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Knitted TV vs. DIssertation

January 24, 2013 by Katherine James   Comments (1)


Gosh! Its a race against time at the moment, editing dissertation and knitting a tv cover whenever I have a break! If anyone is interested I have found a very interesting artwork by Annette Messager called Mes pensionnaires’ (My Borders) 1972, which is quite literally stuffed birds with knitted jumpers and cosys on! Being vegetarian myself I was slightly concerned by the whole thing, but have got to admire the powerful work she has created!

A warm day

January 23, 2013 by Alexandra Harley   Comments (0)

The weather has played havoc with plans to go anywhere recently but I managed to get into Chelmsford today and had a thoroughly good time. Russell the fab technician has fired some of my work hurrah! I took in another pile of tiny small and extremely delicate pieces for firing and made holes in some crumpled pieces that I was working on last time. I shall now start the process of painting all the fired bits which will be a very slow business and then sewing it all together. I have made different holes in each set of clay pieces so that I will connect and construct each sculpture differently. I am also looking forward to working with Jody to do a session with her group using natural materials next week, we made a few plans and it should be a good session. A good day in a lovely warm studio ! 

Back from the USA

January 23, 2013 by Shannon Donovan   Comments (0)

Greatly looking forward to resuming work on ceramics and textiles at Hereford College of Arts tomorrow. I just got back from 3 weeks in the Philadelphia area, visiting friends and family and installing "Doily Diary" at the Clay College. For that project, I crocheted a doily each day during 2012 (actually more than one, so I'd have extras), then took the doilies and twelve 1 x 1 meter calendars over to the USA. At the Clay College, I dipped each doily in porcelain slip and fired them, then stitched them onto the calendars so that each represented the dates of 2012. Sewing the doilies onto the fabric calendars was much more finicky and time-consuming than I expected; thank goodness I had lots of friendly helper bunnies to get the project done on time.

The best part, other than seeing all that lovely porcelain on the wall, was seeing how excited people got as they looked for a special date: often their children's birthdays, but one lateral thinker was thrilled to snap up February 29! And a few folks who bought doilies just chose the ones they liked, nevermind what date it was.

I've included a few images of "Doily Diary" below. Now, keep your eye out for upcoming weaving and felting experiments.

July (green), August (red), and September (pink)


May and June


February (think dark and stormy)

Resonating Sound/Noise in a Foggy Rugby Game

January 22, 2013 by Ruth Hamblett   Comments (0)

As part of my art practice have been taking visual photographs of rugby matches and accidental video recordings where although you could not see much of the match going on the sound of the crowd and the noise made. This raised a question in if you could not see the rugby match but simply see it how would you be able to find a narrative from this but at this point did not know how to explore this further until a few weeks ago when attending a friendly evening match on a slightly foggy night. Whilsts watching the match and taking photographs the fog gradually came down through out the match and started to effect the spectators visual image of the game where at one point you could not see where the rugby ball was or how the game was being played that you relied on supporters voices and cheering on the other side of the pitch to inform spectators on our side of the pitch to discover that their team had scored a try even though it was impossible to witness this. So after raising my question of the narrative found it was answered by a rolling fog creating a visual disturbance of the rugby game being played. I have photographic images of this but as the fog effected the video was unable to record the game, if you would like to see the outcome of my investigation would be more than happy to share these.


January 21, 2013 by Tessa Jane   Comments (0)

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I’ve spent a lot of time reading and researching lately. Knowing I want to combine screen print, stitch, drawing and paint. I love torn edges, natural and soft contrasting with or placed against crisp manmade ones.

Taking my last print room experiments (block work) on canvas as a starting point and working into it with mixed media. (Paint and stitch) My theme is arches. They breach two opposing sides, are majestic, celestial, and strong and suggest longevity. Their ancient method of construction will be a strong metaphor about my work. Tradition verses technology.

I really appreciate using the library. Books have always been fascinating and inspirational. Plymouth College of Arts DVD collection has been very informative.

I have delved for knowledge and gained ideas and possibilities.  David Hockney, John Piper and Kurt Jackson speak volumes and this week I’ve gleaned new possibilities from a new source Lyonel Feininger. Although I admire the thoughts and principles behind Cubism I’ve never really liked the imagery. 

"Formations" rather than "Forms"

January 20, 2013 by Abi Spendlove   Comments (0)

"In observing contemporary artistic practices, we ought to talk of "formations" rather than "forms". Unlike an object that is closed in on itself by the intervention of a style and a signature, present day art shows that form only exists in the encounter and in the dynamic relationship enjoyed by an artistic proposition with other formations, artistic or otherwise.

There are no forms in nature, in the wild state, as it is our gaze that creates these, by cutting them out in the depth of the visible. Forms are developed, one from another. What was yesterday regarded as formless of "informal" is no longer these things today. When the aesthetic discussion evolves, the status of form evolves along with it, and through it." - Nicholas Bourriaud, Relational Form. Relational Aesthetics, 2002.

I started working with a map of the sky in 2009 when I was creating much of my work by sewing. In earlier pieces I was sewing text into fabric, and exhibiting the fabric 'back-to-front', so that the words could not be read, but instead a series of structured patterns confronted the viewer. In an exhibition in Mile End in East London, one viewer thought that the text was written in Bengali, however on closer inspection, he realised that the lines were illegible. 


It interests me that eyes search for pattens. As I try to decipher the world around me, I instinctively look for links and connections. In the night sky, some patterns have been seen and accepted for centuries. The current list of 88 constellations that are officially accepted is based on those listed by Ptolemy in the 2nd Century. I want to explore this concept of pattern finding in my current experiments with the laser cutter. I hope to develop new forms as I explore the layout of the stars, and the spaces between them.



The artist, the audience and the object.

January 19, 2013 by Kezia Merrick   Comments (0)


Snowy ground facilitates a perfect afternoon for some reading. 'Artificial Hell' by Claire Bishop is the book of choice today, which explores arts and artists that engage directly with audiences and see people as a key medium in their final artwork.
 The main questions and discussions are between the relationships between the Artist, the Audience and the Art object. As for many years, pre-Renaissance the relationship 'ruler'' was most definitely in the art object, with the artist and audience as mere secondary thoughts. Time has shifted and changed this relationship, where we now 'value' artists to the point of celebrity status and audiences are regularly asked to participate and engage with the work (for example my upcoming commission - Tea and a Walk in a (small) Field) .

In my meager studies and thoughts on this whole area (and on other completely unrelated subjects) I have just been struck by our human desire to structure our life into a system of hierarchy. The idea that for one (thing, person or idea) to be fully valued others must be diminished.
The art object was the top of this ladder for a long time, but in an attempt to redress the balance have we now trampled on this aspect as irrelevant? Aiming to make the audience or artist the primary holder of significance and value?

The astute of you will realise my thoughts are riddled with holes and open for debate, for value systems are good and healthy in many areas of life.

Perhaps it is just the idealist within that desires the hierarchy between the artist, audience and object to diminish, in order for creativity to flourish.
I would love to hear your thoughts...


January 19, 2013 by Deirdre Porter-Hanson   Comments (0)

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...RATHER THAN DECLARED. (Tim Scott on Callum Innes). Don't you love it when you read something that just brings it all home.

17.01.13 My daughter's birthday.

Ha Ha Ha... feels good to be back in Luton.

A brutally cold day -3c. But fantastically beautiful.

Bands of steely greys, white glowing pink,purple, yellow. Green black, palest earth colours, paths and furrows marked out in deep white, glimpses of turquoise sky break through, cool sunlight. I feel nourished.

In town I begin my search for masking tape and carrot cake. Success in first part of mission.

In the department I meet with Danielle and Mo...my roll of paper has arrived...the day just got better.

And there is an empty wall..better still...

The rest of the morning is spent attaching large sheet of paper to wall. 

Note to self...stop buying cheap tape...false economy.

Seek out good old fashioned solid head brass drawing pins from local materials supplier.

So I have the wonderous, terrifying, glorious challenge of a blank sheet 150x200cm prepared and ready to work on... 

Meeting with the other AA2A artists...good to find out what the plans are... Think I may be able to revise etching plate plans to make use of laser cutter. Also thoughts on presentation to/ contact with students...

Excited for next week.









January 18, 2013 by Sally Lemsford   Comments (1)

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The interaction between hand and face gives away our feelings. An increase in pressure shifts the profile; a mouth covered restricts a statement but is a statement in itself. By exploring, we are able to experience how we feel about an activity, so long as we notice the emotion. 


January 18, 2013 by Chelmsford College   Comments (0)


Our AA2A artists are doing a presentation next Tuesday afternoon 22 January to introduce themselves and their work more widely to the students on the art & design courses at Chelmsford College.