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AA2A Dotbiz Getting Started Tutorial - available now!

April 4, 2012 by Georgia Rodger   Comments (0)

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We have produced our first attempt at a 'screencast' aimed at helping new Dotbiz users get started using the site.

This seven minute tutorial covers Registration, Logging in, Creating your profile, Changing settings and Lost passwords.  We recommend that you have the Dotbiz website on screen whilst playing and pausing our video as you follow on the actual site.  If you've used the site before this training probably won't be necessary for you although you might find it useful as a refresher.  We will be producing screencast tutorials on 'Image Albums' and 'Blogging' soon and will let you know when these are available.

Best wishes,

Georgia & the AA2A team


Once Upon a Time, AA2A artists at Northumbria conquered the world and I wrote the longest blog in history about it.

April 4, 2012 by Charlie Snow - AA2A Graduate Link 2013   Comments (0)

Sometimes it seems time is living me, and I am not living it.  What with the crazy seasonal change (sunburn last week and snow yesterday in Newcastle) I don’t know if I’m getting younger or older, whether it’s a week past Tuesday or Christmas time.  So apologies for a later-than expected blog post, it’s been a frantic mar-pril.  And it’s so long, it has SUB-HEADINGS!!




But other than confused Mother Nature, everything is fine and dandy (but the daffodils have died) up North.  Us (Matt Foster and myself) AA2A reps are running around like manic beavers in prep for our degree show.  Matt is distinctly better at me than writing, and so I would advise a swoop over to his own blog (http://definitelywriting.com/) for a lovely time.  He recently wrote about A Newbridge Enquiry, a project by Toby Lloyd and former AA2A artist Andrew Wilson.  I pulled up my sleeves and helped out with this one, but our very own Iris Priest wrote some tasty words about it too.  Get stuck into http://anewbridgeenquiry.wordpress.com/blog/.  It’ll make your hair grow.

Much more excitingly than myself or Matt, Northumbria’s AA2A’s this year have been busy busy.  So here, I shall try and do them justice and poetically describe their endeavours.


DEBBIE BOWER http://aa2a.biz/pg/profile/deborah


Debbie’s .biz page tells of her adventure times to Christiania; a unique self-governed society in Copenhagen.  From this journey, a film is soon to be premiered; a collaboration between herself and fellow explorers (See http://www.crir.net/ for more info!)  Another residency will follow soon afterwards to Rotterdam (http://www.worm.org/) where a previous journey to Berlin’s findings on lighting gel’s used with film will be picked up and continued.  Somewhere in between being in all of the places at once, Debbie has managed to help out with a film as part of the massive AV Festival which ran throughout March in the North East (http://www.avfestival.co.uk/programme/2012/events-and-exhibitions/layerscape). ANNNND she’s been having a lovely time making screen prints, for the project described in her blurb on the blog (say that quickly 10 times).  So basically, Debbie is either a super woman, or has Bernard’s watch.


YVETTE HAWKINS http://aa2a.biz/pg/profile/yvette


After visiting ‘Places Our Path’s Might Cross’ and ‘Forty-three Houses and a Ford Escort’ (See http://www.globegallery.org/ - more pictures pending!) at the Globe Gallery in Newcastle, it was clear to see that Yvette has been working hard!  The exhibition is fabulous; I strongly recommend popping in if you find yourselves up ‘ere.  To me, this alone would have been a mean feat to achieve, but OH NO!  With the trend of super-productivity, Yvette has her fingers in all sorts of art-type pies.  Because of her super-success (http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/news/arts-council-news/north-east-artist-wins-big-us-hotel-contract/) Yvette has been able to concentrate on her practice (with the aid of a giant bespoke table and a squeaky new studio) and her Book Apothecary project, detailed on her profile page.  Through the AA2A placement, Yvette has met valuable arty-type student’s right here at Northumbria to collaborate with on this, whom have had the pleasure of advice, workshops, and of course the company of lovely Yvette.  Lucky people!  With exhibitions and workshops in the pipeline from Newcastle (http://www.thelateshows.org.uk/home.html &  http://www.litandphil.org.uk/index.shtml) to Barcelona (http://www.mitte-barcelona.com/mitte_Barcelona/Mitte_Barcelona.html) it doesn’t look as though her feet are going to touch down any time soon!


IRIS PRIEST http://aa2a.biz/pg/profile/iris


And last, but most certainly not least, Iris.  I’m going to assume Iris refers to a group of octuplets.  So here is what they have all been doing.  Iris 1 has busied herself with A Newbridge Enquiry.  This has involved disco-dancing like a pro, and also writing about it for CANNED, the fantabulous magazine (http://cannedmagazine.com/) she is responsible for.  Iris 2 ran a writing workshop with a group of budding students from the University, where she brought light into the many dark areas on writing about art and being published.  (Thanks!!)  Iris 3 busied herself curating SUPERCONDUCTOR whilst Iris 4 did a lovely interview for a-n, where she much more successfully than I, conveyed thoughts on the AA2A scheme (http://www.a-n.co.uk/artists_talking/article/2092824).  Iris 5 has been very over-run too, working on various commissions, both drawing for people (http://www.bridiejackson.com/news-2) and writing (http://www.thisistomorrow.info/default.aspx?webPageId=1).  Iris 6 spent the whole of March volunteering for numerous parts of AV Festival, whilst always making mental notes to share with Iris 1 to change into beautiful words.  The remaining octuplets have been sorting through proposals for organisations, being invited to artist-exchanges, and being published in conjunction with the Venice-Biennale 2013 and trying to squeeze studio hours in too for her own projects.  Iris can also be found constantly in the library, with her head in one book from a towering pile.


PHEW. I’m exhausted from thinking about what everyone is doing.  Time for a cat-nap.


Interview on Artists Talking (a-n magazine)

April 3, 2012 by Iris Priest   Comments (0)

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Just a wee update, I've been interviewed by Andrew Bryant on a-n about my practice, CANNED Magazine and my part in the AA2A project at Northumbria, thought it might be worth a plug...


reflection, groove salad and redecoration

April 2, 2012 by andrew martyn sugars   Comments (0)

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my residency at ntu has taken me deep into a space that is uncomfortable.  the space i talk of is within me, not the institution.  my sonics research has got to a point where i hate what i've done, to the point of wanting to give it all up and get a job in morrisons.

so i've bought some time to reflect by building a website and offering to re-decorate a friends bedroom.  i feel it's an importnat time for me to be good to myself before returnng to the soncs research to find some sort of resolution of the enquiry.  aa2a has given me way to much rope, it almost became fatal.  i've realised in time.  as i drink tea and dunk digestif biscuit with a near k&d track for company, i saw the need to document where i am now as i want to be able to look back on where i was, even though i still don;t have a feeling for where i'm going.  i have no idea if this is a recognised space inthought to be.  i am also connected with a feeling of what it is that is holding me back.  i see only one way through this and that is to make things about it.  that will happen in time.  there's a two week period now where i can do things for me and look forward to coming back to my practice.

i heard with interest this morning about the bourgeois exhibition at the freud museum in london.  there's also a new work by brisley on show in london at the moment.

i've been considering performace based work of the 1970's of late.  i've not yet worked out why this is so.  


oh the joy of self discovery and reason.

My first blog

March 30, 2012 by Andy Artist   Comments (0)

This is just a test blog for now

New: RSS Blog feeds on Dotbiz

March 23, 2012 by Georgia Rodger   Comments (0)

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We now have RSS feed available on all blogs on Dotbiz! RSS (Really Simple Syndication) allows you to easily read blogs in a standardised format and you can also subscribe to an RSS feed.

From any Dotbiz user's profile page (whether artist, student, college or AA2A staff) you'll see under their blog posts on the right hand side 'RSS' - selecting this will take you to the RSS feed for this Dotbiz user and may also give you options to subscribe.  You may want to use this to promote your blog by suggesting people subscribe to your RSS feed.


Best wishes


22nd March

March 22, 2012 by Fiona Harvey   Comments (0)

Had hoped to crack on with my workprints today but tripped myself up by bringing in the wrong negs.  However, all was not lost as I had some films to process and made some contact sheets for them.  

I also wandered over to the Solent Showcase Gallery to see what was on there: I hadn't been able to find a website for it which seemed strange.  I was in luck and found Guy Moreton from Photography putting up his work for a show opening next week, also the elusive Les Buckingham.  So have at least made contact and learned that there will be more interest in putting ideas together with a show, rather than just putting up AA2A work because it is there.  The website is being rebuilt rather slowly apparently, which is why I hadn't found it.

Getting to talk to the students a bit more, but not as much as I had hoped, partly because of the layout of the darkrooms: I had expected the outlet for the print processing machine to have desk space closer to it so that people could lay out their work as it came off the machine.  This allows for discussion with other people doing the same, but because of the group darkrooms, that doesn't happen, although presumably it will be better when the darkrooms are rebuilt over the summer.


more reflection

March 19, 2012 by andrew martyn sugars   Comments (0)

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which mode of writing to adopt today ?

formal for national or chatty for local ?

i consider this to be a blog that will be read at a personal level from one's lap with a coffee, or at a desk with a cup of earl grey tea, so either way it's local ... hence a chatty style today.


i've been using some of the sounds from the residency for an experimental film i've been makng since january. the group session last week was a handy way to show the film and get some feedback about it.  from that session i learnt stuff and made a new edit of the film for a peer to peer session at the weekend.  i'm taking it with me tomorrow to show to robert and loz, if he's in.

one thing i am having to reflect upon is the research that i've been doing has somewhat led me into a dead end.  i see that i need to edit what i've made and bring it back to something like the very first response that frankly was alittle more interesting than i have now.  one problem with working with digital media is that it is easy to become involved in the programmng side of the work and lose sight of what emotionally was being sort after.  i need to edit the research too.


wednesday this week is postgraduate open evening at ntu.  i'm going along to find out about a couple of courses, i'm not sure that i know why i'm considering further education, especially as i live with possibility that i'm unteachable. this was once said of me and in my daily awkwardness with everyday life i do wonder if they are onto something.

i have started making awkward drawings.  i'm keeping a jounrnal with them in, my little book of awkward drawings.  my awkwardness is derived from feeling in a place that i should not be, as usually i don;t speak the right language or agree with everything around me.  i'm happy for everything around me to be the way it is, i sometimes become overwhelmed by others who insist on the world being as they have it for them.  i don;t know if you read this as a moan, it's not meant to be read as a moan, more a vry for help.  i know that the help i call for is outside or the remit of this scheme, i just happen to be here when i feel the way i do.

part of releasing the feeling is attempting to write about it here.

and in so doing a weight is moved.

my sonics research began as the snee snaw was put on the shelf for another time.  using the performance tool used for the snee snaw i wanted to research using the motion of a swing and sounds made in real time, as opposed to pre-recorded sounds.  i've extended my knowledge of the performance tool, now it's time to refocus on the original intention and consider how to represent the time spent on the residency by some outcome.  i have access to a swing and some participants over the easter holiday, so there is a plan.  we began at ntu quite late, so my time there will run until sometime in may.

this reflective thing is tough as i very rapidly get very hard on myself.  i don;t yet know how to be reflective and not be so.

i feel a little happier for my local chat, thank you for taking the time to read it.  time to help cook tea.

First Slumping at Sunderland

March 18, 2012 by Amanda Simmons   Comments (0)

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I started on my AA2A placement last week at the National Glass Centre where the ceramic and glass departments are based for the University of Sunderland (the view from outside the centre looking over the Wear...an unexpected bonus of this scheme is that it gets you out of your own studio and looking at new scenery, the bright sunny day helped too).

I didn't get as much work ready before hand as work is taking longer than expected on other projects (always the way) but managed one large powder based blank, though unfortunately I managed to break off a corner. The yellow, white and grey combinations are really working well at the moment and I'm especially enjoying working on both sides with layers of powders and building three dimensional designs (thinking ahead for when this piece gets slumped into a vessel).As this was going to be one of the biggest vessels I've made (the reason I applied to the scheme was for access to larger kilns) I thought it was safer not to slump this piece as it probably didn't have enough glass to keep it safe on the rim. I took a few other pieces with me and just got the feel of the place instead

I felt a bit like a kid at school for the first time, as I kept going the wrong way to find the coldworking room and didn't know many people. But everyone has been so friendly and managed to meet one of the other glass artists on the scheme Kateriin Rikken, who was over from Estonia for a 2 week block making great use of the water jet cutter.

Using a very lovely, huge Kilncare casting kiln for a big slump (and remember kids a watched kiln never slumps!!)I soon realised I needed to get the firing on earlier in the day as I was still looking at the drop at 8.45pm (one of the benefits of working at home is that I can go and look at the kiln whenever the firing schedule dictates). I'd like to get several firings on my next visit so need to be ready to go in the morning. Currently making some very large moulds to utilise the large kilns.

Whilst there this time I did a quick session with some of the current BA and MA students. Here they are setting up a big kiln with 12 small drops (I've yet to find out how these came out, as I gave them a suggested firing schedule and left to come back home!)....fingers crossed.

I came home very enthused about working big and the chance I have to work at Sunderland, meeting with fellow glass artists, Inge Panneels (my mentor whilst on the scheme and also my fellow Creative Business Advocate for Craft in the Borders), Professor Kevin Petrie (Glass and Ceramics Team Leader), Jeffrey Sarmiento, James Maskrey and Cate Watkinson.

AA2A Newsletters - available for all

March 16, 2012 by Georgia Rodger   Comments (0)

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Hi AA2A artists, students and other project fans!

Just to let you know we now have three different AA2A newsletters:

  • Artists newsletter  (currently for artists on the scheme now also available as a podcast!)
  • Students newsletter  (news on reps, student voting and artists/student interaction highlights)

and just out we have the:

  • General newsletter  (going out to our mailing list with a biannual roundup of project news)

Enjoy and don't forget to keep us updated on your news!