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A Piece of Pi

November 15, 2012 by Daveid Darbyshire   Comments (0)

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Ok my first post on here, thought I would start with my latest Piece. Pi r dog. Look I am not academic, but I am smart and I like to learn, which is why I am at University. The best way to learn is by asking questions, and no body asks questions better than an artist, I love to draw and make things, hense the Drawing and Image Making course. So the Project, a limited edition or series on what ever you like. Wow where do you start? So I started my asking a question, what is Pi? Pi is my dog, so called because of the perfect circle on his back, a Jack Russell Terrier, so he is full of character, random, and a mind oh his own, but I do love him. Pi is also a mathimatical equation for working out the circumference of a circle by the diameter. Sounds simple but actually it is very complex, yep sounds like Pi. Diameter x 3.1415...... ok there are lots of digets it is an irrational number, yep this really sounds like Pi. So I decided to combine the two. Pi the dog and Pi the number, simple, yeah right. This is what I did, I took Pi to 40,000 places or there about's even counting was difficult and used those digits to produce an image of Pi. Bold for the dark areas and light (text/numbers) for the light areas. This took awhile as you can image. But if that was not hard enough I then seperated each number onto a different layer from 0 to 9.

Are you still with me? Hope so I put a lot of work into this, weeks and weeks, so much so that I gave myself repetitive strain injury (it hurts by the way but not to worry almost all gone but you have to suffer for your art, please tell me this is true or I won't do it again). Any way here is the idea for the limited edition and a series combined. This may get confusing, 10 prints all of the same image of a dog called Pi, made from the numbers of Pi. This is made up of two layers one base layer on tracing paper, and one layer of clear acetate. The base layer for print one has all numbers of Pi to make up the image of Pi with all the 0 removed. The acetate layer has just the 0 printed. Print 2 has all the numbers of Pi minus the number 1 on the base layer and all the 1's on the acetate layer. Still with me? Good, and so on right upto layer 10. So ten prints of the same image, but each one is different. Now for the clever bit, well I think so, if all the acetate layers were put together, they will make the same, yet different image of Pi. Let me explain that again. If all ten people who owned a print got together and placed all the acetate sheets from their print together, they would get the same image as their print, only it will just be made up of acetate sheets and look more 3D or should that be 3.14D anyway. That is it Pi r dog, buy a print and you get a piece of Pi. It came out well and I am please with the result only,..... I am a poor art student to this work is printed on acetate, which although it works and is relatively cheap (it still cost me nearly £200 for all the A1 print) it would be so, so much better if the numbers were engraved on toughened glass. The acetate is fine but it is a bit flimsy, if you know what I mean, beside when I originally thought of this I imagined using the glass from the frame. But after doing a little reseach I found that this would cost me around £2,000 to do it that way, as a poor art student this was out of the question. Come to think of it right now with Christmas coming £200 should have been out of the question, but hey ho, the concept is there and it works. Any road up one day when I am a famous successful artist I can come back to this and have just what I imagined, but right now I will have to make do. So there you go my latest work, next is a book :) for this I will have to ask more questions and make more connections. I really do love making connections especially if it involves Pi, that's Pi the dog, Pi the number was painful. Ok that's enough for my first post A Piece of Pi once I work out how to post pictures I will, until then you will have to use your imagination.


Ok that was easier than I thought

getting started

November 15, 2012 by Alexandra Harley   Comments (0)

Its been a slow process getting going as the Chelmsford artists need a CRB check and we are the first artists on the AA2A scheme so the admin is taking time, I have been going in and nibbling away at all the paperwork and we shall get started very soon. Staff at Chelmsford are being particularly helpful and friendly and the other artists are a real find so I have very high hopes for a really interesting, action packed year. The facilities are a dream - a whole workshop of equipment, a forge, new kiln, industrial bandsaw, sanders and plenty more all waiting to be connected up. However with all the possibilities, I feel like a kid in a sweet shop so I must remind myself that I need to focus on the project ......

Stepping in and out of frames

November 15, 2012 by Nicola Smith   Comments (0)

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This week I have been researching further into the José Camarón piece, ‘An oriental (Turkish/Algerian) woman’. My search started on the Internet and I found out that the piece is currently being shown at the British Museum. I emailed the research team and they kindly sent me more information about the artwork. I really like how the work is classified and described. The artwork is either photographed or scanned using black and white/colour coded bars and ruler at the edges of the frame. My first response from the British Museum did not include any information about the content of the work. However after contacting them again they sent me the following text:


McDonald 2012, pp.226–7.

One of Camarón’s most striking sheets, this brush drawing is based on Carle Van Loo’s Sultana Taking Coffee painted in the early 1750s and now in the Hermitage Museum, St Petersberg. Camarón would certainly have known of the painting through the print by Jacques Firmin Beauvarlet published around 1771. This provides a terminus ante quem for the drawing, making it one of the few that can be dated with any certainty. The similarities between the works are mainly in the dress of the seated woman, the small stool by her side and the curtained backdrop. But Camarón also introduced significant changes to make her more exotic, even alluring: she is turned more to face the viewer, smoke a pipe rather than taking coffee, her eyelids are heavily made up and there are beauty spots on her temple. A black servant stands in the background (her colour indicated by the shading on her face and wash on her arms) and in the garden beyond set upon plinth is a sculpture of a child riding a Sphinx that is very similar to the piece placed in the gardens of Palace of La Granja when they were created in the mid eighteenth century.

Learning more about the work only makes me want to do something with it. I feel a connection with the unknown woman in the drawing. The content seems to be more about the symbolism and style. As a performer I want you to see me and in my retail work I am someone who serves to the customers needs. I like the setting of the piece, a lady holding court and I would like to create a performance using this structure.

Introduction to the Induction

November 15, 2012 by Nicola Smith   Comments (0)

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I feel like a student again going to university for the first time. The Fine Art Department at The University of Salford is a neat and compact building made up of studios, workshops and project spaces. After our quick tour around the building I got to have a lunch with another AA2A’er John Powell Jones who is an illustrator & designer (http://www.savwo.co.uk/home/). It’s always nice to see who else is involved in the residency and get to know new artists. From this introduction the residency feels very open and flexible which suits the way I work. My mind is going already thinking of ways to engage the students with my work and adapting my ideas to the space. I thought I would need a studio space, however the project spaces feel a better fit. I tend to only use the studio to accumulate materials and make props for a performance, which happens just before the live piece. Most of my research is done online and outside of the studio. I plan to work towards a project one day a week that will be shown at the university. At the moment I am fixated with this image I happened to come across titled ‘An oriental (Turkish/Algerian) woman’ by the artist Jose Camarón. I like the title of the piece and the contrasting figures of the lady in the fore ground demanding my gaze and the servant waiting in the background. I wonder if the title of the piece came from the artist or has been named by someone else as I don't believe the forward slash was invented back in those days...

Residency Plan

November 15, 2012 by Nicola Smith   Comments (0)

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Access to the AA2A scheme at Salford will give me the time, space and funds to make new work. In my arts education I have studied Fine Art, however I want to attend the university of Salford as it specialises in performance research which I feel will benefit my practice. I hope to meet new artists working with performance, share my own practice with students and make new work. I work in retail and as an arts educator at the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester. These roles come through in my performances using the artist as ‘leader’ and ‘showing the way’ sometimes with profound or humorous affect. My performances happen on the streets and I feel intervention is the best way to engage new audiences with art. I intend to incorporate this way of working with a roaming artist talk or art crit with the students at Salford university.

I am co-founder of the new micro art gallery PAPER based in Mirabel studios in Manchester. This has involved working with early career artists to develop their work to a professional standard. I want to share my experience of setting up the gallery and having studio space in the form of a visit for students. To support my practice I am developing a series of printed multiples such as limited edition photographic prints and personalised postcards to sell through the gallery. I would like to explore this further and experiment with large format printing. Staying up to date with changes in technology is really important for my work, however I am struggling to maintain access to the equipment I need. Through the scheme I intend to work through the full process of editing, DVD production, and distribution. Recently I have been distributing my videos on-line, however I feel a DVD visually offers a higher quality and can create a legacy for the work. I hope from the scheme to be more confident in my work-flow and set myself up with the right equipment I need for the future.

Wednesday 14th Nov. 2012 (aka. Procrastination)

November 14, 2012 by Zara Worth   Comments (0)

Just whilst I am avoiding doing any actual work I thought I would drop in... promote WHITEBREAD (which opens tomorrow evening in case you were wondering) and ramble a bit.

Hectic day, finally put the new frame together for the tent, chucked some bed sheets over it to get a general sense of exactly how many bed sheets I will need and then dashed down to Durham where I spent all day with my exhibition partners in crime... hence why I was a tiny bit late for today's Visiting Lecture (sorry!). It was however a very interesting rollercoaster ride through each of your practices and I look forward to seeing how it all develops!

And now I am going to be productive...or go to bed...

First Post!

November 14, 2012 by Charis Jones   Comments (0)

Well, we're 6 weeks into the residency and I finally have a direction to go in. I'm planning on making a series of mixed media sculptural creations (yes, the terminology could do with refining!) based on fairy stories and the messages behind them. I'm exploring lots of different materials and processes which is great fun. The problem is going to be deciding on which ones to use. Although I have spent the last 5 years focusing on blacksmithing and steel sculpture, my degree was in 3D Craft, so it's great going back to playing with lots of other techniques and materials. I spent today finding out how much I'd forgotten about slip casting in ceramics and managed to produce a couple of reasonable pumpkins (no prizes for guessing which story they are for!) I'll ignore the 2 that found their way into the bin.

It's the first year Staffs Uni has hosted AA2A artists and there have been a few teething problems. Our access to workshops has been restricted due to communication problems, which has been frustrating. It's getting resolved slowly, so hopefully we will be able to use all the workshop facilities we need by the end of the month.

I am still trying to work out how to upload images, but will post some pictures once I've sussed it.

tentative beginnings

November 14, 2012 by Pam Grimmond   Comments (0)

Today was the first proper day of my residency! I wanted to explore texture in screen printing so I printed some blocks made from a variety of materials on the relief and intaglio presses. Mark transferred these prints onto screens along with some mark making excersises I had done on mark resist paper. In the afternoon I began to overlay the textures using colour. 

As always I'm thinking I haven't achieved much, but tomorrow things will seem better and I'll begin to realise ways I can use what I've done in my project. The trick is to realise when it's time to sleep on things. 


beginning research on The Emblem

November 14, 2012 by Mark Leahy   Comments (0)

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"This imagery is decorative and designed to impress. It is not for the everyday. There may be, further, a hint of deception, dishonesty, even pretentiousness. In the re-application of these emblemata, something plain and ordinary would speciously acquire an appearance of greater worth than it normally had." (John Manning, The Emblem, London: Reaktion Books, 2002, p. 47)

suggestive of modes of making performing engaging

After AA2A

November 13, 2012 by Brighid Mulley   Comments (0)

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Since finishing my AA2A placement at Teesside University I have continiued the next phase of my film project that I worked on during the AA2A period. I still have to finalize the editing.

However, the subject of this post is a workshop I attended last week at Cherry Kino in Leeds on processing Super 8 black and white film in coffee! This is a technique I have been interested in for a while, and though you can find information online, there is nothing like experimenting with a group of other interested individuals. The day was fun and informative, led by Martha Jurksaitis, and was part of a series of workshops in Leeds, Bristol and London on different aspects of analogue filmmaking. Like many artists in these penny-pinching, austerity-weilding times I am increasingly seeking DIY approaches to sustaining my art-making. 

It is a rough and ready method but its creative possibilities are there to be explored. The coffee technique is only used for black and white footage, and is on reversal film, so you get a negative effect. When I made my film The Hungry Ghosts for the AA2A exhibition I made a deliberate decision to leave some of my black and white 16mm footage as negative images as I felt that this was appropriate to the work.

Following the workshop I got out an old Super 8 projector I bought a local auction sale a couple of years ago - hey presto it worked! So I have photographed some images from the projection to give an idea of the outcome. I have put them in a separate album on this site. The footage is all of Leeds city centre in and around one of the markets.