Pic of the Week: Staffordshire University's AA2A artist Melanie Milne's experimental print 'Mr. Ostrich'
Tip of the Week (as featured in our self-employment talks):
'Aim to continue growing as a creative - learn new skills, meet new people & institutions & push yourself.' Ralph Overill AA2A artist at Chelmsford College (2013-14)
We're delighted to announce that we've been successful in our application for funding from Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts Lottery fund. This will allow us to continue running and developing AA2A. This year we will be piloting 'AA2A Plus' - a collaboration between York Museums Trust and York College, which will give two of their artists the opportunity to work with the Trust's collection and get 10 days paid work as well.
Lorraine Cooke is one of 38 artists selected internationally to be showcased in the online Saatchi exhibition entitled ‘inspired by Miro.’ The exhibition is curated by Kat Henning of Saatchi Art, Henning has worked with Christie’s in their Impressionist and Modern Art Department. The collection showcases the work of artists from the US, UK, Sweden, Mexico, Germany, Bulgaria, Canada, Poland, Brazil, France, Uganda and Australia. To view the exhibition or purchase art works please follow the link below:
This week has mainly been about research and planning; deciding the best plan of action for my project. I have met with the technical staff at Derby Uni., who are absolutely fab!! I will be starting to get messy with actual making next week, starting with some small simple clay moulds. Once I get a feel for how they are working, I will play about with different methods of making the moulds.
I will use the moulds I create for slumping my glass onto. I want to achieve texture and movement in my glass, to emphasise the crocheted wire fabric which is trapped within. I’ll be using my Pinterest board as an online sketchbook: http:/
My research this week has been two-fold., I got lost in the library for a few hours. When I was a student I loved doing this, and always came out inspired, so it was great to get back in the stacks! I also went out to the Harley Gallery: if you don’t know it, it’s well worth the trip. This week was their Christmas Market. I had a lot of friends exhibiting there, but also got to see some work new to me. I was particularly taken with the work of Polly & Garry Uttley. Their beautiful wall panels mimic fabric, in this case intricate and detailed Indian textiles, capturing the surface texture and the movement in a solid form. At first glance, they are easily mistaken for fabric until closer inspection. I don’t aim to go quite this far with my glass, I am more concerned with the qualities and shapes rather than the details. However the shapes and compositions were very inspiring, and it was great to see clay used in this way!
Roderick. K. Newlands MA (RCA) and myself are currently creating work in response to Cyprus in support of the 'European Capital of Culture 2017' developments of which Paphos won the title bid. To view art works and hear of future exhibitions both in the UK and Cyprus please visit 'TAKE2' at www.facebook.com/take2artists.
Looking back it's seems like a long time ago that I sat writing my AA2A application. After the form, the interview, the funding application, and the inductions, I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into some of my project work.
My project for the scheme is based around my Hooked collection, which was initially part of my graduate collection. After graduating, I focused on developing products and jewellery, using my unique combination of techniques. I then turned my attention to further developing the art and sculpture side of my practice, starting with my Cellular and Cell Cultures collections. This resulted in a solo exhibition at The National Centre for Craft and Design. Images of this exhibition can be see here:
I am looking forward to seeing this work in many more venues over the next year. However I now want to develop another one of my collections, Hooked, in the same way. Since I graduated I have had many ideas around this collection of work, ways to push the techniques and refine the processes, to create new avenues for exploration. I am looking forward to allowing experimentation dictate the my development, but my main aim is to create bigger work than I currently do in this collection. My current equipment and facilities mean that I am limited in the size of work I can produce, which is why the AA2A will be so crucial in pushing my plans forward.
I have started this project in the same way I always do- lots of drawing and researching other creative work. You can keep up to date with this on my Pinterest board, where I‘ll be adding my inspirations as a digital sketchbook:
I’ll be starting my sessions at my university, the University of Derby, by meeting with the technicians in the departments to discuss my project ideas, and what I want to use the equipment for. I’m also looking forward to burying my head in the library, and getting lost amongst the books! So until I find my way out, see you later!!
Welcome to AA2A. Its great to be starting a new AA2A year, even though its very hectic here, as we try to get all of you registered on the site and fill the last few late places on the schemes.
Please can you upload an image of yourself so that students can recognise you when you're in the college. Also could you please fill in the 'About me' section of your profile page with the text you wrote in Question 14 of your application form ('Image and accompanying information for the website'). Let us or your college know if you have problems with this.
Do have a look at our training videos 'Getting started' and 'Uploading images and blogs'. These are only about 8 minutes long and can be found in the Artists training area of our parallel website AA2A.org http:/
More than anything, we hope you have a good AA2A experience and enjoy using this site.
All for now,
It is good to have time to stop, look back and reflect on the last few months which in my case have been very busy. Having a part time day job and fulfilling my heart and passion can be hard at times. Now I'm here at the exhibition space, it's quite, I can only hear rain knocking on the glass roof. People come and go, but even they don't say much. It's been lovely. I feel like I can relax for now, until I find new studio.........
Up and running now until 2nd June inclusive! Our exhibition has received some very positive feedback and we are already in the process of making plans to take the exhibition on tour. Today we conducted a radio interview with BCFM to be aired on Friday between 3.00 - 4.00 and we are to have our story told in a two page spread on Pukaar News in Leicester. So, all very, very exciting! Please come and see us, we would love to have the chance to talk to you about our work and future plans.
When I received the initial phone call from Rebecca Turk-Richards about a possible venue in the centre of Bristol, I was over the moon; Bristol was a place I really wanted to exhibit in - we certainly didn't waste any time after that first phone call! We then arranged a meeting to discuss who we would ask to join us on this venture. Luckily, whilst studying at Plymouth University, we had the pleasure of meeting some very interesting artists, the only worry was, firstly, who should we pick? Secondly, who would like to join us on this journey? Very scared, but also excited we started planning things that had to be done to make this happen.
Looking back it is unbelievable to see how much work is required to organise such an exhibition/event. I can say I have definitely learned from this experience, which at times was very stressful. We had to take care of everything from designing flyers to having them printed, distributed and so on. For me personally, I would have liked to only focus on the art work instead.
I had already exhibited a few times in Plymouth and Exeter, but never in Bristol until now, so it was important for me to make this show special and exciting. I think it was made easier by knowing we had Vic’s support.
Most of us had never met Vic before until the day of the opening. As it turns out I feel he and I have lots in common. He totally understands my work. We had a long discussion about our beliefs on equal rights for woman all over the world and about using art to make changes within society. It was great to hear that he would be happy to support us again in a future exhibition.
Thought experiment: A new cure for depression:
The only cure for depression is suicide.
This is not meant as a bad joke but as the serious proposal of suicide as a valid option. Unless the option is entertained seriously, its therapeutic value is lost. No threat is credible unless the threatener means it.
The treatment of depression requires a reversal of the usual therapeutic rationale. The therapeutic rationale, which has never been questioned, is that depression is a symptom. A symptom implies an illness; there is something wrong with you. An illness should be treated.
Suppose you are depressed. You may be mildly or seriously depressed, or suicidal. What do you usually do? Or what does one do with you? Do nothing or something. If something, what is done is always based on the premise that something is wrong with you and therefore it should be remedied. You are treated. You apply to friend, counselor, physician, minister, group. You take a trip, take anti-depressant drugs, change jobs, change wife or husband or "sexual partner."
Now, call into question the unspoken assumption: something is wrong with you. Like Copernicus and Einstein, turn the universe upside down and begin with a new assumption.
Assume that you are quite right. You are depressed because you have every reason to be depressed. No member of the other two million species which inhabit the earth - and who are luckily exempt from depression - would fail to be depressed if it lives the life you lead. You live in a deranged age - more deranged than usual, because despite great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing.
Begin with the reverse hypothesis, like Copernicus and Einstein. You are depressed because you should be. You are entitled to your depression. In fact, you'd be deranged if you were not depressed. Consider the only adults who are never depressed: chuckleheads, California surfers, and fundamentalist Christians who believe they have had a personal encounter with Jesus and are saved for once and all. Would you trade your depression to become any of these?
Now consider, not the usual therapeutic approach, but a more ancient and honourable alternative. the Roman option. I do not care for life in this deranged world, it is not an honourable way to life; therefore, like Cato, I take my leave. Or, as Ivan said to God in The Brothers Karamazov: If you exist, I respectfully return my ticket.
Now notice that as soon as suicide is taken as a serious alternative, a curious thing happens. To be or not to be becomes a true choice, where before you were stuck with to be. Your only choice was how to be least painfully, either by counseling, narcotizing, boozing, groupizing, womanizing, man-hopping, or changing your sexual preference.
If you are serious about the choice, certain consequences follow. Consider the alternatives. Supposer you elect suicide. Very well. You exit. Then what? What happens after you exit? Nothing much. Very little, indeed. After a ripple or two, the water closes over your head as if you had never existed. You are not indispensable, after all. You are not even a black hole in the Cosmos. All that stress and anxiety was for nothing. Your fellow townsmen will have something to talk about for a few days. Your neighbors will profess shock and enjoy it. One or two might miss you, perhaps your family, who will also resent the disgrace. Your creditors will resent the inconvenience. Your lawyers will be pleased. Your psychiatrist will be displeased. The priest or minister or rabbi will say a few words over you and down you will go on the green tapes and that's the end of you. In a surprisingly short time, everyone is back in the rut of his own self as if you had never existed.
Now, in the light of this alternative, consider the other alternative. You can elect suicide, but you decide not to. What happens? All at once, you are dispensed. Why not live, instead of dying? You are free to do so. You are like a prisoner released from the cell of life. You notice that the door to the cell is ajar and that the sun is shining outside. Why not take a walk down the street? Where you might have been dead, you are alive. The sun is shining.
Suddenly you feel like a castaway on an island. You can't believe your good fortune. You feel for broken bones. You are in one piece, sole survivor of a foundered ship whose captain and crew had worried themselves into a fatal funk. And here you are, cast up on a beach and taken in by islanders who, as it turns out, are themselves worried sick - over what? Over status, saving face, self-esteeem, national rivalries, boredom, anxiety, depression from which they seek relief mainly in wars and the natural catastrophes which regularly overtake their neighbours.
And you, an ex-suicide, lying on the beach? In what way have you been freed by the serious entertainment of your hypothetical suicide? Are you not free for the first time in your life to consider the folly of man, the most absurd of all the species, and to contemplate the comic mystery of your own existence? And even to consider which is the more absurd state of affairs, the manifest absurdity of your predicament: lost in the Cosmos and no news of how you got into such a fix or how to get out - or the even more preposterous eventuality that news did come from the God of the Cosmos, who took pity on your ridiculous plight and entered the space and time of your insignificant planet to tell you something.
The consequences of entertainable suicide? Lying on the beach, you are free for the first time in your life to pick up a coquina and look at it. You are even free to go home and, like the man from Chicago, dance with your wife.
The difference between a non-suicide and an ex-suicide leaving the house for work, at eight o'clock on an ordinary morning:
The non-suicide is a little traveling suck of care, sucking care with him from the past and being sucked toward care in the future. His breath is high in his chest.
The ex-suicide opens his front door, sits down on the steps, and laughs. Since he has the option of being dead, he has nothing to lose by being alive. It is good to be alive. He goes to work because he doesn't have to.