It's surprising how quickly the year has gone, and how fast the time has flown by since I first became engaged with the AA2A programme. My initial experience of the project was one of some confusion and it was not entirely clear exactly what was expected from us as student reps, however, when we eventually began to worry less about what we were 'supposed' to be doing and started looking into what we could do, the potential became clearer.
As such, I would certainly advise any new student reps of the potential benefits of the scheme but would also suggest that they do not wait for someone to tell them the best way to proceed as that information may very well not be fothcoming! The approach that worked for us was very much to simply dive in, arrange a meeting or two and get chatting.
It is unfortunate that as a part time student I was not always available at the same times as the artists so that did limit it a bit, however, following a meeting with Maria Mylona (Also student rep at MMU) and Melanie Alexandrou (Artist in Residence), I was delighted to accept their support of my practice in various ways. Maria assisted me by taking some very professional photographs of a participatory project which I have used in a variety of ways and Melanie kindly volunteered to be directly part of that project. You can see Maria's photos and learn more about the Talk to Me project here: http:/
I was also pleased to have to opportunity to display this, and other work alongside the contributing artists at an end of year exhibition in the university. It was at this event that I managed to meet 2 of the other artsists in residence (Ima Pico and Chava Rosenzweig) and speak with them about their work while displaying my own.
In reflection, I think that because I had a very clear direction in my practice this year, I did not put aside as much time towards the AA2A project as I might have done if I had been less focused, however, I can clearly see the benefits that I may have derived from it had this been the case. As it was, I benefited from the opportunity by meeting and being able to engage in dialogues with other artists and students that I would not otherwise have met, and the fact that I found contributors to my projects through it was undoubtably of great use to me.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to apply for the residency opportunity myself next year as to be eligible one must have been out of education for a year, however, this is certainly something I am considering for next year. I wish all the new artists and student reps the very best of luck with the new academic year and hope this will not be my last invovlement with the AA2A programme.
Following the assessments for the end of Stage 2 of the MA in 3D Design (and the subsequent flurry of activity as I began to put the feedback into action), it was finally possible to meet one of the AA2A artists currently resident at MMU. Along with my colleague Maria Mylona, I met with Artist Melanie Alexandrou last Wednesday. We had quite a lengthy chat about our respective practices and the possibility for some potential collaborations. I was especially interested in Melanie's involvement in mail art and wondered if I could relate my current This Belongs To project to any similarly involved networks in order to better promote the project. I hope to meet with Melanie again in the near future and will aim to participate in the mail art soon!
In other areas, I updated my own blog todat with various developments... You can see the post here...
A bit of a re-post already, I have just made live the latest (fairly lengthy) post on my own personal blog. As I've also just uploaded quite a few images to four albums here on AA2A which describe pretty much the extent of what I have done throughout 2010, I thought it would be a good idea to link to it so that any casual readers might then be able to make a bit more sense of the work or at least get a more rounded intro to who I am and what I do.
You can find the post on my website here
I'm looking forward to meeting the AA2A Artists at Manchester Metropolitan University soon and maybe even developing some of my practice alongside! Thanks for having me!