortable to pursue this project having overcome all the technical adjustments and phase of experimentation. The image on the right is one of several I have produced and will continue to till the end of the residency.

The project is called "Sounds like falling" and it's about dealing with a constant sense of absence and loss, the projection of memories onto spaces now changed and the symbolic images associated with those memories.

Basil Beattie at MIMA

February 22, 2016 by Susan Gough   Comments (0)

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It was such a privilege last Saturday, to attend the public opening of Basil Beattie's exhibition When Now Becomes Then: Three Decadesat Midlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. The exhibition runs until 12th June and I heartily recommend it to all people interested in painting and the development of visual art in this country.  

I completely agree with Mel Gooding's remark at the end of his conversation with Basil that it says something about the cultural state existing in this country today that a show of this magnitude by one of our great painters has taken so long to come about.  I have followed Basil Beattie's work since I was a student, not always closely, but he is one of the painters that I have long admired and a go to for affirmation that painting with gesture and guts and interesting imagery is still a worth while thing to strive for.

When I am visiting a major exhibition of a painter I admire, I like to walk through the galleries quite quickly to start with, to gain an understanding of the sequence.  I then go round again more slowly and meander backwards and forwards, looking at the work, noting formal points of interest, the use of motifs, colour and how the works communicate with each other in the space.  While I do this, I sometimes jot down words or phrases that spring to mind about the works; it helps me to connect the works I am looking at with my knowledge of art history and experience.  Then I read the accompanying texts and make note of dates when the paintings were made; I don't like my opinion of the works to be influenced by the texts until I have done this but I am happy to have my thoughts altered and expanded upon once I have had a chance to form my own connections.  When I say connections, I mean that I like to work out where the artist may have responded to works from the past, how the works connect with artists working today, how the artists' work has developed over time and the philosophical and psychological connections that may exist.  I am not an expert on philosophy; I wish I was, its connections to art are strong, lets face it, because art is about life.  I am constantly trying to improve my knowledge of philosophy but I can never remember what I have read!

Anyway, the words I jotted down are as follows:

Goya?  (existential)
de Kooning
fantastic painterliness

And here are some of Basil's own words, spoken during the conversation with Mel Gooding (that I have taken from MIMA'S web site):

“I always try to make the next painting not like the last one, I’m often asked if I make several paintings at once – I don’t. I have to turn all the last ones to the wall in order to grasp the identity of the specific painting I’m working on.”
“The art of painting… leads you to thoughts and ideas that you may not have had if you didn’t start painting. You have to know how to deal with them. A lot of people know exactly what they want to paint so they have to get it right. In my case I recognise it when I see it, when I feel it. It may be that I’ve got the bare bones but I have to put the flesh on and that’s a very different matter. It may be that it becomes something else during that period.”

“When Now Becomes Then: Three Decades is a look through one's artistic life over the last 30 years. I’m expecting surprises, in terms of juxtapositions because there will be combinations of paintings that I won’t have seen before and it will be interesting to play around with that opportunity. I’m looking forward to the show in terms of learning more about what I’ve been doing. I mean, if it gives any value to anybody it will be value to me.”

Basil Beattie's words have such resonance for me; I approach painting in very much the same way, letting it develop, finding connections as the work emerges.

I am not attempting to critique this exhibition but to try and give a flavour of what it feels like to be within it.  I hope that this tempts lots of you reading this to visit!


Keiko Mukaide

February 22, 2016 by Sienna Griffin-Shaw   Comments (0)

Keiko Mukaide-Glass Artist, Diachroic Glass


Keiko Mukaide – Journey follows the flow

   Keiko Mukaide, an artist who moved to the UK to study at the Royal College of Art, London from her native Japan works with glass to produce her work. She describes her transition between countries as a big decision, having a major impact on her work, and resulting in her life being based in Edinburgh. Mukaide describes her work as largely site specific, drawing on her life in Scotland and the imagery that she encounters day to day. Her work is fundamentally influenced by the transience and movement of light and the interplay between refraction and reflection; her aim in trying to replicate both a similar faceting in glass and a similar feeling when viewing the final outcome.

‘I don’t want to just make pretty things without any connection to my life.’

   From working with the Royal botanical gardens in Edinburgh to installing at the Tate St. Ives, Mukaide has been diverse in her practice. Elemental Traces involves the exploration of the horticultural history of glass houses and the interaction of light with both plant life and biodiversity. It is a celebration of the understanding of the natural world we now have and results in an interaction between light, cast by glass, and the flora that is so dependent on it. Mukaide explains that the interplay between glass and the plants was just as much about the glass work sharing the space as it was an exhibition. What is very interesting in her practice is the unobtrusiveness of her work, the delicacy and placing is at once noticeable but discreet.

‘I have an interest in the invisible. Glass is a wonderful material to explore these things.’

   As a commemoration of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Mukaide exhibited at Hill House in an exhibition in which she explored and combined the cultures of Scotland and Japan. By utilising imagery from her childhood and her adult life she drew on inspiration from Japanese wooden houses and paper screens as well as the interaction of light through negative spaces. On top of this her recurring themes of refraction and reflection, particularly inspired by mist and cloud forms, were also combined to produce stunning works of art which colluded with the historic designs of Rennie Makintosh.

   Another aspect of work that is of great influence to Mukaide is that of energy lines and the invisible forces that surround us. Lay lines and subterranean rivers feature heavily in her outcomes, principally when they have a connection to where she herself is exhibiting.

   Like many foreign nationals, Mukaide explains the difficulty in leaving her prior life behind. She was greatly affected by the death of her father in 2004, and in 2008 had the opportunity to express her grief in the installation Memory of Place at York St. Marys Church. Her sensitivity to the church surroundings is mirrored in her work, with the space and the installation working in an almost symbiotic relationship. It is a profoundly moving exhibit that was installed for a year; looking at the expression of loss and the imagery of the grieving.