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so sideways..

April 23, 2013 by Nick Walters   Comments (0)

So Sideways is the name of a film that a guy I was at college with produced...

Steven Eastwood - I wonder what happened to him..

oh yes, saw the Marina Abramovich film yesterday and noticed she went to University of Plymouth!! Quick googel - she didn't study in these hallowed corridors - she was made an Honourary Doctor...

The Artist is Present.. Such a powerful idea - Feel like I am exploring 'presence' in my portraits, sitting, stillness, intimacy.. Marina is exploring this very pertinently, and without any masks or interfaces, such as a picture that is hung on a wall that a viewer may interact with as a communication with the artist.. Here she is actually making herself available completely.. Her artist is completely accessable..

Thinking about building my arts practice, and the concept of 'spreading out' - going sideways to look for financial assistance - awards, bursaries, residencies..

Not necassarily 'selling pictures' - although that would be nice!!

But really the practice of art/ drawing/ observing/ dreaming.. 

The residency idea is a really cool one; the idea of living and working somewhere really appeals, perhaps drawing the parcipitants..

Also wondering about an MA - but the Plymouth one looks too wordy.. More interested in finding more traditional place where I can develop my drawing skills.. The Princes School looks good, but in London - and Phil mentioned possibilty of a new drawing course starting in Plymouth..

So getting clear what it is I want - and then waiting for it to appear..

Creating my own reality..



Exhibition - Convention Habit or Custom

April 21, 2013 by Sandra Greenacre   Comments (0)


Announcing the new Exhibition ‘Convention Habit or Custom' in which I am taking part in from Friday 26th April - Friday 10th May 2013 at the New Bridge Project, 16 New Bridge Street Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8AW.  It is loosely based upon the Public House where planned and random events will take place from a wide variety of individuals and groups. My role in this is that of a fortune teller reading playing cards!  It promises to be unique and an exciting experience and further details of the exhibition can found at www.lloyd-wilson.co.uk 


AA2A Talk at MMU

April 20, 2013 by Chloe Hamill   Comments (0)

This week the AA2A artists came in to do a talk about their practice and the impact of the AA2A scheme with many students interested in finding out more. 

Inside Out

April 18, 2013 by Tessa Jane   Comments (0)

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My trip underground with Adam Chodzko in Ghost

In the dark confined space I took comfort from the deep resonating sounds of the voice.


It was an intimate space, deeply secretive and gave light to ones innermost fears and thoughts.


“This is where my father died”. It was a statement. Not one that invited comment or exploration- private moment spoken aloud in this private intimate space of which I was privy to hear.


The descriptions of the rock and what we could see were forced and unnatural. They prevented true reflection and obstructed listening to the secluded sounds deep below the earth in this man made tunnel. We hungered for the clandestine secret sounds of dripping water, the paddle gliding through the water and air whispering as it travelled through.


A distant crackle akin to radio static intrigued us, as it grew louder and nearer it’s pitch heightened and the sound was an expected trickling and splashing of fast falling water- a flash rainstorm rippling down rocks and spattering into the water below. The echoes off the carved rock walls increasing the sound tenfold. Drips pooled out and one could imagine rings of sound flowing out like ripples on a pond.


The air changed from dense wet and heavy to cold crisp and clear. The smell was refreshingly damp. Not quite like fresh dew or the moment before rain on a stifling hot summers day but that of a wet rocky cave.


Adam Chodzko descriptions of sound were clear, practiced and bespoke. They were full of experience and he opened my mind to reflect on sound and to truly listen. I felt frustrated at my lack of expression. As I always look for colour and light I could easily respond to the rich russets, deep blue-blacks, golden sparkling droplets that clung to the rough-cut ceiling above me. 


As we continued deeper I felt more entrapped in my canoe cocoon. I was overwhelmed and afraid, glad to see the falsely bright torch headlights, men’s’ voices and laughter. But the ceiling closed down towards me and became increasingly overbearing.


I found myself revealing innermost thoughts, personal dreams and fears as if the years of history hidden within the walls of rock had stripped me of my amour and privacy. I voiced the joy I felt of human contact through sound for I was so isolated and vulnerable. Lying horizontal, forced to see the overpowering rock face above me as if in a coffin. We agreed that the human voice had protected us from falling pray to private thoughts and feelings.


When we stopped to listen the drips and airflow create a gentle whispering song. It was not comforting and the rocks closed in around me as if the lid was closing and I would be overcome with fear and distraught with panic had I not controlled my breathing and forced myself to be strong, confident and assured. Filming and photographing gave me a purpose, as did describing the experience to others. I listened with awe at the historical knowledge being imparted and took comfort in knowing my time here was brief.


When at last they spoke of seeing the “light at the end of the tunnel” I dare not risk straining to lift and look for fear of being bitterly disappointed at what might still be a long way yet to travel. As we exited from the tunnel I was too glad of the dazzling light, change of temperature on my skin and fresh clear air to film. I had conquered my fear of claustrophobia and had the experience of a lifetime.


Filled with relief and delight at being alive and out of the “coffin”-Ghost I spoke of my thoughts of admiration for the 40 men who had taken 14 years to cut their way through the mile and a half tunnel that was now over 200 years old. It is humbling to know what we are determined to achieve in order to make progress. My own thoughts fears and expectations had been turned inside out as I travelled through time. 


I am thoroughly enjoying exploring these emotions and memories in my artwork which, will be on display at The Tamar valley Centre, Gunnislake during Cornwall Open Studios. It seems very befitting that right beside us are old tin mining works and that this eco building which houses the Area od Outstanding Natural Beauty ANOB should be the first place for this 200 year old story to be shown. I’m delighted that my work, which shows glimpses of our industrial heritage here in the Valley, be exhibited high on the hillside where we look out into vast and beautiful views of the Tamar Valley. I am excited about running heat fusion and weaving demos and more information about me can be seen at www.tessajane.co.uk.


Devoré and print

April 18, 2013 by Tessa Jane   Comments (0)

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I am thrilled with this opportunity and it is enabling me to work in new ways and media-particularly my textiles. 25 years ago I specialised in constructed textiles (weaving) and always wanted to print. This residency is enabling to do this and also to work on glass and other materials. My work has been selected from all the artists across the country as picture of the week and also for the new aa2a.org home page, which has been a real boost for my confidence.


Using screen print techniques and exploring devoré is so exciting. I am literally able to explore my subject matter MAKING TRACKS by using technological advances to eat away at the cloth, making tracks through it and by printing pattern onto it!

We carve our way through time yet look back sometimes longingly at our past. We fight to preserve and do not embrace progress well. For it is ugly. We scorn those before us who raced ahead, devouring the land and failing to protect its future. Protect, preserve, recycle and strive for a sustainable, stronger, safer future.


Nature makes her own lines-sometimes sweeping and caressing. But she too wreaks havoc destroying progress and reclaiming ground at great cost. Rivers, meander, Canyons carve and mountains and seas conquer. Yet the snow quietly carpets and stills natures heartbeat whilst desserts dry warning is for us all to heed, I say “Go lightly on your way through life and take time to breathe.”


I taught “heat fusion” in schools as part of a curriculum that encourages students to be environmentally conscious. Recycling and up cycling is not only fashionable but also necessary. Most of my work involves finding waste products and reusing them from furniture to fabric. It will be fun to get involved and make a piece of your own work whilst visiting artists in their studios and exhibitions so there will be two making days at our venue. Heat fusion represents the potential of glass slumping and fusing. It feels industrial because of the heat and science involved and has empathy.


My work will be on display at the Tamar Valley Centre (TVC) along with that of artists Clare Law and Sophie White, we are calling the show Glimpses, as it shows from each of us, a different way of looking at the land.


We feel it is very fitting that our work is on show at The TVC, Tamar Valley AONB
Tamar Valley Centre
Cemetery Road
Near Gunnislake
PL18 9FE enquiries@tamarvalley.org.uk 

Telephone: 01822 835030 during Cornwall Open Studios Saturday 25th May-Sun 2nd June 10am-4pm. Workshops/demos will be running Mon 28th and Fri 31st May. More information can be seen about me at www.tessajane.co.uk

Back for the final term (eeek) and VOTING TIME!!

April 16, 2013 by Zara Worth   Comments (0)

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As is suggested by the title of my most recent image album I seem to have been incredibly busy but then don't seem to have much to show for it!

I have been away for a bit, however am now back to the studio for more fun times in the lead up to the Degree Show, I have also got another exhibition under my belt in the mean time, 'Self' at Whitley bay was on over the weekend and was great fun! It was a large group show and featured the prints from my series 'Sketches' and also paintings from fellow AA2A Student Rep Sandra Greenacre.

In AA2A news since the successes of Jenny Purrett and Rebecca Travis's workshops, David Lisser is holding a seminar this Thursday about the ever optimistic theme of 'Failure'! Of course, if you are from Northumbria you will already have received the email regarding VOTING, its that time of year again! The 'vote' will only take you a few seconds so please follow the link below...



sunday thoughts...

April 14, 2013 by Nick Walters   Comments (0)

Spent the week-end drawing..

Felt good.. 

Demons crowding around me though.. is it good enough?, what's the point?, what about money, etc...

But exploring this lovely feeling of 'practise' - just doing something because I like it, and keeping doing it.. noticing as i draw the same thing over and over again - namely my face - that i notice small details that i try and work on in the next picture - very subtle differences in proportion, light, shadow, tone.. and modelling the 3 dimensional subject is really fascinating..

Was wondering about the personal transformation i am undergoing at the moment and whether i can seperate art from life - i am in therapy again - and looking at where my strange patterns, my habits come from - i say strange but to most people their not strange at all, their 'normal' - i have learn't a way in my life of being 'normal' - of interacting normally - of offering my creativity in a 'normal' context..  but they've led me to this desolate place - its a desolate place without many people in it - i have alienated everyone because of this 'normality' that i don't really like doing - this way of being in the world that makes me feel resentful and bitter - and not myself ...

Finding time to draw and paint is beginning of trying to live a life staying closer to my true self..  do feel quite cut-off sometimes because i am trying not to follow the patterns i have always fallen into historically... and maybe i'm not very good at it - overcompensating..?

I spent this week-end quietly listening to what i wanted to do - no major work commitments, the kids are with their mother.. so i had a whole w/end - and i allowed myself to simply live as if this was what i did all the time, as if someone, somewhere was eventually paying for my artistic output - or at least not worrying about making these pictures mean anything, just following my heart..

And i produced two interesting drawings of myself - still working on the 3/4 face - and proportions - i have a tendancy for long and thin - too much space under the nose - and the curvature around the face fascinates and frustrates me - eyes are also interesting - its bloody annoying wearing glasses - i may get some contacts next time i'm in Plymouth - just so i can see my eyes properly - i have now a very nice light in the studio..

i'm also intrigued and fascinated by my gender .. my identity..am now feeling like i am opening up again - that life has possibilities, new horizons, that i can create my life the way i want it..

So the self-portraits are starting to be a record of this process of rebirth - and, i think, each one brings out a slightly different aspect of me..

And possibly at some point start to draw others - did draw leonard - and that went well, thinking about asking friends, but not wanting it to get messy...


Aa2a Artists Thank You Blog

April 14, 2013 by Ruth Hamblett   Comments (0)

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the AA2A artists that I had the privillage to visit, talk to in lectures or workshops or any other event at Coventry University it gave my own practice a much needed boost and the chance to expose myself to new working practices, techniques, the chance for my art work to be seen on another networking site and hopefully something will come into my own practice for the better for using this website. At the moment I have another year studying for my Masters and although have been offered a PHD in London do not have the funds at the moment to even consider the posserbility of this. I want to concentrate on trying to find my medium, studio space, get some funding, commissions, hopefully sell some art work, get another part-time job that is also art related to replace the current job I am about to lose due to lack of funding. But am very hopeful as have a casual post at a local museum and art gallery which I love and get a little work and pay from this to fund my self while studying. Life as an artist is never easy but if you are wise and network it could help you in the future. Being an active part of a AA2A student blogger has enhanced my practice and for this I thank you all.

Now Is The Right Time

April 14, 2013 by Clare Brumby   Comments (0)

So March 18th was the last session at Salford that I attended.....since then the NYC residency has been postponed and my body has been catching up with itself to recover from the build up to going as I thought I would be!

Disappointed that I couldn't do the intervention I wanted to do because I wasn't leaving the UK but there are other opportunities to so this so the next step is, get back to Salford to continue with the engagement work with the students. Still wanting to do my French Knot workshop and see what we can produce in collaboration with one another.

The whole process has been a learning curve about my fear as an emerging artist. Confidence in ideas is essential.

Now is the right time to do what we have to do, so despite the current stress with workload outside the residency, I can't wait to get back to see what comes out of the workshop.