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Assembly of Festival Hands

April 29, 2013 by Billie Bond   Comments (0)

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The hands I sculpted, using students as models, are now fired. The kiln didnt reach the stoneware temp during firing, which should have made the ceramic go black, instead the temp reached about 1100 degrees centigrade, which gave the ceramic this chalky slate grey finish which seemed to give the pieces a loose dynamic feel, this seems to add integrity and support the idea of movement. The hands are now mounted on a solid cherry wood plinth and I shall spend the next few weeks making wrist bands out of beer cans.

The portrait head survived firing and now mounted.

To add to the collection of festival themed work, I am working on some slab vessels with silver inlay depicting crowd scenes. So I am making use of the slab roller at Chelmsford college as well as the kilns.

Looking forward to teaching a class of students on Friday how to sculpt a mini portrait head.

the face..

April 27, 2013 by Nick Walters   Comments (0)


art speak..


Fascinated by the process of drawing my face again and again, the different aspects that come out - first the too long-ness - the 'x' axis, then the too narrowness - the 'y' axis, the constant struggle with the eyes, nose, ears, mouth - but so crucial to a convincing portrait.. the tone, the different muscles in the head, the skull, the 3d, the very very subtle perspective - and the curve of the face, the light..


its like trying to do 20 rubiks cubes at the same time…


exhilarating when it goes well, devastating when it doesn't.. but a practice, a rehearsal, a study..


Enjoying the 'painterly' way I am using the pencil, shading, mark-making and rubber..


gotta go and make some food now..




drinking too much..


spending too much money on DIY..


oh well..






April 26, 2013 by Charlie Snow - AA2A Graduate Link 2013   Comments (0)

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As a relative newcomer to ‘Real Life’, I’ve spent almost a year now, pondering the common Work-Life-Art theory.  Someone once said ‘You either work all the time to afford to make art but have no time to make anything, or never work and so have all of he time but no money to make work’… or words to that effect.  After recently starting to work full-time, I have to disagree; I have spent mornings and evenings, frantically drilling, sawing, painting and baking things for the next piece for the next show.

Our shared studio is barren again.  Most others are working, sleeping, playing.  Some tut and shake their heads, “sell-outs” they may say, a justifiable reason to steal your custard creams and mugs.

Some people are ‘artists’; they dress like ‘artists’, talk like ‘artists’, carry around books that ‘artists’ read.  Some people are artists.  Sometimes I dress up as a grizzly bear, it doesn’t mean I am a grizzly bear.  I struggle with time, I struggle with money, I struggle with my work, with the fruition, with the construction, but most importantly, I’m making something.  I’m not always in my studio, but when I can be, I am; it’s my little piece of paradise. 


Inspirational objects

April 24, 2013 by Sarah Jones   Comments (0)

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 I have been inspried by flint knives, gas lights, bellows and a mangle so far. The forms have been used to make ceramic forms for vessals. Once these are fired the copper elements can be made to fit exactly. 

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